Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

February 2015 - Week 3

Last weekend brought 30 couples to the Hill for a retreat with Fr. Noel entitled "How Deep is Your Love."

After Mass on Sunday, our community exposed the Blessed Sacrament to celebrate a Eucharistic Day. Several half-hour time slots were made available until Vespers to pray in pairs in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the Archabbey Church.

Fr. Patrick served as our Mass Heb for the week, and in his homily on Sunday he reminded us to prepare for Lent, with Ash Wednesday on the brink.

At our evening meal on Sunday, the formation house of St. Matthew from the seminary joined us. Fr. Tobias, vice rector of the Seminary and School of Theology, serves as the house dean, and seminarian Deacon Lance Warren of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City takes on the role of house prefect.

There are currently 7 novices, and the 5 who had their investiture in January were wearing their corona haircuts up until Tuesday. Br. Zachary, the barber of "Zach's Hack Shack," took care of cutting our hair, which is typical after one month of wearing the corona.

150218_ashwednesday _022On Ash Wednesday, Archabbot Justin celebrated Mass. After the homily, the monastic community processed to the presider's chair to receive ashes on our head. Preceding receiving the ashes, we dropped off our bona opera (good works) in a basket indicating to Archabbot Justin our intentions for Lent, including what book we have chosen to read throughout Lent. He then reviewed the bona opera, included a comment, signed them and returned them back to the monks.

The cold weather the past several days pervaded the Archabbey Church and refectory (our dining room). Fortunately, we have heat in our church, unlike our mother house at Einsiedeln. Still, the biting cold got to some of us with shorter hair or lack of hair. Many put up the monastic hood to deflect the sharpness of the air. Stay warm, friends!

The cold also lends itself to fun activities. A handful of monks went sledding earlier in the week and rumor has it there is another opportunity to sled this afternoon.

In closing this week's About the House, here is encouragement from Archabbot Justin's Ash Wednesday homily, as best I recall: In this season of mercy, may we be open to God's re-creation of our minds and hearts so that we may joyfully receive Easter.

Let us continue praying for one another and for those most in need of our prayers.

Each day the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey write another page in the long history of Benedictine monks throughout the world. Here are recent events chronicled at Saint Meinrad.