Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

July 4-10, 2015

On Saturday, we celebrated the 4th of July with a cookout that followed Vespers. We monks go to bed pretty early, so many were probably in bed before any fireworks could be witnessed in the area. Many thanks to Fr. Pius, Br. Martin, Br. André and Nov. Jinu for their help in setting everything up and grilling the dinner.

Br. William led a retreat last weekend on "Monastic Practices" at the Guest House.

Each year the "One Bread, One Cup" interns invite Archabbot Justin on a Dairy Barn outing in Birdseye, IN. It's a tasty ice cream parlor about 20 minutes from the Hill. They visited last week.

In his homily on Sunday, Fr. Guy, who has been Mass heb all week, shared: "The kingdom is too unlike the world of pride, material, status and power. The people of Jesus' native place could not understand the kingdom he was preaching. On the Cross, Jesus abases himself in order to disappear into the gift he wants to give. The Holy Spirit is that gift, the gift that allows us to receive charity. In the Spirit, we recognize our neighbors as children of God. At baptism we too disappear into Christ's paschal mystery. If we resent our brother, we resent Jesus. Resentment is of the world; it is the world and not the kingdom. We have to disappear into Christ."

The participants of the third and final "One Bread, One Cup" conference depart for home today. Again, several monks helped with presentations and other details of the program.

Br. André, as you might recall, is in culinary arts school in Louisville. I asked him for an update on his studies. Here is what he had to say:

I am in my third quarter of a six-quarter program, in pursuit of my associate degree in culinary arts. We go to class year round with four 11-week quarters with a two-week break between each quarter.  

During my first quarter, I was in what is called basic culinary skills, learning all about the different terms and techniques of cooking. They include basic knife skills, general butchering, and learning all of the different methods for cooking various meat, pork, chicken, fish, and vegetables. I also took a food sanitation class, learning all about ways to keep food, the facilities and the equipment clean and safe.

My second quarter was in Garde Manger. This is a French term for cold cooking. We learned all about salads, hors d'oeuvres, buffet centerpieces and platters, curing and smoking meats, making different types of sausage, and cheese. We also learned to make fresh pasta and ice cream, and we got to make ice sculptures.

This quarter I am in baking and pastry. We are learning about all things baking, from pies, tarts, éclairs, cream puffs, cakes, cookies and breads. Since I have always loved to bake, this is by far my favorite quarter. Also this quarter I am in a food nutrition class.

The last quarter of this year, I will be in International, learning to cook from 13 different countries. After International, I will be in what is called advanced tech, learning all about the finer and more difficult cooking techniques. At the end of the program, we do an externship in which we spend 11 weeks working in an actual restaurant kitchen.

In closing this week's About the House … we heard an excerpt from some of Thomas Merton's writing at vigils this week. One quote about monks served as a good reminder about our prayer and work: "In the night of our technological barbarism, monks must be as trees which exist silently in the dark, and by their vital presence purify the air."

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.