Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

July 2015: July 18-24

Sweet treats. That's what Br. André worked on this week and last week at culinary school in the baking and pastry segment of his studies. He worked on cookies and brownies last week, and this week they worked on cakes. Let's hope he brought some cake to share with us this weekend when he returns for some community time on the weekends.

We received 30 chickens last Friday, and our Physical Facilities staff has fixed up our old butchery smokehouse as a coop for the chickens. We look forward to when they will begin laying eggs in the next several months. I, Nov. Timothy, have been feeding them every morning after Mass and checking their water. They go to and from the coop regularly to also eat grass in the area as free-range chickens.

Last week and this week, Fr. Columba has been instructing some eager participants about chant. In addition, over the next several weeks we will have permanent deacon classes from around the country here working on their homiletics. Also joining us for retreat are seminarians from the Diocese of Covington in Kentucky, and novice Dominicans will have spent a week on the Hill this week for retreat and formation.

We enjoyed two concerts in the Archabbey Church last weekend. High school students from a church in Nashville traveled around the country giving concerts, and they stopped in on their way back to Nashville. Then, on Sunday, several organists gave a concert in the church covering several works.

The juniors, novices and candidate enjoyed a homemade Indian meal on Saturday night prepared by Nov. Jinu, Br. Martin, Br. André and Nov. Thomas. Nov. Jinu is from India and Br. Martin spent some time in India as a Marianist before joining our community.

Fr. Germain served as our Mass heb this week. He shared some of the following in his homilies:

Sunday: The Lord wants us to rest sometimes as he rested. In today's Gospel he encourages the disciples to rest after their work spreading the Gospel. Though they were jubilant, they were tired from their work, and Jesus encouraged them to rest. This is good advice for all of us.This is good advice for all of us! (Fr. Germain emphasized.)

When Jesus spoke these words, perhaps he was thinking of the 21st century. Mary may serve as a good example for all of us, too. She, though not having a photo memory book, pondered all the good things God had done for her. And, so may we, too, quietly and reflectively, and in peace and with gratitude, ponder God's goodness and mercy toward us.

Tuesday's main theme: Jesus is the ultimate brother's keeper as our savior.

Wednesday, Feast of St. Mary Magdalene: Mary was a native of Magdala, a fishing village near Galilee. Mary Magdalene stayed at the Cross when others fled. God rewarded Mary for her faithfulness to Jesus by making her an apostle to the Apostles in announcing Jesus' resurrection. There are dark times in our lives where Mary's example encourages us to desire God in those dark times and to not give up on God's love and mercy.

Friday, Feast of St. Sharbel Makhluf: Fr. Germain related a story about five novices from the United States who visited St. Sharbel's grave 50 years after he died and before he was canonized. They took a picture there, and upon developing the picture, there was a sixth person in the portrait. Several elderly monks of St. Sharbel's community recognized the figure as St. Sharbel.

Fr. Germain continued, St. Sharbel lived a quiet life of monastic solitude. Not much was known about St. Sharbel, and when a light shone over his grave 40 days and 40 nights after he died, it caused many to look into his life. Many miracles are attributed to St. Sharbel's intercession. When we become bored or weary of monastic life, may we look to St. Sharbel's life, and let us remember the privilege it is that he recognized of following Christ.

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.