Sunday, June 12, 2022

The 311th Chapter of the Order of the Holy Cross

This past week nineteen Brothers of the Order of the Holy Cross met together in annual chapter at the monastery. It was the first time we got to do this in person again since 2019.

We also welcomed Br. Ignatius Martin, OSB/Cam, a Camaldolese Brother from Big Sur, CA. He was a keen and sympathetic observer and participant of our proceedings and preached on Trinity Sunday. We have had a covenant relationship with the Camaldolese Benedictine Order for decades.

The Holy Cross Brothers came from Canada, South Africa and the US. We had both formal meetings for the business of running our Order and lots of informal times in small and larger groups to further the bonds of brotherhood we have. On Saturday, we picked-up Br. Laurence at his nursing home and brought him to the monastery to enjoy the wider company of his Brothers. You can see him in the center of  the group photograph below (credit: The Rev. Janet Vincent).

At mass, on Saturday we celebrated the internship of Mr. Eric Anthony. He will leave us on Monday. He will start law school in Washington, DC, this coming academic year. He has been a great person to live in community with. We wish him success in his new endeavors.

In the church. From top left, clockwise: West Park Brothers on the South side of choir (note that Br. Josép is back at the head of the choir), Br. Ignatius Martin, OSB/Cam, Br. Josép thanking our intern Eric Anthony for his contribution to our monastery's life: Br. Scott Wesley Borden (of Saint Benedict's Priory in Hermanus, South Africa) in choir; Brothers from South Africa, California and West Park on the North side of choir; group picture of the Brothers assembled in annual Chapter; Br. Daniel Ludik from Saint Benedict's Priory presiding at mas; our two sacristans bantering in the sacristy (Br, Daniel Beckham, Novice and Br. Luc Thuku, Initially Professed).

The first day of Chapter. From top left, clockwise: Brothers assembled in meeting in St Gregory's meeting room; Brothers at dinner in the refectory; Brothers listening to a presentation about vocations in South Africa by Br. Luc Thuku; Brothers chatting during a break; Brothers listening to presentation

Informal moments are an important part of in-person Chapters. From top left, clockwise: members of the community chatting over a meal in the refectory; Brothers listening to a presentation; Brothers enjoying refreshments and conversation on the porch of the monastic enclosure: Yanick Savain and Br. Ignatius in conversation; taking the breeze on the porch.

This blogger (Br. Bernard Delcourt) will leave Monday on a three-month sabbatical. As a result, the Monastery Colum will be on a hiatus until late September. In the meantime, you can continue to follow us on Facebook at and on the individual pages of several Brothers (Bros. Robert James, Robert Leo, Randy and Josép).

Br. Bernard will be doing a Thirty-Day Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola retreat in Gloucester, MA, in July and will be doing a walking pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain in August and early September. The readers of the Monastery Column will be in his prayers.

Leaving you for the summer with a blooming report:

From top left, clockwise: salvia, euphorbia, phloxes and peonies; in front of St Augustine's icon at the church entrance; a posy of roses; three poets getting together after Sunday mass (Sr. Annie-hannah Mancini, Br. John, The Rev. Suzanne Guthrie); the roses gracing our gallery of departed Brothersl; (center) our intern Eric Anthony receiving a Roy Parker calligraphy as parting gift.

Peace. Happy Summer!

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Cookout and preparing for Annual Chapter

Little by little Holy Cross Brothers from other locations converge on our monastery in view of the Chapter meetings that will take place here next week. Br. Adam McCoy has arrived from Cathedral City, CA, and Bros. Daniel Ludik, Roger Stewart and Scott Borden have arrived from Hermanus, South Africa.

This coming Monday will see the arrival of Toronto Brothers and the much awaited return home of Br. Josép from his time in Rome and Assisi at the Monastic Formators Program.

This past Monday, we kept to tradition and had a Memorial Day cookout organized by Br. Aidan and grilled to perfection by Br. Randy.

Memorial Day cookout. From top left, clockwise: Br. John slicing the bread buns; assembled community members relaxing; Bros. Daniel and Timothy and intern Eric chucking corn; Br. Randy at the grill (two pictures).

Following are pictures of the monks busy at ancillary functions. They happen every week , are indispensible to our health and well-being, but don't get much press.

Monastery folks. From top left clockwise, Yanick Savain our bookstore manager with her visiting brother Joey from NYC; Br. Ephrem at Br. Benard's desk learning the ropes of how to post sermons to our blog and other web platforms; Br. Daniel emptying the sacristy storage cell; Br. Daniel cleaning up the emptied cell; the tidy outcome in the sacristy storage; Br. Aidan mopping the hallway floors in the monastic enclosure.

And of course, this blog entry needs a blooming report. Iris blooms are on the way out. It's the turn of roses and peonies to take center stage.

Blooms. From left, clockwise: rambling roses in the little cloister; staff member Jamy Hermance's composition for the refectory; cuttings from another rambling rose; various peony compositons in the guesthouse and the church (three pictures).

If you will, keep us in your prayers, as we assemble in Chapter for discussions and decisions regarding our beloved Order of the Holy Cross.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Balmy days of May

Just one more week until Br. Josép is back from Italy.

This coming week, Brothers from other houses will start arriving for the Annual Chapter of the Order of the Holy Cross.

This past week Br. Ephrem got the visit from a good friend, from New Orleans, Ms. Jenny Hiel. It's important for friends to see new members of the community in their new environment.

The grounds. From top left, clockwwise: irises and Japanese maple in the little cloister; Ms. Jenny Hiel, from New Orleans, LA, with Br. Ephrem; slightly foggy day on the Hudson; a panorama of the meadow on an overcast day; no it didn't snow but poplar seeds covered the edges of the parking lot.

The peonies have started to bloom. The irises are still going strong. What beautiful grounds we have.

Peonies vs. Irises. The irises are still winning.

Happy Memorial Day!