Sunday, September 10, 2023

New American

On Labor Day, the community enjoyed its cookout on the enclosure porch. It was bit hot but delicious and lots of fun.

Br. Robert Leo is on retreat this week. 

Midweek, Br. Bernard traveled to Yale Divinity School in New Haven, CT, for an overnight stay to offer spiritual direction to a few seminarians.

This weekend we welcomed two men to the Come and See retreat. They are interested by the monastic vocation. This retreat is an easy way to get some experiential knowledge of that vocation. They come from Western Massachussetts and NYC.

Please pray for men discerning a call to our life and for our Vocations Minister, Br. Josép.

But the big news of the week, is that Br. Luc Thuku was naturalized as an American citizen on Friday, in Stone Ridge, NY! 

Several brothers accompanied him to witness this joyous occasion. We are very happy for Luc. This will also ease his movements between our house in Hemanus, South Africa and the West Park monastery. Luc is the Vocations Minister for Africa.

Luc's naturalization. From left clockwise: Luc taking the oath; proudly showing his certificate of naturalization in the company of the judge; clapping for the naturalization of dozens of immigrants being naturalized together with Luc (photos by the Rev. Janet Vincent)

And a few pictures of our church.

Views of our church. From left, clockwise: the bell tower door opening on the little cloister; garden blooms at the feet of our Mary and baby Jesus statue (2 pictures).

May you enjoy the late summer days!

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Summer down time

Our Guesthouse reopened to visitors this past Friday. We have had some much needed down time during August. Several brothers took this opportunity to go on vacation, family visit or staycation.

The month of August started with a joyful occasion. The Rev. Samuel Kennedy who has been a claustral alongsider for a year, entered the monastic community on Tuesday, August 1. "And then, there were three!" West Park postulants that is. Our Formator, Br. Josép has his hands full. Thanks be to God for all our men in formation.

Samuel's reception as a postulant. Our three postulants (from left to right) are Anthony Letchworth, Jeffrey Costello and Samuel Kennedy.

During August, there is some more time for leisurely activities. We go on hikes, to sports events, on excursions and the like.
Outings. From top left, clockwise: Bros. Josép and Randy's yearly walk round the Ashokan Reservoir; Br. Josép vacationing while pet-sitting at a friend's house in Cottekill: saying goodbye to the pooches; Bros. Randy and Josép and our three postulants rooting for the Hudson Valley Renegades (our local baseball team); our men in formation visiting St John the Divine Cathedral in NYC sporting the same Holy Cross Monastery t-shirt; Br. Bernard piloting a friend's boat on Lake George; Bros. Bernard and Aidan hiking in Saratoga National Historical Park.

We saw many places of beauty this August. But then we come back home and appreciate the local beauty all the more.
Sights of beauty. From top left, clockwise: Mother and Child in a small side chapel in our crypt; the Mystical Lamb polyptic in St Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium; the little church at New Skete Monastery in Cambridge, NY; a sprawling white clematis overtakes the lilac bush at the corner of our Guesthouse.

We hope you'll visit us again soon. Peace.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Joys and hazards

Br. Robert James will be returning from his one-month sabbatical this coming week. This past week, Br. Randy was on retreat at the Trinity Retreat Center in West Cornwall, CT. The Rev. Samuel Kennedy's parents, Lori and Tom were visiting for the week. Samuel will be received as a Postulant this coming Tuesday.

Monks in their habits. From top left, clockwise: chatting in the coffe area (near the refectory) before dinner (Postulants Jeffrey and Anthony, Bros. Josép and Carl); more Brothers waiting for dinner to be served; Bros. Francis and John doing dishes in the pantry; Br. Francis and Postulant Anthony doing dishes; Bros John and Robert Leo quietly waiting for dinner; Br. Timothy welcoming the customers in the Monk's Cell Gift and Book Store.

On Friday evening a rain storm uprooted a large tree along Route 9W that fell down on St Mary's House (at the top of our driveway). It hit the roof of the house and perforated the ceiling over the kitchen. Br. Robert James' niece Felicia Magliula and her two daughters Artemis and Seneca were in the house. They are physically unharmed but very scared by the event. The young Magliula family is now staying at the Guest House until they can secure longer term housing for themselves.

Storm damage at St Mary's House. From top, clockwise: Br. Aidan surveying the damage; perforated roof over the kitchen; the fallen tree crashed through the fence.

The fallen tree has been disposed of and a tarp covers the damaged roof. We are working with our insurance company to enable restoration work to start as soon as possible.

On Saturday, Bros. Robert Leo an Bernard attended a joyous (if hot) diocesan Mid-Hudson Regional Gathering at Christ Church, Poughkeepsie. We guess over 200 people (lay and clergy) from parishes and religious orders throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley were in attendance as were Bishop Andy Dietsche (Bishop of New York) and Bishop Matt Heyd (Bishop coadjutor of New York). We met a lot of friends for a festive Eucharist followed by a generous potluck pick-nick in the park surrounding the church.

Diocesan Mid-Hudson Regional Gathering. from top left, clockwise: Associate Suellen Nelson of Beacon, NY, and Br. Robert Leo seated for the Eucharist (2 pictures, in the background, Associate Jenny Owen and her husband Sam, of Croton on Hudson): Bp. Andy Dietsche addressing the congregation; Br. Robert Leo at the ensuing picknick; assembled clergy and lay folks at the picknick: the congregation in Christ Church, Poughkeepsie: (Center) Bp, Coadjutor Matt Heyd preaching.

We are looking forward to a restful and (hopefully) uneventful month of August. Our Guest House will reopen on Friday, September 1. In the meantime, you are always welcome to join us for our public worship. During August, the horarium will be: Matins at 7 a.m., Mass at 9 a.m. and Vespers at 5 p.m. There will be no corporate Diurnum or Compline.

Top: the Sunday mass attendees with the brothers in the entrance to the church. Bottom: planted by Br. Aidan, harvested and displayed by Br. Robert Leo; Japanese pink lilies.

The Monastery Column will be on a hiatus until the first weekend of September. May you also find rest in your month of August.