From January 4 to 11, we were on Long Retreat. This is eight days of complete silence devoted to rest, prayer, study and the discontinuation of regular work while the Guesthouse is closed. Many of us relish this extra quiet time nestled in the midst of winter. On the last evening of the Long Retreat we have a community talking meal to celebrate our time of going deeper. Then we have a sabbath day to recreate in leisure before we restart our regular routines of liturgy and work.
We had scheduled to reopen the Guesthouse on Thursday, January 13, but Covid-19 had other plans. One of us suffered flu-like symptoms and tested positive. Out of concern for our guests and our staff, we have quarantined. By now, all but one of us are testing negative and our unlucky brother has now been asymptomatic for several days. God willing, we will reopen the Guesthouse on Tuesday, January 25. So it's no longer Long Retreat but we are enjoying some more enforced quiet anyway.
Our two recent aspirants, Mr. Marc Santana, from Glasgow, Scotland and Mr. Ephrem Arcement, from New Orleans, LA, have both been invited to join our monastic community. Both are diligently working on completing their application file. We ask you to keep them in your prayers as they progress towards joining us.
The weather has turned so cold that we are incited to exercize indoors. Our in-house gym and the stacks of the library (for walking indoor distances) are getting greater use than usual.
Keep safe. Get the Covid-19 vaccination booster if you haven't yet. It's an effective means of reducing the intensity of possible breakout infections. We are all "boosted" here at the monastery.