Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Peace to you all and I hope you are well. Fall has arrived here in the Pecos valley, although the day time temperatures are still very comfortable. Most of the trees have lost their leaves, and the willows have gone through the changes in color adding to the beauty of this time of the year. I went for a short hike yesterday on our property across the road, there were still signs of late autumn color in some of the desert flora that seem to cling to life in the dry earth - they're still able to show off their colors.
I flew to Italy for a couple of meetings and stayed at our monastery in Lendinara, I was away for two weeks. Lendinara dates back to the mid 800's and is about an hour drive from Venice where the main airport is. The monastery is in the old part of the town a five minute walk from the local square where the daily life of the locals unfolds. A river passes through the town with arched bridges over it for access, somewhat similar to the bridges that one might see in Venice, but on a smaller scale.
Each morning and afternoon I would take a walk and explores the old town, so quiet and peaceful. It is not really a tourist destination, which perhaps gives it that lovely Italian feel of day to day life, watching the locals come and go. I took a day trip to Rome on the train and had lunch at a restaurant I had been to when I lived there - the food was just as good...and the wine too.
A visiting priest who was staying at the monastery drove me to Padua where St Anthony was from to see the Basilica named after him. It is a huge Basilica, typically inspired with much beauty. A few blocks away is the Basilica of St Justina, and we were given an unexpected tour of some parts of the Benedictine monastery adjacent to the Basilica. We had lunch at a side walk cafe, enjoying our food and a glass of local wine sitting under the warm autumn sun.
My remaining days at the monastery in Lendinara were restful, and I continued my walks around the town enjoying the local life and savoring the Italian atmosphere which, for those of you who have been to Italy will know, is so enjoyable.
Our recent Fund Raiser Gala was a success - comparable to last year we had close to two hundred guests. It was a push during the last few weeks to pull it together but we made it. Unfortunately we were not able to have the auctioneer come back for the live auction as he had a previous commitment so I was it with the help of one of our locals (Mike) who jumped in to help at the last minute. Thank God he did, I definitely not gifted to do that. Overall it was a wonderful evening and we look forward to next year.
We thank you for all of your ongoing support and we keep you in our daily prayers and every Sunday Mass. In a few weeks we will begin Advent - I will write again later.
God bless you all, and thank you for supporting us...
Abbot Aidan, OSB oliv