Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Peace to you and I trust you are doing well.
Fall has arrived in all its glory this week, with the temperature changing dramatically and the fall colors giving us a beautiful show. We had the Karen Margulus Art Worksop here and the artists enjoyed being outside capturing the beauty of nature on their canvases. We thank them for being with us.
Our Fund Raiser Gala seems to have been quite a success, and a good time was had by all. We were honored to have our own Archbishop John Wester with us. He sat at my table which allowed us to get to know one another a little better, and it also gave him a front row seat to listen to our Opera Singer Susan Stokes accompanied by pianist Debbie Wagner.
Thank you to all who made the evening such a wonderful event, and special thanks to my employees and volunteers who did so much hard work. Thanks also to Scott Rice the auctioneer, and to all who donated so much time and talent for the Gala. May God reward you.
Our retreat season is winding down for us, it has been a busy year all around. This weekend we have Fr Richard Rohr's retreat so we are getting ready for that - I think we have a full house. I'm very happy to be hosting Fr Richard whom I have know for a number of years, and of course lives just down the road from us In Albuquerque.
As a community of Benedictines we continue to move through our day fulfilling our call to live a life apart from the world, yet in the world. There is a lot to pray for these days, and we do so each and every day at our monastic office and in our personal prayer in our cells.
The founder of our Congregation St Bernard Tolomei left Siena with two companions to travel to the hill country in search of solitude with God, and so to better unite himself in prayer. He ended up sacrificing his life during the plague, taking time away from his monastery to tend to those who were afflicted with the plague. God works in His own way, and in His own time, and it is in the mystery of how He works that we follow him in what we do here in the monastery. We open our doors to those who come here in search of rest from the world and all its concerns. We unite ourselves in prayer with you, and pray each day for your intentions.
Some are asking about the School for Spiritual Direction. It has been decided not to continue the School. There are two main reasons why we have made this decision:
1/ There are other Schools available for people now, and many of them allow the person to work on-line. This allows the person to do the work at home in their own time and at their own pace.
2/ It seems to be more of a challenge for people to take a full month away, plus a two week follow up session, from the responsibilities of home and work to come here.
Therefore we have found the numbers of participants has steadily gone down over the years. This is very unfortunate because the uniqueness of our program has been that people could come here and stay at the monastery, enter into the monastic daily rhythm of prayer in a beautiful environment, and get to meet others from around the country and around the world.
Our world is indeed changing, and some things just don't stay the same. I thank those of you who have shown interest in the program, and I hope you are able to find a School that will work for you.
I hope your fall will be blessed with the bountiful generosity of our God, and that you will take time to enjoy the fall colors.
May God bless you, and thank you for your generous support in so many ways.
Fr. Aidan, OSB oliv
In Christ, Abbot Aidan, OSB oliv