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Dear oblates, peace to you and I hope you are well as we enter the New Year!

How quickly the time passes - especially so I think due to our short Advent last year. Here, our Advent and Christmas Season were both beautiful and peaceful - we were blessed, and we celebrated each one with great joy and expectation for the birthday of the Lord. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas with your family and friends.

Some of you have been asking about the Oblate Retreat for this year - we don't have a date set as yet, but by the end of January we should have the retreat schedule for the year up on the website, so please check in periodically.

Our oblate JoAnn Turner was here in December helping out and she will be back in March to do more volunteer work for us. She is a computer expert and is currently helping me in my office updating files etc. As I often remind you, we need help in many areas, and always appreciate our oblates who come and help us. It's like family returning to family, because as an oblate you are a member of our extended family, and coming here to help fulfills your 'oblation'. So please think about coming to your spiritual home.

The weather continues to be very warm and it seems it will be this way through the remainder of the winter period. We pray for rain or snow, as much as we can get! On the positive side - the weather is allowing us to do outside projects, like cutting down some tress that have died and are in danger of falling.

We continue to receive applications from those interested in becoming an oblate and this is very encouraging. We have a married couple who just retired to Pecos and are in formation - they are already volunteering in various ways, so we thank them for all they are doing for us - they are definitely cheerful givers. And this 'cheerful giving' is such an important aspect of being an oblate, as we often are reminded - 'Jesus loves a cheerful giver'! And when oblates make their oblation they commit to helping the community as best as they can. So, we hope to see you here this summer.

We keep you in our prayers, and please remember to contact us if you have any special prayer requests. You can email them to and I will make sure they are put on our prayer board and that you are remembered at mass.

God bless you all, and we thank you for your ongoing support, and a special thanks to all those who gave so generously to our winter utility appeal. You were remembered in our Christmas masses.

Abbot Aidan, OSB oliv