Peace to you and I trust you are well, and I hope that you had a safe and blessed Christmas. As I write this we have about a foot of snow on the ground, day time temperatures in the twenties, and overnight temperatures in the single digits. So winter has arrived in the Pecos Valley, and there is more snow in the forecast. I keep praying for moisture, and the Lord seems to keep sending it! Of course we're very grateful for all that we receive, knowing that it will help us through the early spring and into the summer months.
We had a quiet Christmas here at the monastery - both of our resident oblates went on home leave and will be back after the first of the year. On Christmas Eve afternoon I went to Kingston Manor in Santa Fe to have Christmas Mass for Fr. Bob at 4:00 pm. He has been there for a couple of months to have some medical care that we couldn't offer here - he will be returning here soon, and we look forward to his return.
On Christmas day I had the 9:30 Christmas Mass here, and then after lunch I went to Santa Fe Care Nursing Home in Santa Fe to offer the Christmas Mass at 2:00 pm for one of our Oblates who is currently there. He had invited other residents to be present for the mass, but in the end it was just himself, so he was thrilled to 'have his own private mass', as he said.
I returned to the monastery in time for Vespers at 5:00 pm. After Vespers we had our Christmas Dinner which had been prepared for us by Marty and his wife Donna - it was a lovely meal, and a treat for me not to have to do the cooking, which I normally do for Holiday meals. So, many thanks to Marty and his wife taking time out of their Christmas Day for us.
As we gear up for the retreat season next year, I'm in the process of arranging for one of our oblates Melinda D'Grossa to lead the Holy Week retreat. She is still thinking about it and will let me know soon if she is able to work it into her schedule. She keeps herself quite busy one way and another - but always makes time for the Lord and ministry to others. I'm sure some of you know her as she is a frequent visitor here, and a very dedicated oblate.
I do hope that you will have a safe and blessed New Year, and as always, we look forward to seeing you here for a visit. Please remember we rely on your help in various ways, and you are invited to come and spend some time with us to volunteer your time and God given talents.
You are all remembered in our daily prayers and in my masses.
God bless you, and thank you.
Fr. Aidan, OSB