Most readers express great interest in the day to day of monastic life. You can find our schedule by just typing the words "schedule" in the Search Box in the side bar. That will bring up a few articles that you can just scroll through. That schedule of communal prayer, work, solitude and recreation is a given in our lives. But a whole lot more gets into the mix.
Recently we experienced a great loss. Father George Keaveney, CSsR, Rector (superior) of Mount St. Alphonsus, died on May 23rd. He was a most extraordinary man and Redemptorist and our true brother. He was outstandingly generous to us (our monastery is on the grounds of the Mount), and compassionate to all. And beyond that he was brilliant; former provincial for nine years, former professor in the seminary, former pastor, etc., etc. News of his death, after a very brief battle with cancer, was a shock even to those of us who had visited him in the hospital only a few days before. We are still sort of reeling as a result of our loss; the loss of a dear friend.
This is a very busy time of year in our cape room where we make ceremonial capes for the knights and ladies of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Orders mount as investiture days loom. Recently Redemptorist habit orders have picked up too.
These days we are working hard to put some new vocation development outreach into place. This is a critical issue for us and many other communities. It is all very necessary and worthwhile but time consuming.
But the schedule (horarium) I mentioned at the beginning is the axis, the pole around which all else revolves. The monastic horarium is a frame work providing balance and assuring right focus. The contemplative nun's first call is the search for God. This is the primary path. The rest are just brief stops along the highway, necessary but temporary. The life of prayer is our "true north", beginning with the Liturgy of the Hours which provide the setting for daily Mass, and impelling us to seek silence and solitude in which to savor the grace, to be present to God, and remember the needs of our world.