August 29, 2014

Classes with Fr. Michael Casey

Fr. Michael Casey, from Tarrawarra Abbey in Australia is here giving us classes on the 4th Chapter of the Rule of St. Benedict, The Tools for Good Living.  Fr. Michael is a gifted teacher and writer.  He says it as it is with lots of good humor.  The tools for good living are tools to live a life based on the Gospels.  They are relevant to all Christians seeking to follow Jesus is an authentic way.  His new book, Seventy-Four Tools     For   Good Living, has just been published.

August 25, 2014

Our Old Fashioned Pump House

Inspecting a replaced window

Kathy Cone
Recently we have been working on the pump house over on the south farm.  It is very interesting building.  In the back there is a spring fed well that you walk down a set of stairs to get to.  The water collects in this well. The room is very cool and was used for refrigeration.   Upstairs, the hand pump is located in the center room.  This was the water source which supplied water to the farm house.  In the end room a deep concrete square basin is located which served as a root cellar for the winter.  It was also used in the summer to go and sit to cool off from the summer’s heat.
Rob cleaning out the pump room

All new windows and freshly painted!
Our Friends Kathy and Rob Cone worked on the pump house for 4 days, cleaning it out, replacing the windows and rotten boards and painting the outside of the house.  They worked long and hard on the project before returning to their home in Ohio.

August 10, 2014

AIC Hosted at OLM

Once or twice a year the Associates of Iowa Cistercian come to our abbey for their monthly meeting. The lay group, affiliated with both our abbey and New Melleray Abbey, strive to live the Cistercian values in the world.  The meeting usually takes place at New Melleray Abbey because of the larger space. The group comes to Sext and None with Sr. Chris, our choir director, leading the group.
Dom Mark joined us for None
There is always a teaching on a topic pertaining to Cistercian life.  This month, Dom Mark gave a teaching on the Rule of St. Benedict in a very creative way.  He used art  as a tool to teach about the Rule.  This provoked a very lively and enthusiastic discussion in the afternoon session. 

August 4, 2014


We had the great pleasure of a visit from our Archbishop, Archbishop Michael Jackels.  He has been our archbishop for just over a year now.  He was the celebrant for our Sunday Eucharist.  He gave a heartfelt homily about the primacy of Jesus in our Christian life.  He encouraged us and our guests to strive to know Jesus more and more, saying that you can’t love what you don’t know and to truly follow Jesus.  It is clear that this is the standard for our archbishop.
After the Eucharist we had a brunch with Archbishop Jackels.  It was a delight getting to know him better.  We were free to ask him any questions we wanted.  Sr. Christine, who will be going to Italy soon, with a stop in Siena, asked him about his devotion to Catherine of Siena.  He told us how he was introduced to her and how he has read all her writings and how her wisdom was so pertinent to our own times in guiding the Church today.
We also had a lot of fun with teasing back and forth and good humor all around.  After brunch he joined us for Midday prayer.  He left with a very monastic gift, vegetables from our garden.  We look forward to our next visit from him.