Monday, February 20, 2006

Fr. Benedict with the Trappists

In Genesee, NY...

From the CFR Homepage:

I recently spent a beautiful week at Our Lady of the Genesee Abbey in Piffard, New York giving a retreat to the Trappist Community there. It was a beautiful experience. The chanting of the office, the silence of the monastery and the good cheer of the monks were all a shot in the arm, which I very much needed.

Of course this particular monastery was known for years for producing Monk’s bread. This used to be sold in the New York area, but the demand was so great in their own area that it’s no longer available in ours. One morning we were given a tour of the baking plant, which is clearly quite remarkable. It produces almost fifty thousand loaves of bread every week, all of them sealed in a beautiful plastic bag. There were complicated machines and huge caldrons of dough rising all over the place. Both the retired Abbott and the present Abbott could be seen working in the bakery. It is very encouraging to know that the Trappist life, which we all admire from a distance, is really going on and being lived in these difficult times. I asked the monks to pray fervently for the church, the bishops, the priests, deacons and seminarians and for religious orders. Some of the monks are on in years and are obviously great prayers. One of the monks, Father Thomas, is just approaching his hundredth year.

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