It's been wonderful to have the full Christmas season this year with the TWELVE days of Christmas with Epiphany Sunday falling on the 6th and with an entire other week of Christmas before the feast of our Lord's Baptism next Sunday. We have been especially blessed this year with many visits from our brothers, a weekend of lectures by Dr. John Cavadini on the topic of the Vision of God and with the Mass of Thanksgiving of newly ordained Fr. Justin Brophy, OP who came with Mom Brophy. We had a long parlor visit after the Mass as well.
The day after Christmas Brothers Innocent, Leo, John and Athanasius stopped by for a very brief visit enroute to their family visits. A few days later Fr. Gregory Schnakenberg began showing up at daily Mass as he was also home visiting his family. Later in a parlor visit Fr. Gregory said that he thought that his being with us during Christmas week was at least a 10 year old tradition! We also had a few days visit with Fr. John Paul Walker as he went to a fro to visit his brother.
The Christmas octave provided everyone with a few days of extra free time, quiet, prayer and just being together. Before opening gifts at recreation on Christmas, the community went to the outside chapel to see how beautifully it was decorated! This is a rare treat we all enjoyed! The afternoons we watched a few recorded Christmas concerts and sisters could be seen working on Christmas cards or engaging in the latest monastery craze--crocheting! On New Year's Day a group of sisters modeled some of Sr. Maria Teresa's new hats much to everyone's amusement! They are fun and creative and the sisters didn't want to take them off!
Below is a slide show of some of the sights and sounds of a Christmas at the Monastery. We hope it shares a little of the joy we experience here at the monastery as we celebrate the great gift of the Incarnation for us!