Monastic Visits to Parishes
We have been blessed in recent weeks by the hospitality and goodness of a number of parishes. We wish to sincerely thank the pastors and parishioners for receiving us so graciously and contributing to our way of life by attending our presentations or purchasing items from our "mobile religious giftshop" that we usually have in tow as well.
The weekend of October 30 - 31, Father Christian preached at the weekend Masses at the Shrine and parish of Saint Bernadette, Albuquerque. Second collections were allowed for our projects here at the Monastery and giftshop sales took place.
We sincerely thank Father Timothy Martinez, pastor, and his parish family for their kindness to us!
Father Hector Madrigal and the Parish of Saint Joseph in Amarillo, Texas, hosted us November 12th -14th. Father Christian and Prior Francisco drove there from the Monastery and found snow on the ground in Amarillo.
Our monks presented a Morning of Monastic Reflection in
English on November 13th, then in the afternoon of November 14th Father Francisco spoke for several hours with Spanish-speakers from near and far. That evening Father Francisco and Father Christian met with young people of the parish to speak about vocations. They also celebrated and preached at the weekend Masses there. Giftshop sales also took place and second collections at the Masses.
The parish of Saint Joseph in Amarillo is especially rich in people from various cultures and countries represented there. Father Hector is a great promoter of such, and like the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, feels that openness to diverse cultures is a tremendous blessing to our lives since we are not a single-culture nation or Church. Ad multos annos, Father Hector and thank you and your parishioners for your generosity.
On November 21st the Shrine and Parish of Saint Bernadette, in Albuquerque hosted a group of our monks for a presentation of Gregorian chant, under the direction of Sister Mary Frances Wynn, Benedictine nun of Saint Scholastica Priory, Petersham, Massachusetts, who the previous week worked with our monastic choir. The music for the presentation at Saint Bernadette's was Gregorian chant for the Mass in honor Saint Cecilia, Roman martyr, whose commemoration occurs on November 22.
The monks also sang some of Vespers from the Solemnity of Christ the King, which in fact was the same day as the chant presentation.
There was a reception afterwards where we also were allowed to sell goods from our giftshop.
Heartfelt thanks to Father Timothy Martinez, pastor of the parish and the Shrine of Saint Bernadette and friend of our Monastery for many decades. God bless you and your parishioners always, Father Tim!
On December 11th a group of our monks sang at the Monks' Corner, our store in Santa Fe. There was a good turn out and special thanks to Gail Hulslander, Manager of the store, who had everything well organized.
Finally, also on the weekend of December 11th and 12th,
Father Christian and Subprior Andre went to Albuquerque to the Parish of Saint Jude Thaddeus for selling giftshop items after the Masses. Father John Daniel, also a friend of many years, kindly welcomed us and the contacts and giftshop sales went very well. Thanks to Fr John and his kind parishioners!
One of our Novices makes his First Vows in our Community
December 8, 2010
Today saw the Simple (Temporary) Profession of Br. Jude Vo. He was born in Singapore of Vietnamese parents and raised in the USA. Abbot Philip presided over the Profession Mass. His parents and 8 other family members were able to attend. Br. Jude's main duty is Sacristan, but he is an eager and capable worker in several capacities.
Our Monastic Community gets lessons in Gregorian chant
From November 16 - 23 our monastic community of Christ in the Desert was greatly blessed and enriched by the presence of Sister Mary Frances Wynn, O.S.B., of Saint Scholastica Priory, Petersham, Massachusetts.
Sister Mary Frances came here specifically to coach us in singing God's praises (the heart of our life) as a choir and as individuals, ever in need of improving our singing and blending as a Benedctine monastery. Sister Mary Frances especially worked with us regarding the theory and practice of truly praying Gregorian chant.
We are most grateful to Sister Mary Frances for her excellent classes (three times per day!), her great sense of humor and her kind but clear direction in the proper rendering of the Church's rich heritage of sacred music in the form of Gregorian chant.
We thank Mother Mary Elizabeth Kloss, O.S.B., Prioress of Saint Scholastica Priory, for allowing Sister Mary Frances to assist us. Both of our monasteries belong to the same Benedictine Congregation of Subiaco, the largest of all the Benedictine congregations. When their New Mexico brothers asked for help, the nuns of Saint Scholastica Priory were swift to reply in the affirmative.
Thanks be to God!
Advent/Christmas 2010 Newsletter now posted
Our Advent/Christmas 2010 newsletter is now available for download in PDF format in our newsletter section. We are happy to share with you news and events since the last newsletter, including thoughts from our Abbot Philip for this upcoming Advent/Christmas season.
You can also view or download past newsletters in our Newsletter section.
Weekend at Church of the Holy Family, Sewell, NJ, October 23 - 24, 2010
Update Posted 11/11/2010
Heartfelt thanks to Father Robert Hughes for hosting a Morning of Monastic Reflection at his parish of the Holy Family, Sewell, NJ, (diocese of Camden) on October 23rd. Some thirty people, most of them from the parish, came to the event, led by our Fr Christian and Br James. In addition to refreshments during the Morning, a wonderful "surprise lunch" was brought in for all attending the Monastic Reflection. Over lunch there was a chance to exchange more about the Benedictine tradition.
Fr Christian also preached at the weekend Masses there and Br James sold items from our Giftshop before and after the Masses. The weather was great so the sales took place outside. Second collections were taken at the Masses for the benefit of our projects here at the Monastery. Many thanks to Fr Hughes, and all the clergy, staff and faithful of the Church of the Holy Family for their goodness and generosity to our Monastery! May Jesus, Mary and Joseph be their constant guides!
Fr Christian and Fr Hughes were classmates in Rome over 25 years ago! Tempus fugit.
For information about sponsoring similar events in your area, please contact Fr. Christian Leisy by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monastery and Abbey Beverage Company get noticed by the LA Times
With the near completion of our new Abbey Beverage Company building here at the monastery, a good review couldn't come at a better time. Thanks to Michael Haederle, a writer for the LA Times, who wrote an article about our monastery and the Abbey Beverage Company on November 7, 2010. The good words that Michael has written about us and the Abbey Beverage Company have helped us to realize that we are on a good track for success with the Abbey Beverage Company. Again thanks to Michael Haederle and the LA Times for the great review.
Here is the direct link to review the article by the LA Times called
"Brewing is spiritual for monks in New Mexico"
For more information, inquiries and outlet locations, please visit our
Abbey Beverage Company page.
"Entering into Advent"
An Advent retreat at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert
December 5-8, 2010
Advent is an invitation to be still; to watch and listen in the long winter nights. Guided by the rhythm of monastic prayer, we'll walk into scripture narrative and listen for the angel Gabriel along with Joseph, Mary, and Zechariah. Immersed in the rich symbols of the Advent season, we'll look for God's Advent in our own lives.
Where might Gabriel-voices speak to us today?
Is there space in our busy lives where God might be born?
From insights given to us by Joseph and Mary, Zechariah and Elizabeth, we'll explore more deeply what it means to say "yes" to divine invitation.
Presenter: Nancy Copeland-Payton, M.D., M.Div is a retreat leader, spiritual director, and author of The Losses of Our Lives: The Sacred Gifts of Everyday Loss."
If you wish to sign up for this or other retreats, please visit our
Program Retreats page for more information.
One of our Junior Monks Renews his Simple Vows on October 3rd
One of our monks from Canada, Br. Bruno renewed his Simple Vows for another year. When he is not doing dishes, he is looking after the website, baking bread and cookies, and working in the gardens.
Weekend at Mary, Queen of Heaven Parish, West Allis, WI, 9/25 - 9/26
Heartfelt thanks to Father Michael Merkt for hosting a Morning of Monastic Reflection at his parish of Mary, Queen of Heaven, West Allis, Wisconsin, on September 25th. Some forty people, most of them from the parish, came to the event, led by our Fr Christian. He also preached at the weekend Masses at Queen of Heaven, meeting old friends and making new ones there. Second collections were taken at the Masses for the benefit of our projects here at the Monastery. Jan Braun generously volunteered with the selling of CDs and books before and after the Masses. Many thanks to her, Fr Michael and all the good people of Mary, Queen of Heaven Catholic Church!
For information about sponsoring similar events in your area, please contact Fr. Christian Leisy by email: email@example.com.
Our Hops Harvest is Now Complete
Our hops harvest is now complete. The six varieties have been dried, vacuum-sealed and frozen to keep the hops fresh for brewing. We will have them tested by a professional laboratory to assess the chemistry for the brewers, and then they will be used to make batches of beer to test for flavor. These tests will help us to know what to concentrate on as we expand. A cover crop of rye will be planted for a "green manure" and weed suppression through the winter and into the early spring. Many thanks to all who helped harvest our first crop of hops and let us keep praying for a bigger and successful second year!
Events Were Held In Lubbock, Texas, September 3rd - 5th 2010
The weekend of September 3rd - 6th found our Father Christian and Brother Francis in Lubbock, Texas, where we have many friends and contacts. Special thanks to Lisa and David Bondt, oblates of our Monastery, for organizing the weekend in Lubbock, and to Fr Gerard Kenney of Saint John Neumann Parish there, as well Matthew and Rita Crasta, Nasri and Jeanette Talamas, Dr Benny and Rosemary Phillips, Dilford and Sigrid Carter, Kim and Silvia McPherson, Msgr Malcolm Neyland and his mother, Iris, for extending hospitality to us monks, especially in the form of delicious meals and lodging.
On Friday night, September 3rd, the McPherson Cellars Winery in downtown Lubbock, owned by Kim and Silvia McPherson, hosted a religious art exhibit for the benefit of the Monastery, including works by our Brother Francis, as well as by David Bondt (Oblate Brother Lawrence), Toni Arnett and Pauline Mills. From 6 - 9 pm Friday evening some two thousand people came to the exhibit and several pieces of art were sold. Many thanks to Kim McPherson and his terrific staff, who made the event possible and a huge success.
Father Christian preached at the Masses at Saint John Neumann Parish over the weekend. Second collections were taken at the Masses for the benefit of our projects here at Christ in the Desert. Brother Francis sold our CDs as well as books and some smaller pieces of art from the Monastery, before and after the weekend Masses. Many thanks to Father Gerard Kenney, his staff and parishioners of Saint John Neumann, for their tremendous help with our ongoing fund and friend raising in the city of Lubbock, home to many wonderful friends of Christ in the Desert.
For information about sponsoring similar events in your area, please contact Fr. Christian Leisy by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two Postulants enter the Novitiate
September 5, 2010
This evening after Vespers saw two of our postulants enter the Novitiate. Br. Augustine is a former parish priest and works primarily as Abbot's Secretary. Br. Martin has a bit of a background in accounting and serves as our Bursar. We still have one more Postulant. We also have one other Novice and two Juniors.
Two new Chant CD's available
We have released two new CD's. One is called Lauda Sion, and features chants from the Mass of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi and other chants. This was recorded on site on June 10, 2010. The other is called Gaudeamus. It features chants from the Mass of the Solemnity of Saint Benedict and other chants. It was recorded live from the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival on August 4, 2007.
If you would like to purchase either one of the new titles, please visit our online Monastery Giftshop and select "Music" from the side menu. Thank you in advance for your continued support.
Our Monastic Choir at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
July 24, 2010
Once again we have been invited to perform a concert of Gregorian Chant at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. In prior years the evening has been a delight, and the tickets sold out quickly. We will also be selling our CDs, including our new ones. For tickets, and complete information about the season, visit the Festival website at www.sfcmf.org.
Living the Rule of Benedict in Our Daily Lives: A Retreat
July 17 - 22, 2010
Eighteen lay retreatants - including five Benedictine oblates - explored issues including Spiritual Longing, Silence, the Desert, and Spiritual Disciplines at a guided retreat on "Living the Rule of Benedict in our Everyday Lives" at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert. The retreat leader was Dr. Nancy Copeland-Payton, an oblate (at St. Gertrude's Monastery in northern Idaho) assisted by Marie Morgan and Berkeley Merchant of Santa Fe. The group attended most of the Daily Offices and meals with the monks, in addition to meeting as a group twice a day to study and reflect on the Rule.
For more information on other special retreats please visit our
Program Retreats page.
Our Organic Hops Project Growing By Leaps and Bounds
It is wonderful to see the hops in our fields climbing the wires, continuing to grow. We have planted seven types of hops so that in time we can determine which are the best for our purposes here. Just seeing the fields used once again for agriculture is a joy. And if we can begin to earn part of our living through hops, it is even better. San Ysidro (Saint Isidore), the Patron of Farmers, pray for us!
Rector of the International Benedictine University Gave Us Talks
This past week the Rector of the international Benedictine university in Rome, Sant' Anselmo, was with us for several days. Father Juan Javier Flores, the Rector, is a monk of the Abbey of Silos in Spain. Sunday night at our recreation, he spoke about liturgy--his particular area of specialization--and he did so again Monday morning before he left us. It was a privilege to have him with us and we pray for his work at Sant' Anselmo. We hope that he will come visit us again in the future!
News from Our Monastery of Santa Marķa y Todos los Santos in Mexico
Sunday, June 13, Brother Isidoro and Brother Hildebrando made their first
temporary vows there. About a thousand people came for the Holy Mass and
two or three hundred ate with the community afterwards.
On Monday, June 14, after a long period of consultation, Abbot Philip named Br. Antelmo Zepeda Morales as the Prior of Santa Marķa y Todos los Santos.
Brother Antelmo was ordained as a priest on Saturday, June 19, there at the Monastery, by the Most Rev. Archbishop of Xalapa. In the days before his priestly ordination, he was praying for wisdom to name various brothers of the community to the tasks that must be done in this community.
The Monastery is now ready to go forward with its new Prior and other new officials. Our Brother Bernardo Vargas Castro has come to Santa Marķa y Todos los Santos to help out for one year.
Fr. Charles Cummings on the Psalms
This past week we have been honoured to have Fr. Charles Cummings, OCSO, Trappist monk of Holy Trinity Abbey in Utah.
Father gave us 8 conferences on the Book of Psalms, often called "the prayerbook of the monk", and really, of all Christians. We thank Abbot David of Holy Trinity for allowing Fr. Charles to be with us, and we thank Fr. Charles for his informative and inspiring conferences. The bonds between our two communities continue to grow.
The Gift and Legacy of Our Guesthouse Garden
The late Mr. Benjamin Green Raskob and his family are among our friends and contributors over many years. After Mr. Raskob's death last year, Russell, one of his sons, in concurrence with the family, offered us a generous gift in order to dedicate a garden here at the Monastery in honor of their father, husband, and grandfather.
Their desire is to create a place of transforming peace and silence that will continue to nurture the hearts and souls of Monastery visitors. In keeping with the family's deep roots in the natural world and the history of this part of New Mexico, the emphasis in the garden will be on native plants and trees that have special meaning to the multiple generations of the Raskob Family.
It has been determined that the courtyard at our main Guesthouse, much in need of attention and improvement, will be the place for this special memorial garden. Plans are nearing completion, and in June the planting of trees and plants will begin. There also will be new walkways, benches for contemplation, and other improvements to the space.
We extend our thanks and daily prayers for the Raskob family for this gift and for their lives, and for all who do good for us and our many guests. May Benjamin Green Raskob and all the faithful departed enjoy the gift of eternal happiness in God's presence. And may those who visit the new garden be granted a glimpse into God's kingdom here on earth.
Our Monastery, Thien Tam, Held Three Day Program Dedicated to Blessed Sacrament
Abbot Philip just returned from having spent the weekend at our Monastery of Thien Tam in Kerens, Texas. On Friday night our brothers at Thien Tam began three days dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament. The first night about 400 or 500 people participated. On Saturday the number grew to about 1,000 people. There was perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as well as teaching about the Blessed Sacrament and conferences for different age groups. In so many ways, promoting devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is an ideal work for a more contemplative Benedictine way of life.
Fundraising and Fellowship Events Were Held in Dana Pt, CA
June 4 - 6, 2010
We were invited to present two programs of Monastic Reflection at St Edward the Confessor and its mission, San Felipe de Jesus Chapel. On Friday evening, a Mass was celebrated along with a reflection program at the spanish speaking parish community at the Chapel. On Saturday, using a mini-retreat format, Fr. Christian and Fr. Francisco shared our vibrant Benedictine tradition, including leading the group in chanting portions of the Daily Office, ways to deepen and support life as a lay person, and information about the flourishing international community at the Monastery.
Additionally, Fr. Christian and Fr Francisco were the homilists at all the weekend Masses. Donations from the program and received as a second collection during the Mass will benefit the life of the Monastery's environmental needs for solar power, and water. Many thanks to the pastor, Fr Steve Sallot, the staff and all the parishioners for a warm welcome and generous contributions!
For information about sponsoring similar events in your area, please contact Br. Christian Leisy by email: monkchristian"at sign"gmail.com.
Our Monastic Choir Chanting at Sacred Heart Parish in Farmington, NM
June 11, 2010 at the 7:00 pm Mass
Friday evening seven members of our choir chanted the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Additionally, Fr. Christian was the homilist at all the weekend Masses. Many thanks for the hospitality Fr. Tim and parish offered, and for taking up a second collection to be used for our environmental upgrade projects. As we said our farewells, Fr Tim said he looks forward to welcoming us back next year. Until then, God bless the life at Sacred Heart Parish.
Our Monastery Stores in Santa Fe
At The Monks' Corner, two blocks south of the historic plaza downtown, you'll find a wide variety of items to suit your needs of gift giving or collecting - sacred art, folk art, hand-made items, both useful and decorative, from monasteries and artisans in New Mexico and throughout the world. Your purchases help support our life and work. Our many `regulars' tell us our charming shop is a respite in the midst of a busy town.
We have welcomed the entire product line of Santa Fe Lavender - a locally owned and operated lavender farm in Nambe that produces quality products for home, body and bath. We even carry culinary lavender, lavender berry preserves and a lavender cookbook!
The Community Thrift Store, located just off Cerrillos Road, has a fine selection of gently used items with regular markdowns on many or most items. They also welcome your quality donations for the benefit of the Monastery.
The Monks' Corner: 235 Don Gaspar at Alameda, 505-982-1915
The Community Thrift Store: 1306 Clark Street, 505-473-0972
Fundraising and Fellowship Events Were Held in West, TX
May 15 and 16, 2010
Many thanks to Fr Ed Karasek and the parishioners of St Mary, Church of the Assumption. We were invited to present a Morning of Monastic Reflection at St Mary. Participants included parishioners, and seminarians and a professor from the Baptist Seminary at Baylor University. We had a wonderful morning together! Additionally, Fr. Christian was homilist and celebrant at the weekend Masses. Donations from the program and received as a second collection during the Mass will benefit the life of the Monastery's environmental needs for solar power, and water.
Strengthening Our Spiritual Life at the Monastery
At our Canonical Visitation last year (that once-every-three-years evaluation by the Abbot Visitor and a Co-Visitor), we were told to concentrate on the consolidation and strengthening of our community here at Christ in the Desert. That is where the focus of our energies is now.
We have already had Fr. Terrence Kardong give us a series of conferences on the Holy Rule, which were excellent. This week we have a wonderful professor from Baylor University, Dr. Gloer, who always gives some wonderful conferences on the Scriptures. Soon the Trappist, Fr. Charles Cummings, will be here to give us more monastic conferences. Later in the year our annual retreat will be given by Abbot Jerome Kodell of Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas and he is a wonderful monastic guide and teacher.
Ordination to the Deaconate at Thien Tam
May 8, 2010
Our Abbot Philip went to Texas to be with our brothers at the Monastery of Thien Tam for the ordination as a deacon of our Brother Paul Nguyen. Bishop Farrell of Dallas came to Thien Tam on May 8 th, and ordained him at the truly lovely and moving ceremony. Brother Paul will be forty-one years old in June of this year and made his first vows in the Monastery of Thien Phuoc, Vietnam, in 1996. When we first sent monks to live on this new property, Brother Paul was the superior. Now he is Subprior of this new community.
Help Us Expand Our Monastery Cloister Garden
Traditionally, a cloister garden, set in the middle of the residence building of monks, is a place of prayer and refreshment. The fountain in the center of the garden is a reminder of Christ as the source of "living water" for one's daily lives. We have been blessed with such a garden here at Christ in the Desert, and each year since its construction in 1996, we have been improving this little oasis in the desert.
We have received some funding for the project, but are hoping to raise an additional $1,500 to make the expanding dream a reality. If you would like help, please click our donation button and indicate the gift is for that purpose, or a check can be sent to us at Monastery of Christ in the Desert, P.O. Box 270, Abiquiu, NM 87510-0270, designated for the Cloister Garden Project.
Thanks to Our Donors for Environmental Upgrades
Friends near and far, along with second collections from parishes around the country, have contributed funds for the required repairs and improvements to our environmental systems at the monastery. When our 96 very old solar batteries began failing last fall, we knew action must be taken, since they form the foundation of our environmental systems. Thanks be to God for the generosity of our donors - we were able to spend the $65,000 needed to replace that part of our system!
As additional funding and donations become available, we can continue to the next steps to repairing and improving our aging systems. There is a complex interplay between the sun, weather, power, water, equipment, building, and operating costs. We are grateful that we have outstanding experts directing and advising us every step of the way!
You may have a special interest in environmental issues and be committed to act on your calling as a steward of God's creation. You may be wondering if your donation to the Monastery could be part of that. We value the opportunity to speak to you about our environmental projects and how you could prayerfully and financially support our life and work. Our Subprior, Br. Christian, warmly and confidentially welcomes your inquiries.
His email is: email@example.com.
We Are Growing Organic Hops! posted 5/4/10
One of several projects to increase our income is the growing of organic hops in our fields. There are now poles for hops in the field and soon the first hops will be planted. For many of us, this is a wonderful return to
cultivating the land that we have and using it well. Here in New Mexico it is necessary to have a certain amount of Water Rights which can be used for irrigation before starting such a project. We have always had water rights
and formerly we used them in the growing of alfalfa and clover, which we bailed and sold for feed.
Fr. Terrence Kardong Visited Us
March 20 - 27, 2010
World-renowned Benedictine monk and scholar, Father Terrence Kardong, of Assumption Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota, was with us from March 20th to the 27th, giving two conferences each day to our monastic community. He spoke eloquently, with plenty of humor as well, about prevailing cultural tendencies and realities and how the Rule of Saint Benedict and contemporary monastic life offer a response to that and an alternative way of viewing the world and our place in it.
Father Terrence has written a number of books, many articles and has been editor of the scholarly American Benedictine Review for many years. His milestone work, "Benedict's Rule, A Translation and Commentary," is an essential book for students of the Holy Rule, be they monks, nuns, oblates or interested lay persons. It is published by Liturgical Press.
Between conferences Fr. Terrence was available to speak with the monks and also enjoy our life in the Chama Canyon. We are grateful for Fr. Terrence's wit and wisdom and we keep him and his community in North Dakota in our prayers.
Fundraising and Fellowship in Albuquerque
March 20 and 21, 2010
Fr. Christian returned to the Prince of Peace Catholic Community as homilist for all the weekend Masse; Fr. Mike Shea and the parishioners welcomed Fr. Christian in the fall of 2008. It is a blessing to have been able to come again. We are most grateful for the financial gift they gave us in support of our life and work.
Fundraising and Fellowship Events Were Held in Albuquerque
March 13 and 14, 2010
We were invited present a Morning of Monastic Reflection at the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community on Saturday March 13th from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm as part of their Lenten Series.
Fr. Christian and Sharon Colby, MA shared our vibrant Benedictine tradition, and information about the flourishing international community at the Monastery. Additionally, Fr. Christian was homilist at all the weekend Masses, and a second collection was taken for the benefit of the Monastery.
We are grateful for the hospitality, warm welcome and generous donations from the parish which will benefit life at the Monastery and our projects for environmentally sustainable water, solar power, and heat. Our thanks to their pastor, Fr. Joel Garner, and Dr Christina Spahn, their Pastoral Associate for Adult Faith Formation.
Vows Made at the Monastery of the Holy Cross
March 13, 2010
Abbot Philip went to preside at the solemn vows of our Brother Augustine Jusas and the simple vows of our Brother Ezekiel Brennan at the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Chicago (31st St and Aberdeen). The professions in Chicago were a very joyful experience for our community. Brother Augustine looks so good, even though he still had his feeding tube connected during these ceremonies of his solemn vows. His doctors say that he is totally cancer free and should be able to lead a normal life once again. Brother Ezekiel was so happy making his first vows. Professions such as these give a real lift to the community.
Burning Bush Gift Program
The symbol of our Monastery, the Burning Bush, is taken from the book of Exodus 3:2 where Moses encounters the living God. Share your love by giving a gift that reminds your family, friends and associates that every place is holy and it is possible to meet God where you stand. As the story reminds us, gifts of meaning cannot be consumed; they can be experienced only in love.
Share your love throughout the year by purchasing your gifts through our Burning Bush Gift Program to benefit the Monastery of Christ in the Desert. Select gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, or any occasion of importance in the following areas: Environmental Sustainability, Guest Hospitality, Worship and Community Life, Education of a Monk, and Family Connections. You can also design your own gift to match your intentions. Visit our webpage for more information on the Burning Bush Gift Program.
Fundraising and Fellowship Events Were Held in Manhattan, NY
February 27-28, 2010
Our Br. Christian Leisy and Sharon Colby had a wonderful weekend at the Church of St Vincent Ferrer located at 869 Lexington Ave at East 66th St. We offered an Afternoon of Monastic Reflection to share our vibrant Benedictine tradition, to strengthen our friendships and to raise funds for the environmental systems of the Monastery. Additionally, Fr. Christian was the homilist at all the weekend Masses and a second collection was taken for the benefit of the Monastery.
We are grateful for the hospitality of the pastor, Fr. Carleton Jones, O.P., Fr. Aquinas, and all the friars of the Dominican community at the parish, and the generosity of the parishioners. What a blessing to have friends near and far!
Our New CD Is In Preparation
We are hoping to issue a new CD of Gregorian Chant fairly soon and then
later in the year perhaps even another CD of Gregorian Chant. Gregorian Chant keeps us always working to sing together, to form one voice, to pay attention to our prayer.
We'll post more information as soon as it becomes available for sale in our Monastery Gift Shop, Monastery Online Gift Shop and at The Monks' Corner
in Santa Fe.
Our New Ale Is Being Developed
We are developing a new Ale to be sold by our Abbey Beverage Company to join our very popular Monk's Ale, which is in the style of dark Belgian ales. Although we are already the proud owners of three very good recipes for
Ale, all of the Ales for which we have recipes have been dark ales. The new Ale will be made with wheat and thus is, formally, a "wit" ale. We'll post more information as soon as it becomes available for distribution.
Lenten Mission Held St Mary Magdalene in Humble, TX (Houston area)
February 21 - 24, 2010
Our Fr. Christian conducted a Lenten Program, "Lenten Lessons from the Desert." He also preached at all of the weekend Masses. We thank Fr Mike Carmody and Deacon Dave Illingsworth for their hospitality and the parishioners for their generous donations at the programs to support the life of prayer and hospitality at our monastery, Christ in the Desert.
Monastic Chanting at the Rothko Chapel Was Held in Houston, TX
Saturday, February 20, 2010 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
We had a wonderful turnout of new and longtime friends who participated in the centuries old Christian monastic tradition of chanting the Divine Office, as we do here at the Monastery.
Our Fr. Christian and Br. Anton chanted the prayers of Terce and Sext at the renowned Rothko Chapel. They began each Office with a brief description and lesson on how to read the notations for the Gregorian chant which were sung in English. At 10:00 am and 11:00 am the monks chanted other pieces from the Gregorian repertoire, in English and in Latin.
Our thanks to Emilee Whitehurst, Director of the Chapel, and her staff for supporting us in offering this memorable morning.
Many in Our Monastic Communities Will Take Their Vows in 2010
We have a full schedule this year of men taking their vows. Please keep them and our communities in your prayers!
Br. Moises of La Soledad will make his solemn vows on April 10th, the Saturday after Easter Sunday. Br Ezekiel of Holy Cross in Chicago will make his simple vows on March 13th and Br. Augustine, also of Holy Cross of Chicago, will make his solemn vows that same day. The novices in Our Lady of Tepeyac in Mexico will make their vows on March 27th. Br. Paul from Thien Tam will be ordained a deacon, God willing, on May 8th, by Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.
There are still three other novices at Santa Maria y Todos los Santos who
should make simple vows in 2010, as well as one novice at Christ in the Desert.
Monastery of Thien Tam Blesses Their Bell and Tower
January 3, 2010
The monks at Thien Tam in Texas, our newest house for our Vietnamese vocations, had the solemn blessings of a beautiful bell and bell-tower. The bell is a sign in the monastic community, and becomes the voice of God for us - inviting us to pray, to do lectio divina, and to gather for meals.
Our Monks on the Move
All of a sudden we are feeling like a smaller community once more because brothers have returned to school or have gone to help in one of our other monasteries or are home on family visits. Some of us old timers, of course, remember when we only had two or three monks in the whole community. Now if we only have twenty monks at home, it seems very small!
Father Tomás from our Teocelo community in the State of Veracruz, has gone to be the chaplain for the Benedictine nuns near Cuernavaca. Our Brother Cecilian will go to live in our Chicago community, the Monastery of the Holy Cross. La Soledad now has our Fr Luis and Brother Leander helping out with Masses and the formation program. Our Fr Thomas Benedict is the chaplain with our sisters of Our Lady of the Desert in Blanco, NM.