On Sundays our midday meal is buffet-style. “Buffet” is a French word, of course, and we all know what it means, and the French call buffet-style meals “self-service.” As they say today, “go figure.”

In any case, our Sunday lunch is more informal and accompanied by recorded classical music or chant.

All our meals are in silence, except on big feasts and special occasions. Think Christmas, Easter and monastic professions, for example.

At the principal meal each day, served by the monks, a passage from the Bible is read from the readers’ stand, then a book of some edifying topic. No novels or comics, in other works.

The monastic refectory, where we enjoy our meals, is spacious and well lit with large windows on three sides.

Just as our spiritual life is especially nourished in the church each day, so our physical lives are sustained by simple but hearty meals, prepared by two monks each day on a rotating basis.

The monks in the photo below are Brother Boniface and Brother Savio.

Abbot Christian and the monks