June 23: Summer is Here

True to form, the many cholla cactus in the Chama Canyon are blooming beautifully at this time of year. We have reached the Summer solace, the longest day of the year, and now the days begin to get shorter again. At the time of the Summer solace, and more specifically...

June 21st: Mild Protest

A friend recently opined that we feature far too many flowers, chickens and sheep on this News Page, and not enough photos of the monks. For a change of pace, here is a photo of the Abbot capturing the beauty of the now-bloomimg cholla cactus in the Chama canyon....

June 20th: Monastery Garden

Within the monks’ cloister are two gardens. One of them is rectangular, surrounded by the cells or bedrooms of the monks. This quadrangle we call the “Cloister Garden.” It leads to the church, where we go for prayer and Mass throughout the day. We...

June 18th: Profusion of Roses

Our most prolific rose bush produces bright red roses, reminding us of the song in the 1972 musical, OLIVER, “Who Will Buy My Sweet Red Roses?” In fact, none of our roses are for sale, but they are regularly enjoyed by monks and guests who come to our...

June 16th: Last of the Peonies

Too pretty to pass up sharing, pictured below is the final floral arrangement of our cloister peonies, which graced our church last Sunday. To everything there is a season, Scripture teaches us, and the flowers in the garden quickly come and quickly go. This could be...

June 15th: Mystery Flower

While we monks may not know the names of all the flora in our cloister garden, we hopefully know beauty when we see it. And isn’t that really the most important thing? In our American culture we tend to prize the accumulation of knowledge over beholding innate...

June 13th: Daylilies

Our first daylilies are blooming, pictured below, adding another color to the procession of flowers in our cloister garden each Spring and Summer. The weather continues sunny and warm, though we still are praying for much-needed rain. The usual rainy season in our...

June 9th: New Neighbors

Not seen here until very recently are Longhorn sheep. Three rams are regularly making appearances on our property and are a welcome sight. Longhorn sheep are not uncommon from the Rocky Mountains all the way to northern Mexico. The fact is we just have not spotted...

June 8th: New Life

Continuing signs of new life in the Chama Canyon wilderness where we live include the emergence of chicks among our poultry. Eight chicks were born just a few days ago and are now running their mother-hen in circles. But it won’t let long; they grow very fast....

June 6th: First Rose of Summer

Americans tend to dub anything after Memorial Day as “Summer,” thus the designation of the cloister garden rose in today’s photograph. We are having very pleasant weather these days, but still praying for much needed rain. We are opening our...

June 4th: Sheep Sharing

Or perhaps better said, sheep stealing, since they are actually pilfering the chickens’ morning fare. What is a modern monastic farmer to do? Probably best to go with the flow and not get flustered. No point in doing so, really. In fact, our poultry flock and...

June 2nd: Purple Peonies

As predicted, the peonies in our cloister garden are rapidly blooming, arriving as pink, white and purple flowers. We are still in a “no rain” situation, but have not stopped praying for precipitation and hoping the usual rainy season, July and August,...

May 31th: The Visitation

The Church celebrates on May 31st the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Vigin Mary to her kinswoman Elizabeth of Ein Karem. To mark the Feast, the first batch our rapidly blooming peonies have been “put in their place,” so to speak, in front of the...

May 28th: Peonies Appearing

The twenty large peony bushes in our cloister garden are now coming into bloom. What they lack in fragrance they make up in with dramatic beauty. Like the mini-irises in the cloister garden, the peonies make excellent long-lasting floral arrangements for our church....

May 26th: Many Mini-Irises

What used to grow in our pond in the middle of our cloister are now flourishing outside of water, in our flower beds, also within our cloister garden. This variety of hearty yellow mini-irises (probably not the technical term) are perfect for decorating our church, at...

May 23rd: Covid Update

Due to the rise once again of covid cases nationwide and in New Mexico, the Monastery Guesthouse and grounds are now closed until June 6th. In addition, due to drought conditions and potential fire danger, the Santa Fe National Forest, which surrounds the Monastery...

May 21st: Mary’s Berry Patch

Right next to our “Veritas Orchard,” of various recently-planted fruit trees, is our latest agricultural endeavor: a patch of berries. The patch includes raspberries, blackberries and two types of currents. Though planted just this Spring, there is hope of...

May 20th: Spring in Full Swing

Our houseplants, always indoors for the colder months, are outside once again. Nighttime temperatures are at present around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so there is no longer danger that the plants might freeze. On a less happy note, the drought in the great Southwest...

May 14th: Irises Begin to Bloom

In our cloister quadrangle garden, surrounded by our living quarters, the early-blooming daffodils and tulips have run their course and now irises are appearing, soon to be followed by peonies and roses. The flowers we enjoy throughout the Spring and Summer never...

May 9th: Chewy and the Chickens

In our little corner of the Peaceable Kingdom, the feathered and woolen creatures get along very well. And that includes Matty the donkey as well. In fact, she is a bit of the center of activity, at least for the sheep. The poultry tend to be more independent-minded....

May 4th: Easter Greetings

The solemn celebration of Easter continues here in the quiet of the Chama Canyon Wilderness. We are now in the Third Week of the Easter Season, which extends until Pentecost Sunday on June 5th, when Paschaltide (the Easter Season) comes to an end. After Easter comes...

April 30th: Desert Beauty

In the midst of Desert beauty we marvel at the wonders of God’s creation. In this high desert setting of 6,500 feet above sea level, we enjoy four fairly distinct seasons. Each has its own chacteristics, and typically brothers prefer one over another. For some,...