January 20th: Having A Hay Day

During the winter months, our livestock (sheep, donkey and horses) depend on hay we purchase from local ranchers, some of which is on display in today’s photo, ready to be stored at the “Good Shepherd Inn,” as we call our sheep and donkey barn....

January 19th: Abundance of Sun

While nighttime temperatures in the Chama Canyon can drop to freezing or lower during December and January, thankfully after sunrise they can rise to the mid or high 40s by noon. We are blessed with an abundance of sun throughout the year, and no less so in the winter...

January 6th: Wild Kingdom

A young mountain lion from across the Chama River has been eyeing our flock of sheep and even gave them a “run for their money” in broad daylight. However, intrepid guard-donkey Matty chased away the predator for now, but that’s  no guarantee the...

January 3rd: Christmas Continues

It is still Christmastide, up to the Feast of the Epiphany (the visit of the Magi) on January 6th, and concluding on Monday, January 8th with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. After that we return to “Ordinary Time” until Ash Wednesday on February 14th...

December 26th: Joy to the World!

The Savior reigns. Don’t forget: Christmas has just begun. Don’t cease from celebrating at least until the Epiphany on January 6th/7th. With assured of our prayers for a blessed Octave and beyond, the twelve days of Christmas. Abbot Christian and the...

December 14th: Not Snowed In

We were happy to receive a dusting of snow over the night of December 13th. Moisture in any form is always welcome here, especially in these recent years of drought conditions. Often we’re asked if we get “snowed in” when it snows, but the answer is,...

December 1st: More Moisture

We are now receiving more moisture in the form of snow in our canyon. We are grateful beyond words for this, and while it’s an inconvenience for those traversing Forest Road 151 leading to the Monastery, with the recommendation that only four-wheel or all-wheel...

November 16th: Nearing Completion

Construction of the new greenhouse in our lower pasture is nearly completed. It will provide a spacious place to grow produce and flowers throughout the year. A generous grant from the Catholic Foundation of New Mexico greatly assisted us in realizing the project. For...

November 6th: Monastic Retreat

This week our community will be taking its annual retreat, days of greater solitude and prayer here, as well as listening to two conferences each day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Our retreat-giver this year is Brother Ernest Miller, FSC, a member of the...

November 1st: Last Leaves

As the Solemnity of All Saints on November 1st and the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed on November 2nd are being celebrated these day, we bid adieu to the glory of Autumn’s colors and begin to prepare for winter. For us monks, the daily routine does...

October 22nd: Autumn Splendor

With Autumn now in full swing, we are being treated to a very splendid display of color in the Chama Canyon wilderness. Today’s photo was taken by one of our monks  traversing Forest Service Road 151 that leads to the Monastery. The thirteen mile...

October 20th: Ceaseless Amazement

As days grow shorter and temperatures cooler, we are being treated to some stunning night skies. Every season in the Chama Canyon wilderness has its beauty, and especially so during the months of Autumn. Abbot Christian has completed his days abroad, after the...

October 18: Tre Fontane Abbey

A very austere but beautiful monastic church on the outskirts of Rome is the Cistercian Trappist Abbey of “Tre Fontane,” two words which mean “three fountains.” Tradition holds that this was the place where Saint Paul was beheaded in the First...

October 14th: Subiaco Abbey

This past week Abbot Christian and seventeen other abbots, Priors and delegates of the monasteries of the English Province of the Subiaco Cassinese Congregation, to which Christ in the Desert belongs, met at the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Scholastica, Subiaco, Italy,...

October 5th: Morning Light

We continue to enjoy mild temperatures and even some rain. The many cottonwood trees in the Chama canyon are slowly turning, always to a golden color, and shimmering in the sun with the occasional breeze. This week we were happy to welcome five Cistercian Benedictine...

September 19th: Welcome Rain

Of late we are getting rainfall, much needed and much appreciated. The threat of forest fires is greatly reduced now and the Chama Canyon is once again “turning green,” as it usually does in July and August. These days we are getting various landscaping...

September 15th: Bighorn Sheep

Not seen every day here, but more frequently than fifty years ago, Bighorn Sheep are another natural wonder in the high desert of New Mexico. Today’s photo was taken by one of our monks while on a trip to town on September 13th. The majestic ram in the photo was...