"It seems strange to say, but what can help modern man find the answers to his own mystery and the mystery of him in whose image he is created, is silence, solitude -- in a word, the desert. Modern man needs these things more than the hermits of old." Catherine Doherty

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer brings more adventures at the Mary Theotokos center..

This week at Mary Theotokos…well there has been so much activity this update is really covering more than just a week, more like a month! How time flies when there are many visitors and so much to do. First we have had a wonderful series of working retreats.

After a hard day of working in the garden or in the barns it’s time for prayer and friendly fellowship around the retreat kitchen. This visit brought some return pilgrims from Pennsylvania as well as a member of the Mission helpers of The Sacred Heart from Maryland.  
More retreaters are coming to work for the Lord next month from Connecticut and New York!
Meanwhile the animals are growing and beginning to enjoy a life of organic free ranging! Soon much of the food we grow or raise will go to not only feed our working retreats but help supplement the local food shelves.

The meat hens are finding more ways to enjoy the grounds,

the Turkeys are enjoying the sunshine and flapping around,

the ducks are finally able to leave their shelter and explore the yard and pond,

And the Goats; are doing what goats do…causing trouble, eating and making daring escapes to the garden or orchard! Soon they will have company with a doe or two, as well as a cow to help with the grass.

But that is not all that is taking up our time. After the recent thunderstorm the cross at the end of the driveway took a direct hit. The wooden structure was weathered and rotten long ago. So it is time for a new cross to be erected. After careful selection a large beam was picked from the surplus and the work began. Today John and Bill took the idea of carrying their cross very seriously.

John and Bill wrestle the beams into place for a series of design decisions.

The weight of the beams does present a challenge but all the proportions must match up to the measurements of the much smaller model.

In the end the pieces all seem to match up and now the beams can be laid back down on the saw horses for the chisel work can begin.

The chisel work is slow going but will make all the cross beams sit tight and secure.
More to come on this project, it is certainly a lot of hard work but very rewarding.

So as summer continues to arrive here in Northern Vermont we are making strides in getting ready for more retreats powered by our prayers and the Holy Spirit.

A special thanks to those reading our recent blog “wish list” the two lawn tractors were a great help and now with our tractor working better there is more ground to be tilled.

Pax et Bonum from the Mary Theotokos Monastic center in Newark Vermont.