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'...the presence of these animals has brought us a new closeness to the rhythms of nature, a respect for these creatures, and a new dimension to each day, now that “animal chores” are a part of many brothers' work schedules.'

The Benedictine Monks of
Weston Priory
Highlights From the Fall/Winter 2003 Bulletin

Life Together in One Heart Chronicle

MORE FROM THE FALL/WINTER 2003 BULLETIN  •  PREVIOUS CHRONICLES

April 2003

    At the beginning of April, Bishop Kenneth Angell of the Burlington diocese visited the community for a day of prayer, exchange, and, as always, brotherly joy.
     
    A few days later, we hosted a weekend of reflection for the women and men who work with us at the priory, and who help to extend our hospitality to so many persons.

May 2003

    In mid-May, Brother Richard and Brother Michael represented us at a regional meeting of Benedictine and Cistercian communities held at Saint Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts.

June 2003

    Since early winter, brothers had been discussing the possibility of acquiring and raising a small number of animals on our property. Central to the discussions were the values of a better stewardship of our land, and the opportunity to live closely with and to care for other species. An essential ingredient in all the discernment was the enthusiasm of the community to open a kind of new chapter in our life together. At the beginning of June, the dream and the planning became a reality. Within a very short time, we had a small flock of sheep, a donkey and a llama (as guard animals for the sheep), chickens, and rabbits. In addition, we continue to raise two pigs each year.
     
    Already the presence of these animals has brought us a new closeness to the rhythms of nature, a respect for these creatures, and a new dimension to each day, now that “animal chores” are a part of many brothers' work schedules.
     
    On June 3, we visited the monks, nuns, and lay members of New Skete monastery, (an Orthodox monastic community nearby in New York State) for a day of sharing.
     
    Our visit concluded with the celebration of Vespers in their magnificent monastic church, marking the close of the Orthodox Easter season.
     
    As we did in February, we set aside a few days in early June for community education. We invited Fr. Richard Berubé, SSE, professor of theology at Saint Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont, who offered a series of presentations on Islam.

July 2003

    A major celebration of our Jubilee took place on the weekend of the feast of Saint Benedict, July 11, 12, and 13. Sister Inés Sánchez, then prioress of our Benedictine Sisters in Mexico, accompanied by Sister Candelaria López, came to Weston for this anniversary celebration.
     
    Kinhaven orchestra
    The 90-member orchestra from Kinhaven Music School opened our festivities.
     
    A ninety-member orchestra, composed of students and faculty from the Kinhaven Music School in Weston, opened the festivities with an inspiring and joyful concert of orchestral and chamber music on Friday evening, July 11.
     
    Dancing
    Folk dancing at the celebration
    On Saturday, July 12, we celebrated the anniversaries of monastic profession of three of our brothers at the Eucharist.
     
    In the afternoon, The Flock Theatre of Connecticut presented a dramatization with puppets, highlighting the plight of children in our society.
     
    In the evening, we gathered for the premier presentation of our new video, With One Heart.

    On Sunday, a festive Eucharist was followed by picnics, the sharing of an anniversary cake, and group folk dancing. Over one thousand persons joined in the celebration on Sunday.
     
    cutting the anniversary cake
    Brothers and friends gather to cut the anniversary cake.
     
    Our Mexican sisters returned to Mexico for their congregation's General Chapter of Election. Sister Rosa González, OSB, who has served the poor in rural Mexico and in Brazil, was elected prioress for a six-year term.
     
    Later in July, we welcomed Buddhist monks and nuns from Maple Forest Monastery, in nearby Woodstock, Vermont, for a day of sharing on monastic practice. The Buddhist monastics offered a chant during our celebration of Midday Prayer.
     
    Brother Richard serves on the board of the Alliance for International Monasticism (AIM). He traveled to Mount Saint Benedict Monastery in Erie, Pennsylvania for the annual meeting. Abbot Thomas Hillenbrand, OSB, abbot of Blue Cloud Abbey, Marvin, South Dakota, (also on the AIM Board) returned to Weston with Brother Richard, and spent four days with our community. We are grateful for his visit and his joyful, brotherly spirit.
     
    We are always enriched by the many guests who come to the priory, whether individually or in groups. In late July, a group of Jews and Christians who have formed a Torah Study group came to the priory with the rabbi with whom they study. The group invited brothers to join with Rabbi Allan Ullman and the study group in reflecting together on Psalm 23. It was a truly remarkable experience of rabbinic learning, which coaxed the heart's insights out of each person participating.
     
    Finally, at month's end, the community joined with representatives of the parishes of the diocese in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Burlington. Bishop Kenneth Angell presided and preached at the Eucharist in Saint Joseph's Co-Cathedral in Burlington. Our community was invited to sing a meditation song after the sharing of communion. The celebration concluded with an immense outdoor picnic on the grounds of the diocesan Bishop Brady Center.

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The Monks of Weston Priory
58 Priory Hill Road, Weston, VT 05161-6400
Tel.: 802-824-5409; Fax: 802-824-3573