Saturday, August 14, 2010

One Year!!

It is hard to believe that I have lived at St. Benedict's Abbey for 1 year as of today. I got here a couple of days early - with my brother Barry - on Aug 12, but I became an official resident on the 14th. Less than 4 months remain in my Novitiate as first (simple/temporary) vows is scheduled for December 8th!

Report for the last month:

1. Picking... Picking... Picking... a couple of times each week we go out and get the fruit of our harvest - especially corn and tomatoes!! They are delicious. We planted 4 sets of corn and recently picked the last batch. The tomatoes are still flooding in - at a rate of about 12-15 boxes per week! When not bringing in the crops we have cut a lot of grass!!

2. Some of the monks (including me) attended the Amelia Earhart Festival Fireworks display on Saturday, July 17th. It last about 30 minutes, was synchronized to music on the radio and was very good (especially for a city of about 10,000 residents). During this annual festival the city gets about 50,000 visitors. It is a big to-do each year with a lot of events through out the weekend!!

3. During my Novitiate I have been viewing some A/V classes. I recently finished my third DVD home study course (one was on Salvation History [the Great Adventure], one on Pauline Literature [Augustine Institute] and one on Johannine Literature [Augustine Institute]) and a CD class (Epic, 20 hours on Church History). All of them were excellent and I look forward to putting them to use after my novitiate. I am now studying Matthew's Gospel (with a special emphasis on the Sermon on the Mount, which is chapters 5-7).

4. This morning we got to witness the implosion of the old Atchison Hospital (which is right across the street from our school. Sounded like a string of firecrackers which was followed by the falling of the building and a mushroom cloud of dust! It was cool!!

Coming events:

1. This Friday, August 20th, the parents of one of our junior monks is providing us with a day at the lake. I look forward to the swimming, water skiing and the relaxation!

2. The Benedictine College (BC) move-in date for new freshmen is Saturday, August 21. Two freshmen are former parishioners of mine - Zak Francis from Montgomery and Michael Farnet from Auburn. The Francis family is military and have lived in Montgomery for the past 6 years. And the Farnet family currently lives in KC. They left Auburn when Michael was 3 years old!

3. BC begins classes on Wed, Aug 25 and dedicates a new Nursing Facility (honoring Mother Teresa) on Aug 26.

4. Football season is right around the corner. There is not quite the excitement at BC over this sport as there is in the state of Alabama and the SEC. But we are surrounded by Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma - so I hear plenty of Big 12 talk... it almost made me happy UAT beat Texas last year! Another advantage of living in Kansas - I don't have to listen the redneck Bammers all season!!

That's all for now. God bless you all and please keep me in your prayers and be assured of mine for you!!

Father Justin Damien Dean