|Work on the geothermal field continues.|
This has certainly been a summer of transition here at Saint Meinrad--and a rather hectic, sometimes messy one at that. As with many things in life, however, even good things are often hectic and a little messy before they come to fruition.
As you know, we elected a new abbot in June. In itself, that requires a number of adjustments in several respects -- though I must say, the transition seems to have been fairly smooth thus far. Things began to get a bit more hectic and messy toward the end of July, and have stayed that way for a while. First, there was the abbatial blessing on July 26, and all the preparation and logistical work that goes into such a grand event (for more on the blessing ceremony, click here). Then, quickly on the heels of that were monastic profession anniversary (60 years) celebrations on July 31 for five monks (more on that here), the annual Alumni Reunion July 31-August 2 (drawing about 270 Alumni and guests), and the first profession of one our novices on August 6 (congratulations to former Novice Tony, now Br. Kolbe! Read more about him here).
Oh, and while all that was going on, in addition to normal day-to-day tasks and ongoing projects, monks and co-workers were busy getting us moved back into the newly renovated monastery!
|Furnishings stacked in the monastery vesting area wait to be|
restored to their rightful place (most of it was removed today).
To accomplish all that, all of us--and every stick of furniture, all personal possessions, and all common property had to be completely removed from the monastery in May 2015. Well, from August 1-5, all of that had to be moved back to the monastery. The timing was critical, because the space we had been occupying in Anselm and Benet halls for the last year is needed for guests and especially for students, who will be arriving for the fall semester in a matter of days!
So last week, especially, was hectic and messy. And not simply for us monks--but for many of our co-workers--particularly those in physical facilities and housekeeping. They not only did much of the heavy lifting, but also had to do one heck of a lot of cleaning! We were also assisted by members of the Durhholz family and friends in Evansville, some of our oblates, and a member of the Tell City Knights of Columbus. May God bless them all for their hard work and generosity.
|The monastery courtyard is still a construction zone.|
|The refectory is not quite ready--but it's getting there.|
Meanwhile, work on the new geothermal system--which will heat and cool the monastery--will continue until probably October (for now, the old system is being accessed for heating/cooling). The geothermal field is right outside the front of the monastery alongside the north fact of the Archabbey Church. Anyone who has been on the Hill the last 14-15 months knows where I'm talking about. And yes, it too, is a mess.
But, when everything is finished and cleaned up and put away, our living conditions will have improved in significant fashion. The work was desperately needed. What has been replaced/updated had undergone substantial deterioration and failure.
In any event, it is GOOD to be home, and may God bless the mess that remains while we settle back into our improved quarters. Next up during this summer of transition--the solemn profession of three junior monks (Br. Peduru, Br. James, and Br. William) on Monday, August 15. In the end, we are pilgrims on this earth, and all works in progress as we strive toward our heavenly home.