We once again were pleased to welcome the residential Volmoed community and staff to celebrate the Feast of St Benedict with us. What made this occasion all the more special was that it included the reception of Isobel and John de Gruchy as Associates of Holy Cross. The festal Eucharist at noon in the main chapel was followed by a fine catered meal for all in the Volmoed dining room.
Mpumelelo Khambule was received as a Postulant of the Order on Saturday 15 July. We are happy to have him as a member of our monastic community. His inclusion takes our number to six. Volmoed has helpfully made Faith Cottage, closest to the Priory, available for our use while we work through the process of adding to our own accommodation. Br Daniel has taken up temporary residence there.
Br Daniel returned at the beginning of July from our Holy Cross Monastery in upstate New York in the US. It is good to have him back in our monastic community here again, and to have him once again celebrating at our Eucharists.
Br Edwin is growing into his new role as the librarian at Volmoed. This will include looking after several other library collections in addition to the St Benedict’s library. Br Josias’ interview for a US visa was successful, so he will be able to visit our Holy Cross Monastery in due course.
Unfortunately, Br Scott had to be hospitalized for a few days to receive medical attention for double pneumonia. His further recovery could take place at home, and we are glad that he is up and about again.
Br Roger provided spiritual accompaniment to a guest on retreat at Volmoed. Another guest joined us for some chapel prayers and shared her story of God’s leading in her life.
We experienced an unusual number of practical challenges, including blocked drains, broken geysers, and unstable electrical circuits. These all seem to have been resolved, thanks in no small part to the helpful efforts of staff at Volmoed.
Our monastic community benefitted from our annual Winter retreat later in the month. This is an eight-day period of quiet when our chapel prayer routine is reduced, allowing more space and time for individual prayer and reflection.