Together with a good friend, Br Daniel arrived in Santiago de Compostela on 2 October, having set out on the Camino from St Jean across the French border on 18 August. He attended the Pilgrim Mass that evening, which he found quite moving. As he was in his monastic habit, he was asked for blessings and thanksgivings from other pilgrims, which was a special experience. He then continued to Finisterre on the coast, which brought his pilgrimage to an end. He will be spending three days in Madrid before returning to southern Africa to continue his sabbatical in Namibia.
Edwin Kriel has settled well into life as a Postulant with the monastic community. He is being given classes on monastic history and practices, on the customs of our Order, and on music and chant. His sense of humour is helpful and is enjoyed by the community. His sense of hospitality has already led to his being a welcoming presence to some Volmoed guests. Please continue to keep him in prayer during this time of transition.
In early September, the Brothers at Volmoed went with John de Gruchy for a day at the Andrew Murray Centre in Wellington, where we received a warm welcome and were graciously hosted by the community there. After all sharing about our personal journeys, we enjoyed conversation together about such matters as the aesthetics of liturgy and the connection between spirituality and life in the world.
Br Roger represented the Order at our Holy Cross School in Makhanda in the Eastern Cape, for events on Holy Cross Day (14 September) that included the announcement of the new principal, the very capable Nicci Hayes. He was glad to be there together with a pilgrimage group from the US to experience the flourishing of the life on the property and in the school. It was a privilege to sit in on some of the classes and witness the teachers interacting so effectively with the students.
Br Luc returned to our Holy Cross Monastery in upstate New York in the US on 15 September. While there, he hopes to make further progress with the immigration authorities. Please join us in prayer for success in his efforts.
We continue to have significant interactions with some of the guests who come to Volmoed. A woman from Cape Town was referred to Volmoed and advised to meet with one of the Brothers by someone who had been here before, which she did and which seemed to be helpful to her. She intends to return for a longer period of retreat soon. A young couple also from Cape Town were looking for a monastery and found us, though Volmoed was fully booked, so they found accommodation nearby and joined us for chapel prayers during that weekend. Seeming to have found what they were looking for, they say they will be back.
We have been privileged to offer hospitality in other ways as well. We enjoyed having three Quakers join us for prayer and communion on a recent weekday morning. One of our Associates from Somerset West was with us for a weekend retreat. We were asked to bless some pilgrims on their way to Cape Agulhas along the local Pilgrimage of Hope.