News from the Priory

April 2024 News – Initial Profession of Br Josias Morobi OHC

The highlight of the past month for us once again was an Initial Profession of the Monastic Vow, this time by our Br Josias. Having two such happy occasions in a little over a month was a rare delight for the monastic community. Br Josias’ Profession took place during a noon Eucharist in the Volmoed chapel on Saturday 27 April, celebrated as Freedom Day in South Africa, this one marking the 30th anniversary of the first democratic elections in the country. For Br Josias, it also meant embracing a different expression of freedom.

April 2024 News – Initial Profession of Br Josias Morobi OHC Read More »

March 2024 News – Initial Profession of Br Aelred Edwin Kriel OHC

The highlight of the past month for us was certainly the Initial Profession of the Monastic Vow by Br Edwin, who has taken the religious name Br Aelred, by which he is now becoming known to us. The happy occasion took place during a noon Eucharist in the Volmoed chapel on Saturday 23 March. Having completed his novitiate, Br Aelred committed himself to live according to the threefold monastic vow of stability, conversion, and obedience, for an initial period of three years. Many of those from his family and friends in Worcester and other parts of the Anglican Diocese of False Bay, as well as from the Volmoed community, who had been present just over a year before to witness his Clothing as a Novice of the Order, were there to witness this joyful commitment. In addition to affirming his own sense of vocation to monastic life, and the fulfilment that comes from living into that vocation, Br Aelred has strengthened the life and witness of the monastic community, by adding his own presence to the variety of ways in which we pray and hope that God’s love will be made known through us. Br Scott preached the sermon at Br Aelred’s profession, the text of which can be found here.

March 2024 News – Initial Profession of Br Aelred Edwin Kriel OHC Read More »

January/February 2024 News

The change from January to February brought with it a change in the monastic community. Br Edwin returned to us after 4 months at our Holy Cross Monastery in the USA. Br Luc accompanied him, and will be with our local community for almost 3 months. Br Josias departed on the plane that Brs Edwin and Luc had just arrived on.

Br Josias will be visiting the monastic community at Holy Cross Monastery for a little over 2 months, living as a member of the novitiate there during that period. While in the USA, he has recently been interviewed by our Order’s Council, which has approved his application to make his initial profession of the monastic vow, which will take place after he returns to us.

Since his return from the USA, Br Edwin has visited his family in Worcester for a week. He is to make his initial profession here at Volmoed on Saturday 23 March, taking the religious name Aelred. Please pray for him as he prepares to make this joyous commitment.

January/February 2024 News Read More »

December 2023/January 2024 News

Having entered the monastic community on 15 July last year, Mpumelelo Khambule completed his six-month Postulancy and was clothed as a Novice in the habit of the Order on Saturday 20 January. The happy event was witnessed by numerous people from the residential and dispersed Volmoed community. John and Isobel de Gruchy also represented the Associates of the Order. Two members of the Community of Jesus’ Compassion (CJC) in KZN, Mo Yeki and Sr Ntombi, travelled to Volmoed for the occasion. CJC is the religious community with whom Br Mpumelelo lived for a time before joining our monastic community. They nurtured his initial discernment of a monastic vocation, and so it was wonderful that they could be with us as he entered the next stage of his initial monastic formation. Mati Mzamo, a friend of CJC who used to spend time at our former monastery outside Makhanda (Grahamstown) in the Eastern Cape, has relocated to the Western Cape and it was lovely that she could also attend Br Mpumelelo’s clothing ceremony.

December 2023/January 2024 News Read More »

November 2023 News

November saw two distinct improvements in the transport infrastructure affecting movement to and from Volmoed. First, a bridge over the nearby national road was repaired, allowing traffic to move along that road again, thus reducing traffic volumes that had made travel along the lengthy unpaved detour road not only unpleasant but dangerous. Second, movement along the main road through the bottom of the valley became possible again, once the single-lane bypass around the damage resulting from the storm of late September was completed.

The immediate benefit of these improvements, apart from ease of access to areas beyond the valley from Volmoed, was that people from those areas could once again come to Volmoed relatively easily. There has been a noticeable increase in attendance of the Thursday and Sunday morning church services since, with those who had found themselves unable to come to Volmoed after the storm expressing their delight at being here again.

November 2023 News Read More »

October 2023 News

Gradual recovery from the devastating storms of late September continues, within the Western Cape generally as well more locally within the Hermanus area and specifically in the Hemel-and-Aarde Valley including here at Volmoed, where efforts are underway to clean up the riverbanks (which has also provided material for neighbours to use in repairing roads on their properties) though the main access road onto the Volmoed property remains impassable. The lengthy detour along a dusty unpaved road with increased traffic volumes is still necessary for travel into Hermanus, though work on opening the main road through the bottom of the valley has begun. The electricity supply remains somewhat unstable, and there are water restrictions for townspeople as the water supply is still constrained.

Br Roger travelled to Mariannhill Monastery Retreat House in Pinetown KZN to attend the annual meeting of the Council for the Religious Life, together with representatives from most of the other religious communities in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, as well as the Liaison Bishop who facilitates the interaction between the Council and the institutional Church. The meeting took place over two days in early October, and included reports from each community about its life and work, as well as discussion of challenges that exist within communities and between communities and the church. We also prayed and ate together and had times of fellowship, all of which strengthened the supportive relationships among communities.

October 2023 News Read More »

September 2023 News

Any reflection on events of the past month cannot but be dominated by the astonishing aftermath of the storm that swept through the Western Cape during the night of Sunday 24 September. Roads were extensively damaged, bridges washed away, electricity and water supplies disrupted. The region in which Volmoed is situated continues to grapple with the impact. Road access remains constrained with real concern of it deteriorating further. Several communities have not yet had their electricity supply restored, while some communities are still physically isolated. Water supply to towns and suburbs remains limited.

On Volmoed we have been relatively well off. The level of water in the river rose significantly, and the main access road was inundated, leaving considerable amounts of debris behind when the water level dropped again. Thankfully, no buildings were flooded or otherwise damaged. Our electricity supply was restored by the Wednesday. The main pump for the water system is expected to be usable after it is serviced. We are grateful. We do have to make a substantial detour along a now much busier gravel road in order to get to town and shops.

September 2023 News Read More »

August 2023 News

This past month featured several opportunities for strengthening our monastic community’s relationships with the wider church in various forms. We are situated within the Diocese of False Bay (in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa), whose bishop, the Right Reverend Margaret Vertue, has just retired. Brs Scott & Edwin attended the final service of ordinations to the diaconate & priesthood carried out by Bp Margaret, at All Saints parish church in Belhar. Brs Roger & Edwin subsequently attended a service of thanksgiving for Bp Margaret’s ministry, at the Kruiskerk in Stellenbosch, shortly before the bishop’s retirement.

August 2023 News Read More »

And now there are six …

2 brothers with 2 new associates
2 Brothers with 2 new Associates … John de Gruchy AHC, Br Edwin, Isobel de Gruchy AHC, Br Daniel

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 is received as a postulant
Mpumelelo is received as a Postulant

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.

And now there are six … Read More »

June 2023 News

Br Scott met with several clergy on retreat from the Rondebosch Archdeaconry in the days leading up to his departure for the US with Br Roger on 1 June. They attended the annual Chapter gathering of our Order at our Holy Cross Monastery in upstate New York. Brs Edwin and Josias were unable to accompany them due to difficulties with the US visa system. They did well to maintain the rhythm of the life of the Priory here in the absence of the other Brothers.

June 2023 News Read More »

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