Well, I'm not quite sure what to put in this column today. Happy Passion (Palm!) Sunday to you all. Life in Madonna House has been intensely busy, but it is pretty much all about the immediate preparations for Holy Week. The cooks, the choir, the librarians, and the handicraft people (the latter two of whom manage the house decorating) have been in high gear getting ready for this most sacred and intense time of year.
Meanwhile we priests have been busy in liturgy preparations and also helping out in some local parishes with Lenten reconciliation services.
The men are busy to some degree with Holy Week preparations, but also simply with their usual round of work keeping this place heated, the cars on the road safely, and all other matters of physical infrastructure what they should be. The sugar bush is not running this week, as temperatures have gone back down into sub-zero ranges. This is good, though, as it will prolong the season further when it does warm up again. Among the men's work was a planning meeting for some imminent renovations to be done to our women's guest dorm, due to start after Easter when our guest numbers tend to go down.
Right now the women's guest dorm is pretty much full, while the men's dorm is... not so much. What's wrong with you guys? Don't you know what an awesome place MH is? We have a few really wonderful long term men with us now, but not too many coming for shorter stays. To be honest, I always feel like people are missing out on so much--our life is pretty incredible here, you know! So if you are a young man (19-35) or know a young man who might benefit from a stay at MH... well, we have room, is all I'm saying.
But to be honest, I'm not sure what to say about this time of year. It is very busy and full, but there's not much to tell. Lots of cooking and cleaning and sorting and organizing.
We did have a lovely feast day of St. Joseph just yesterday, a feature of which was a display of photos of all the lay men staff of MH. He is the patron saint of our laymen's department, and so we honor them in a special way on this day. We had a festive Mass in the morning followed by coffee cake at breakfast, and then in the evening a truly epic feast-day supper with all the trimmings.
And... well, that really is about it, to be honest. Sorry for the lousy blog post this week, and I do fully intend to return to the regular blogging schedule after Easter. Know that we are united with all of you in prayer and in worship as we journey through this most magnificent and sacred season of the year towards the joy and delight of the Easter feast. I hope to meet you at the Upper Room, Calvary, and the Empty Tomb!