Sunday, May 8, 2016

This Week in Madonna House - May 1-7

Well, I hardly know what to say about this week. On the one hand, it was as about an ordinary and unremarkable week in Madonna House as we ever get. The gardeners gardened. The cooks cooked. The maintenance men maintained. The carpenters carped. Farmers farmed.

We all gathered to plant onions one evening this week, the first of many such weekly garden bees we have over the summer months. Our guest numbers remain low, so we simply cannot get some of the intensive work done any other way. Another morning there was a mini-bee to clean the pioneer museum that is part of our outreach to the tourists in the summer. Besides that, though, it was as regular a life as life gets here.

On the other hand, the directors meetings got going this week. As I have mentioned previously, all the directors of all the Madonna Houses around the world, from Combermere and Ottawa to Krasnoyarsk, Russia and Resteigne, Belgium and all points in between, come for three weeks each May to gather together with the directors and others here at the main headquarters to discuss the apostolate and its direction.

I am attending the meetings this year, and obviously cannot say much about them. We did begin our meetings as we usually do—with opening remarks from the three directors general followed by reports from the director of each of the mission houses, the local directors here in Combermere and the directors of training. This gives a broad birds’ eye view of the apostolate and helps to point the way forward in our ongoing discussion.

One thing I can mention is that our post-lunch spiritual reading at the house is given over to the various local directors who take turns speaking of the life and mission of their house in that venue. This is always an enjoyable thing for our guests and applicants in particular who get to see aspects of the apostolate they ordinarily wouldn’t see in Combermere.

Beyond that, I hardly know what to say about life here. It is spring with all its beauty, and we had a magnificent week of sun and warmth, with the added benefit that the black flies haven’t quite started their bloody reign of terror just yet.

So… sorry for this most minimal blog post! Of course like everyone else in Canada we are transfixed by the news reports from Fort MacMurray in Alberta and are united in praying for all the people affected by the horrible fire there. The relative lack of human casualties is a great blessing, even as the destruction of so much of that town is terrible to behold.

And we pray for the whole world as we go about the routine everyday tasks that take up this time of year, which includes praying for all of you and your intentions. God bless you, and have a blessed week.

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