The seminarians have been on retreat since Ash Wednesday, and it concludes late this afternoon with Evening Prayer. I am sure it has been a fruitful retreat, but they are probably ready to break the silence.
In the monastery, each Friday during Lent we observe fast days with no meat and simpler meals being served. On Fridays, there is no common recreation after lunch, after supper, or after Compline. Instead, the monks observe silence and are encouraged to spend the additional time reading or praying. During the entire season of Lent we do not accept invitations out for meals or recreational events.
In addition, as Abbey Vocation Director, I have organized an optional Holy Hour of adoration for vocations to our community. The Holy Hour begins at each Friday at 7:45pm, after Compline. Guests, seminarians, and any friends in the local area are welcome to join us in the Basilica for this time of quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. It is important that we continually ask the Lord of the Harvest to send good men to our community so that we can further our mission into the future. God has blessed our monastic community with new vocations in recent years, and we desire to give thanks for all of God’s goodness to us.
Whether near or far, we ask you to join us in prayer, especially during this Lenten season, that it is a time of renewed fervor. God be praised!