The magnolia trees between the monastery and St. Maur Hall are in full bloom. The opened up sometime early last week and were spared from the freezing temperatures. Currently they are clinging to the branches amid some fierce southern winds that we have been having these days. The rest of the trees are starting to bud here and there, but the magnolias definitely added some nice color during this spring and Easter week.
Plenty of work has been going on inside the monastery, but there is still a lot of work that needs to take place outside and around the building. The old concrete stairs on the west side of the monastery were demolished in order to put in new ones.
Br. Etienne recently took some amazing macro pictures. Macro photography focuses on small details. He enjoys taking pictures of flowers and other things in nature.
It takes the coordination and help of many people in order to put together one of the most beautiful Easter Vigils around. The Vigil at Conception Abbey begins in complete darkness and silence at 4:30am Easter Sunday. The Easter fire is lit outside in front of the Basilica.
This afternoon the Sacristan, Br. Bernard, was getting everything ready and going through his lists to make sure he wasn’t forgetting anything. The Master of Ceremonies had their practices with the servers earlier today. And, the schola (choir) and musicians were warming up and practicing in the Basilica.
Here are a few liturgical items that we will use at our Easter Vigil.
Above: This year’s Easter candle.
Below: The Engelberg chalice that is used only on special solemn feast days.
Below: The metal crozier that Abbot Gregory will use. I believe this crozier originally belonged to Abbot Philip Ruggle.
We even need flowers to decorate the Basilica. We ordered about 50 Easter lilies, but Postulant Luke and Brother Blaise went around looking for flowers to use in an arrangement.
Above: Postulant Luke, 10 days into living the monastic life, and still has a great smile.
Below: Brother Blaise, probably the reason why Postulant Luke is laughing.
Below: The magnolias are in full bloom.
It has been a beautiful week of cooler temperatures in the 70’s. All of the monks have enjoyed it immensely. On this day nine years ago, I was received into the community as a postulant. I remember the feelings of excitement and of simply desiring to do what I thought God was asking me to do. It has been quite the journey.
I’ll recognize this day by adding some color to your screen. Enjoy these flowers taken around campus.