Many members of the monastic community worked hard in preparing for the celebration of Christmastide. This included the decoration of the church and other parts of the monastery with Christmas trees and lights, including beautiful lights at both ends of the cloister garden.

As the season drew to a close, we received the oblation of Nicholas Peake during Mass on the solemnity of the Epiphany, with many of our other lay oblates in attendance (see photo). In addition to their monthly meeting on the first Sunday of the month with their Director of Oblates, Fr. Ignacio, many of them also attend a Scripture class with Fr. Joseph on two other Sundays each month.

Many oblates, along with other friends of the abbey, have been very generous in providing financial support for the two Afghan refugees that we have been helping. One of them is currently in residence at the abbey, while the other is hoping to begin studies at a university in London. Both had been interpreters for U.S. forces during the war in their native land, something they did at great risk to their own lives.