SPRING NEWSLETTER – OUR LADY of the ROCK
Much news this Spring, but our usual Newsletter operator seems to be off the grid!
Perhaps the biggest news is our new Chaplain, Father Vincent Gilmore, who will be replacing Father Mathew (from India) in July. He has been here off and on for several months and is a wonder worker. He loves the farm life and seems to be able to fix anything. He is a Norbertine from California though born and raised in E. WA. Father Mathew will be assigned to a parish in Everett, WA.
We have been most fortunate to have 3 wonderful interns. Preston, from NY, we spoke of in the last newsletter. His passion is (maybe next to the sheep) cooking and baking so he is a FAB help in the kitchen. Catherine, from Kansas came after Christmas. She loves the outdoors and is a bright young woman who loves music. She has been in the Island Sinfonia playing viola. Marjike came to us Easter week from the Netherlands. She is a lovely young woman, also bight and talented and no job is too small for her. All three get long and have formed their own “Community” taking care of animals and guests – not always in that order!
Our Beloved Chaplain, Father Thaddaeus, who was with us 12 years, died in March at St. Martin’s Abbey. Mother Dilecta and our Oblate Linda attended the Mass & funeral, along with Catherine & Marijke (who drove home a car for us- more on this later). This week St. Martin’s lost another monk (Br. Lawrence, who used to come and do our plumbing). Also in March our Jesuit Chaplain of 2 years died in CA – Father Steckler. Both priests were in their 80s. In December we lost our Oblate, Dave Grumney, who is buried her at OLR. There was an Irish Bagpiper as the burial, and not a dry eye. He is sorely missed!
Mother Hildegard was to go on a birding trip again to AZ with Oblates MaryAnne & Martha but a few weeks before MA flew off her bike breaking her humerus in 3 places- so trip cancelled. Exactly one week later Mother Mary Grace fell on her way to the sheep below the Chapel breaking same arm in the same place- 3 breaks also. As I write this Mother Ruth is in the hospital in Anacortes with pneumonia. She was flown off on Friday, but recovering. She will be 89 in July so we can’t take colds lightly. Mother Prioress had cataract surgery in April and will have the 2nd eye done late May.
Mother Catarina left May 3 for CT & then England and M Felicitas will go in June to visit her son and family in NH. MH did get over the mts. to the German village of Leavenworth to visit a very ill friend- and was also able to spot the rare white-headed woodpecker! If MA can stay off bikes (or rather on) MH plans on the Big Island in Oct. to visit Oblate Karen & family.
People were most generous to us at Christmastime: bills paid, new equipment for home and farm purchased, animals, nuns and guests fed. Many send linens. We had said in last newsletter that we could use some vehicles. Our Oblates Gretchen & Rob Wilson (now in MT) had a friend drive their 22 yr. old Honda out to St. Martin’s Abbey. Rob outfitted it with new tires, water pump and timing belt. Our garage checked it out and declared it a gem for farm. This will be M. Catarina’s farm vehicle to replace her dying Bertha. She named it “Monty”.
Our friends, Mike & Anna Mullins in St. Louis responded with a 7 yr old Toyota Highlander (Limited Ed) which they shipped to us. This replaces the Ford Explorer (now MD’s farm car). Mother H. says it is like driving a Mercedes and has more brains than she does- it certainly has more buttons! The PWDs not overly happy as they are now confined to the rear and can no longer hang out windows. It made the trip over the mts. Last week with great style. As the Lord said: ask and your shall receive!
Our new bull, Fergus, gift of Kevin & Cathy Ferguson, arrived and is not only beautiful but is a gentle charmer. George Johnson, in Chicago, sent a year’s supple of bird seeds. Happy Birds!
Having had the most glorious spring, we look forward to summer and especially our youth group coming again to build. They plan a new small sheep-fold, cattle feeder, new decks around the Chapel, and new front gate, as well as bringing in the hay.
We wish everyone a Blessed and fruitful Summer.