This Lent Jane (my wife) and I were able to spend a few days in retreat with the nuns at Sainte-Marie des Deux-Montagnes just outside of Montreal on the north shore of the St. Lawrence.
It was both refreshing and encouraging as we passed the lamp post into the snow covered abbey -- a bit like entering Narnia where Aslan is worshipped and revered.
|Snowy days at the Abbey|
Almost weekly now, a young woman comes to visit, to pray and to consider if God is calling her to the contemplative Benedictine life. They attend the offices and hear the glorious Gregorian chants, meet with the nuns and share in the rhythms of the monastic life. They come from P.E.I to B.C. and the USA.
Since the Abbess, along with Dom Charles and others, have developed a strategy for reaching out to English as well as French-speaking women, there has been a steady flow of inquirers and soon, God willing, more postulants, novices and, ultimately (because according to Mother Abbess it takes 10 years to form a contemplative nun) professed Benedictines.
One prayerful friend of the abbey tells Dom Charles that in prayer he visualizes ten white veils (novices) in the company of the professed sisters who process into the Abbey Church for the daily offices and Mass.
|Jane with Soeur Louise an icon painter and Sacristan at the Abbey.|