Christ in the Desert

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					                                                                  M O NA S T E RY        OF

                                                      Christ in the Desert
                                                    SUMMER 2010 NEWSLETTER

Inside this issue:                              Dear Friends of the Monastery,
                                                                       Blessings to you! I always enjoy the opportunity to write to you through
Expanding Our Monastery
                                                                       our newsletters, and imagine we are sitting across from each other in con-
Cloister Garden                                                        versation, or praying together in our church. The monastic community
Invite the Monastery to                                                here sends their greetings to you as well. You will see in this newsletter
                                                                       that we are updating our mailing list, and I ask you to return the form on
Your Parish                                                            the back page. We hope you would like to continue to be connected with
We're Growing Organic                                                  us in this way.
                                                                         As I write, we are looking ahead to June 24 as we prepare to celebrate
                                                                       the solemnity of our principal patron, Saint John the Baptist, also our
Thanks to Our Donors for                                               46th year since our founding and the solemn vows of one of our monks,
Environmental Upgrades                          Brother James Rhoades. Please join us in prayer of thanks for these events and milestones!
                                                Additionally, I will be turning sixty-six years old the day after, so my thoughts and prayers in-
Br. James Rhoades, OSB,                         clude reflections on the future development of the Monastery.
to make Solemn Vows                               Under our Constitutions of the Subiaco Congregation, an abbot normally serves until
                                                seventy-five years of age. There are about nine years left for me to serve the community in this
                                                role. It is important that we start now to prayerfully and strategically
                                                prepare for a new abbot of Christ in the Desert. There are tasks in
                                                the areas of cultivating leadership, supporting the growth of the
                                                current monks and the arriving new vocations, financial security of
                                                the monastery and our dependent houses, and the long range vision
                                                of forming a Mexican-American Province of our Subiaco Congre-
                                                gation as our six houses of men and three houses of women are
                                                readied through faith and logistics to take that step. May the Lord
The Burning Bush Gift Program                   guide us always.
                                                  My dream is to arrive at the age of seventy-five with a new abbot
    Share your love throughout the year
                                                beginning his time of service with a really strong community, living
      by giving a gift that reminds your
     family, friends and associates that
                                                in a well planned monastic facility (monastery), with monks who are
    every place is holy and it is possible
                                                capable of taking on leadership. As part of that, it would be ideal if
       to meet God where you stand.             our dependent houses become independent in the next few years. I
  As the story in Exodus Chap. 3 tells us,      also dream of having a monastery with financial stability and security,
  gifts of meaning cannot be consumed;          but is not wealthy. Wealth destroys monastic communities, whereas
   they can be experienced only in love.        too much poverty can make a community constricted and too chal-
                                                lenged to live out their life of prayer to the glory of God and for the benefit of God’s world.
Select gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, or     I ask you to keep us in your prayers, as we do you, in ours. If it has been a while since you
any occasion of importance in these areas:
                                                have taken the opportunity to visit the Monastery, please come for the day or several overnights.
 Environmental Sustainability, Education,
                                                Enjoy our expanding garden project, benefit from the updates to our environmental systems,
Worship/Community Life, Guest Hospitality,
  and Family Connections. By doing so,
                                                and most importantly, join us in our silence and prayers so that you may encounter God who
    you also share your love to benefit
                                                is present everywhere. We invite visitors of all faiths or no particular faith to come, to be still
  the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.        and to listen. “Listen” is the first word in our Rule of St. Benedict and still an important virtue
                                                for all of us, monks and non-monks alike. May God bless you in abundance now and always.
     For more information see our               Abbot Philip Lawrence, OSB
Expanding Our Monastery Cloister Garden
Traditionally, a cloister garden, set in the mid-   With the arrival of spring, our Brother Francis,   plant, with its ample white stemmed leaves,
dle of the residence building of monks, is a        other monks and guests began preparing             adding zest to our oriental dishes. We also en-
place of prayer and refreshment. The fountain       the ground for more plantings in the cloister      joyed an abundance of parsley, thyme, sage
in the center of the garden provides coolness       garden. Last year we experimented with the         and cilantro, and the delicate sight and taste of
from the summer heat and is a reminder of           concept of intermixing ornamental and edible       tarragon enhanced our occasional French
Christ as the source of “living water” for one’s    plants. Herbs for cooking and hearty tomatoes      recipes. We dried many of the herbs and spices
daily life. We have been blessed with such a gar-   thrived next to daisies, with marigolds and        for use during the winter.
den here at Christ in the Desert, and each year     chives keeping away plant-eating insects from        Continuing with the concept, we are planning
since its construction in 1996, we have been        the zucchinis and cucumbers. The cloister gar-     a few welcome additions, both for the kitchen
improving this little oasis in the desert.                            den was an organic dream—        and to provide cut flowers for our church.
                                                                      beautiful and much of it         We hope to have raspberries and red currents,
                                                                      edible at the same time.         for tasty desserts, amidst climbing roses, also
                                                                         A big rosemary bush dou-      blue lupines and yellow marjoram, as well as
                                                                       bled as topiary art and pro-    alpine strawberries. Dahlias will be accompany-
                                                                       vided flavor for our Italian    ing African basil and chives. Additional edible
                                                                       sauces. The borders in the      plants will include fennel and artichokes. Glad-
                                                                        garden were interspersed       iolas will grace the cloister and a couple of fruit
                                                                        with sweet smelling and        trees will further enhance the space.
                                                                         flavorful basil, ideal for      We have received some funding for the pro-
                                                                         pesto sauce. Scabiosa viola   ject and are asking our friends such as you to
                                                                          greeted the eye throughout   help raise an additional $1,500 to make the
                                                                          the summer with a profu-     dream a reality.
                                                                           sion of pin cushion-like      We plan to post garden photos on our web-
                                                                           purple flowers. Bok choy    site so that you can enjoy, even from afar, this
                                                                            acted as a nice border     little paradise on earth.

             One of two Fleur-de-lis planters that contains
             parsley and cilantro.

Invite the Monastery to Your Parish                                                                              MonasTery oF
                      Through our program,            These weekends are opportunities for to us              CHrisT in the DeserT
                      Morning of Monastic Re-       to forge relationships with parishes throughout               GuesTHouse
                      flection, Fr. Christian,      the country, and delight in the movement
                                                                                                                 “Let all guests who arrive
                      OSB, and Sharon Colby,        of the Holy Spirit. Last month our gathering
                      MA, are assisting people      at St Mary's in West, TX included their Cath-                 be received as Christ...”
                      to discover ways to deep-     olic parishioners and students from the nearby
                      en and support their spir-    Baptist seminary praying, listening and learning
                      itual life, drawing from      together. What a joy!
                      our vibrant monastic tra-       We are in the process of creating our
                      dition. The mini-retreat      summer, fall and winter schedule and wel-
format includes chanting portions of the Daily      come the opportunity to come to your area.
Office, presentations about monastic life and       If you would like to extend an invitation from
practices, discussion of one’s spiritual journey,   your parish to support our friend-raising               “...let all kindness be shown them.”
and information about our flourishing inter-        and fundraising activities such as this one,                      —RULE OF S AINT B ENEDICT
national community at the Monastery. While          contact Fr. Christian by email at monkchrist-
                                                                                                         We warmly invite guests who wish to seek God
we are there for the weekend, Fr. Christian Check the News section on
                                                                                                         to come and share our life.
preaches and celebrates Masses, and we can          our website through the year to see where
meet with youth groups, area deacons and            we are going next. We hope to see you during         Our guesthouse is a place where individuals can
share in the life of the parish.                    our travels!                                         find quiet time for prayer, privacy, reading and
                                                                                                         reflection, inspired by God’s Word speaking in
                                                                                                         the liturgy and silence. Guests are welcome to
Monastery of Christ in the Desert is a Roman Catholic Monastery of about 40 monks                        attend our daily prayers and Eucharist with us
founded in 1964 in New Mexico as a foundation of Mt. Savior Monastery. We now are an                     in our church.
autonomous abbey of the Subiaco Congregation of Benedictines, and have foundations in                       For more information see our website:
Mexico, Texas and Illinois.
We're Growing Organic Hops                                                                                      Help support the
Hops native to our region of northern New            the rows of hops. This crop will be turned             Monastery by visiting our
Mexico have been planted along the Chama             into the soil to improve it, and provide nutri-         two stores in Santa Fe!
River at the Monastery. We are grateful for our      ents for the hops.
guests who have helped us with the many jobs           The irrigation system uses water from the
in constructing our hopyard.                         Chama; it is a combination of drip for the
  We are working with Brad Kraus, brew mas-          hops and spray for the cover crops. It has
ter of Abbey Beverage Company, that pro-             been designed specifically for our needs by
duces and sells our Monks’ Ale, to select native     Jeremiah Kidd of San Isidro Permaculture
hops for use in brewing a new unique beer for        and Mark Sardella, owner of Local Energy in
our label. The varieties we are cultivating          Santa Fe. The trellises are constructed of 14’
have been bred by Todd Bates, an independ-           Ponderosa pine poles from the nearby Carson
ent plant researcher, who has been working           National Forest provided by Dennis Duran of
with native varieties for over 10 years, success-    New Mexico Vigas.
fully breeding for de-                                                                                       THE MONKS’ CORNER
sired characteristics
such as size, flower to
                                                                                                              HAND CRAFTED GIFTS
plant ratio, drought                                                                                                235 DON GASPAR
tolerance and pest re-                                                                                           SANTA FE, NM 87501
sistance.                                                                                                            (505) 982-1915
  We are growing the                                                                                          WWW. THEMONKSCORNER . COM
hops using organic
practices. As fertilizer,
we use chicken ma-                                                                                           Community Thrift Store
nure donated by KJ                                                                                                1306 Clark Road
Farms in Abiquiu,                                                                                                Santa Fe, NM 87501
and we are planting a                                                                                               505-473-0972
cover crop in between Our new hops field.

Thanks to Our Donors for Environmental Upgrades                                                         Br. James Rhoades, OSB,
Friends near and far, along with second collec-      With growth, the demand will exceed 50 kW.         to make Solemn Vows
tions from parishes around the country, have         The total price to do this well, but not extrav-                        On June 24, the Feast
contributed funds for Phase 1 of the required        agantly, is around $385,000.                                            of Saint John the Baptist,
repairs and improvements to our environmen-            As additional funding and donations become                            Brother James will pro-
tal systems. Thanks be to God for the generos-       available, and these elements of our system                             fess his solemn mon-
ity of our donors - we were able to replace the      are completed, we will be able to improve our                           astic vows before the
96 failing solar batteries, which are the foun-      water system, and reduce the cost to operate all                        monastic community and
dation of our systems.                               of our environmental systems. There is a com-                           his family.
  We rely upon solar power to generate our           plex interplay between the sun, weather, power,                           Prior to his arrival at
electricity for about 2/3 of the monastery, in-      water, equipment, building, and operating                               Christ in the Desert, Br.
cluding our church, the monks' living quarters,      costs. We are grateful that we have outstanding                         James was a simply pro-
library, our reading, chapter, infirmary and         experts directing and advising us every step of    fessed monk of Saint John’s Abbey, Col-
recreations rooms, corridors, accounting office,     the way!                                           legeville, Minnesota.
the guest rooms at the Ranch House, and the                                                               Born the son of Theodore and Alma
entire water pumping system. The newer bat-               We invite you to join us through your         Rhoades of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, Br.
teries will need a solar array panel that pro-                                                          James is the youngest of three children. In
                                                              prayer and financial support.
duces higher amperage. The older solar array                                                            1986, he received his degree in graphic
panels produced 75 watts, which now need to              See our website for more information.          design from the Philadelphia College of Art
be around 90 watts in order to help recharge                                                            and relocated to Washington, DC. For the
the batteries without having to use the propane                                                         next sixteen years, he served as design direc-
fueled generator.                                                                                       tor for several international public relations
  The next link in the chain is to either replace              May God bless you for your
                                                                                                        and marketing firms.
or overhaul the generator, as its condition is de-       generosity to us and to those who rely           Br. James currently serves our Monastery as
teriorating. The system demand is 42 kW, on                                                             Guestmaster.
average, and its generation capacity is 23.8 kW!          upon our hospitality and assistance.
                                                                                                                      Phone: 1-801-545-8567
                                                                                                        Abiquiu, New Mexico 87510-0270
                                                                                                        P.O. Box 270
                                                                              Requested                 1305 Forest Service Road 151
                                                                              Return Service            Monastery of Christ in the Desert

         Permit No.2
     Abiquiu, NM 87510
     U.S. Postage Paid
       Non-Profit Org.

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