» After a few days of quiet in the wake of the Triduum and Easter Sunday, the life of the community is back in full swing. Yesterday and today the community is being treated to intensive inservice in both the theory and practice of Gregorian chant. Leading us is Sr Margaret Truran OSB, an English nun at Sta Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome. She is well known to many of the community and it is a pleasure to have her teaching us.
» Tomorrow Frs Abbot and Alban will be heading to Stanbrook Abbey for the annual EBC History Symposium. Travelling with them will be Sr Margaret, and Fr Boniface of Downside, who has been with us the last couple of days catching his breath after Easter.
» On Low Sunday a dog attacked out poultry during our Sunday Mass, killing one of the laying ducks. The abbot, who had just returned from Mass at Winchester, took some time to get the beast to release a chicken it had bitten. The owners of the dog professed to be oblivious to what their unleashed dog had been doing, and we suspect that they have been coming regularly with their dog while we are busy in Mass. People walking their dogs through our private grounds have long been a problem, especially when we had sheep; some years ago a dog savaged several of our sheep.
We may well soon have to take firmer steps to avoid such issues, not least for the safety of the monks and their guests. For the time being we would firmly request that people do not bring their dogs to Douai Abbey for walks and romps in our grounds. We have livestock that needs to be protected, not to mention ourselves and our guests. The abbey grounds are not public but private property, which we are more than happy to share with those would like to enjoy them responsibly. This invitation, sadly, cannot be extended to dogs. If you would like to bring a dog to Douai you must contact the Bursar's office beforehand. Should permission be given, the dog must be on a leash at all times.
It is regrettable that we have to spell things out like this, but the abuse of our hospitality has adverse effects on others, human and animal. We are surrounded by countryside in which people are able to walk their dogs, subject to the law of the land, so we are confident we are disadvantaging no one.
» Speaking of bursars, Fr Oliver's mother, Anne, is in hospital after suffering a stroke last week. Please keep her in your prayers.