» As so often in recent years, the demands of monastic stability are being challenged by the needs of the Church. Last weekend, Fr Alban travelled to Chester to speak to the diocese of Shrewsbury's history group on the English Benedictine presence in that part of England, both now and in history. On the Saturday, Fr Hugh was at Sacred Heart, Tisbury in Wiltshire, leading members of the Order of Malta in a day of recollection.
Yesterday Fr Hugh was at Thorngrove Preparatory School, an annual fixture, explaining to the senior pupils Catholic teaching on ordination, worship, marriage and morality, as well as answering questions about monastic and priestly life. Today Fr Abbot is at Oulton Abbey in Staffordshire attending a meeting of that community's trustees, of which he is one.
» Fr Gabriel reports that he has taken the last crop of honey for the year, which he has been selling after Sunday Mass. Some of the brethren hope that there will be enough left to us to cover the winter ahead. Honey, of course, is part of an effective remedy for the sore throats of colds which can go through the community very quickly.
» From last week into this week the electrical sockets, wiring and light fittings throughout the monastery and guesthouse are being tested as part of our regular maintenance programme, ensuring that Douai is a safe place for both monks and guests.