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November 2017 - Fr. Michael and the Bees

 

 

 

The monks at Gethsemani all have assigned work, usually in our fudge or fruitcake production, by which we earn our living.

Many of the monks, however, have other, voluntary jobs which they have taken up because their interests and the abbey's needs have coincided in some way.

Fr. Michael Casagram has served the community in many, many ways over the 54 years he has lived here. He has been vocation director and novice director, for example. Currently he is the prior of the abbey and heads up the fudge department.

However, in addition to these official appointments, he has worked as a beekeeper for the whole time he has been here. His hives produce honey for the community, both in liquid and in comb form. The monks use it to sweeten nearly everything, from toast in the morning, to tea at noon, and more.

This video follows Fr. Michael as he talks about his work with the bees and how they have taught him about God and monastic life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 2017 - The Hermitage

 

 

 

In 1960, the monks of Gethsemani gave Fr. Louis (Thomas Merton) a gift he had yearned for for decades. They built him a hermitage. For the first five years, it was a place of retreat for him, but in 1965, he moved up there full-time. The hermitage was completed in early 1968 with the addition of indoor plumbing and a small chapel.

The hermitage is still in use by members of the community. We can request a private retreat of one week each year, to be spent there. It is a place where we can reconnect with our vocation, and listen more closely for the voice of God.

This short movie attempts to capture the experience of one monk on retreat at the hermitage.

The film also gives a glimpse inside the hermitage for those who are curious about it. Because the hermitage is part of the secluded area of the monastery, reserved for the use of the monks, those who visit the monastery for retreats cannot see it. We hope that this will be an intimate look inside for all the people who have visited us, who will visit us, and who wish that they might visit us some day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  March 2017 - Gethsemani's new movie - the trailer

 

 

 

This is a trailer for a new movie about the Abbey of Gethsemani. It was written, produced, shot, and edited by the monks themselves. It follows the monks through a typical day, from well before dawn to Compline.

This movie will replace the one currently playing in our Welcome Centre. That movie is very good, but the bulk of it was shot over a decade ago, and, although our life has not substantially changed since then, some of the faces have. We can now also take advantage of being able to present the film in high definition Blu-Ray.

The film is for sale from our commercial website Gethsemani Farms, which also features our food products and other items. It is also available in our Welcome Centre for visitors and retreatants to purchase. It comes with two discs, DVD and Blu-Ray, both of which also contain the same special features, shorter videos which are currently available only on YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  November 2017 - The ginko trees drops its leaves

 

 

 

One of the markers of fall at Gethsemani is when the ginko tree in the monks' garden sheds its leaves.

The tree was brought by Dom Edmund Obrecht from China around a century ago.

Each year, after the first hard frost, when the sun warms it up, the tree drops all its leaves in a matter of hours. It is as if the garden is raining ginko leaves.

We all enjoy watching the leaves dance and fall, and this year, since it happened to be on a Sunday, the novices were free to enjoy themselves in the midst of the spectacle.

We hope you enjoy this short film.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  September 2016 - Doves Descending

 

 

 

Doves like to roost together at night. This year, the doves in our area have picked two trees in our preau for their night's rest.

The preau (pronounced PRAY-oh) is the very center of our monastery, a space meant to represent the heart of the community.

The doves start flying into the trees at dusk. Before they are done, well over one hundred doves have settled in.

At the very same time, at this season, the monks themselves are heading to their own rest after Compline. The windows behind the trees are for the monks' rooms where they pray, read, meditate and of course sleep each night. Inside the monastery and out, God's creatures are finding rest and comfort after a day's activities.

The lovely music for this movie was written in-house by one of the monks especially for it.

We hope you enjoy this short film.