Since Tuesday I've been back at my monastery of Subiaco. (Abbey coat of arms to the left) It has been a refreshing break from the parish. I'm staying at St. Benedict Rectory with my confrere Father Aaron since the priests of the diocese of Tulsa, OK are here on retreat, and they've filled the guesthouse and the extra rooms in the monastery.
On Tuesday evening I was sitting in a choir stall before the divine office and Father Paul, who is quite elderly and even with hearing aids is deaf as a post passed by me and smiled and nodded, which I returned. Then he made his way around the stalls until he got to his on the last row. He was behind me, about five feet over my right shoulder when I heard him say to Father Sebastian in a very loud voice that reverberated through the choir: "Is that Father Gregory?" Father Sebastian said in an equally loud voice: "Yes." Father Paul then said: "He's sure getting old fast." Father Sebastian said loudly: "Yes." At that point I turned and looked at them and gave them a smile and a thumbs up sign. It's good to know that I have a home.
The abbot called the monks to return to the monastery for three days to attend the lectures by Cistercian Father Michael Casey. They have been very well presented and his dry Australian wit has been entertaining in itself. His last conference is tonight.
Tomorrow I pick up Deacon and Mrs. Bob Cowie to the west of Paris, Arkansas, and we will make our way to Oklahoma City for the annual meeting of the Southwest Lieutenentcy of the EOHSJ where I will meet up with the other members of my parish who are being knighted, as well as the other members of Holy Redeemer who are already members. I think that we will have 100% attendance from south Arkansas.
The weather here has been delightfully cool. This morning it was in the 50's, so it's been a great change of pace from El Dorado. We'll see what Oklahoma has to offer tomorrow.