CLAY & WATTLES THEATER COMPANY ANNOUNCES 2017 SUMMER SEASON!|
At the Abbey's The Gary the Olivia Theater, the Clay & Wattles Theater Company plans on inspiring its audiences during the 2017 Season with a celebration of local art, food and wine culture at the Farm Art Festival, with one of the world's most innovative and inspiring illustrators and writers of children’s stories: Tomie dePaola in a program entitled The Magical World of Tomie dePaola and a brand new production of its most successful musical to date Fiddler On The Roof.
Fun, engaging, inspiring—three diverse and unique events at The Gary The Olivia Theater this summer:
Farm-Art Festival: Inspired By Nature—June 11th from 11 am to 4 pm at The Gary The Olivia Theater
The Magical World of Tomie dePaola—Reading and Book Signing with Tomie dePaola—Saturday and Sunday, June 24th and 25th at 2:30 pm
Fiddler on the Roof Opening Night Gala—Saturday, July 29th at 7:30 pm and running for 4 weeks through August 20th
Visit our theater page for details about this exciting season.
Group Rates (10 or more), individual tickets and senior discounts are available now online
CLOTHING OF SISTER CHRISTOPHER, FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION 2016
On December 8, 2016, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Abbey celebrated the Monastic Investiture of postulant Jenny McClarin who was clothed in the monastic habit and received the name Sister Christopher. Monsignor Andrew R. Baker, Rector of Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD was the main celebrant and homilist at the Mass. Father Iain Highet, Pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Norfolk and St. Joseph’s Church in Canaan and Father John Cooney were concelebrants. As is our custom at the Abbey, at Mass and throughout the day Jenny wore an outfit of her choosing celebrating the beauty she brings to this step in her life. Jenny's close friends and colleagues from Muhlenberg College and the Diocese of Allentown Pennsylvania participated in the liturgy and celebration.
Read more about Sister Christopher and see the gallery of the celebration of her Clothing day. LATEST DEVELOPMENTS TOWARDS LAUNCHING PHASE II OF OUR NEW HORIZONS PROJECT!
Having completed Phase I of our building project in 2013, we are now making every effort to embark upon the second and final phase of our project as soon as possible. We are at a critical juncture and have just received the formal estimate for the completion of Phase II. The core of this final phase is the complete rebuilding of the chapel that we have loved since the foundation of the Abbey in 1948. Unfortunately, it is not strong enough to weather a renovation. It is beset by structural deterioration, poor ventilation, mold infestation, inadequate insulation and poor lighting and it does not have enough space to accommodate our growing community. It must be entirely rebuilt.
Phase II of New Horizons will also see the transformation of an existing dormitory into an urgently needed infirmary, as well as much needed improvements to living spaces, workshops, offices and places where the community can meet with guests. All new construction will also offer a solution to our current energy issues. Our entire project is guided by sound principles of sustainability.
Visit our New Horizons page to read about the details and projections for Phase II of the project.
The model for the proposed new chapel is now on display in the Lower Monastery Chapel. You are welcome to visit the Chapel and take a closer look at the details and layout.
CLAY AND WATTLES THEATER—2016 BEST OF COMMUNITY THEATER!
The Clay & Wattles Theater Company who perform at the Abbey's The Gary-The Olivia Theater have been recognized as one of the best Community Theaters for 2016. Read Joanne Greco Rochman's article: Curtain Call: Best of 2016 Community Theater in the Arts & Leisure Section of the Han Network Media Group. Joanne offered this stellar critique in her review of the company's August performance of Zorba the Musical:
When an entire audience gasps out loud, you know a production has succeeded in transporting theatergoers directly into the world of the play. So it is with Clay & Wattles Theater Company, where 'Zorba' is stunning audiences at The Gary-The Olivia Theater in Bethlehem. Located just outside of Woodbury on the grounds of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, this theater’s passionate portrayal of two unlikely friends is based on the novel 'Zorba the Greek.'Read Joanne Greco Rochman's 5 star Review of Zorba.
JOIN US FOR THE BLESSING OF OUR CHRISTMAS TREE, DECEMBER 23rd
A special blessing ceremony for the Christmas tree takes place after Vespers on December 23rd. (Vespers is sung in our church Jesu Fili Mariae at 4:15 pm, earlier than usual, on the 23rd.) The ceremony lasts about twenty minutes and all are welcome. The tree is one specially chosen from the Abbey land and is richly ornamented with decorations and lights that highlight a theme that has infused the life of the Abbey and the Church during the year. Children especially love this blessing and are invited to sprinkle the tree with holy water. Please come!
See the Schedule for the Christmas Liturgy.
'O' ANTIPHONS BEGIN AT VESPERS DECEMBER 17th
Beginning on December 17th until the Vigil of Christmas, the Great ‘O’ Antiphons are chanted each evening at Vespers. These seven Antiphons are so called because each begins with the cry or petition ‘O’. The antiphons express the Church’s longing and expectation for the Messiah. Each addresses Christ under one of his archetypal, symbolic titles found in the Old Testament and concludes with a distinct petition for the coming of the Lord.
Read original translations of these ancient antiphons and see images of 'O' Antiphons created in stained glass and mosaics by Mother Praxedes. FIRST PROFESSION OF VOWS OF SISTER JOHN MARY, FEAST OF SAINT JOHN PAUL II, OCTOBER 22nd
On Saturday, October 22nd, the feast of Saint John Paul II, Sister John Mary Adshead made her First Profession of Vows to God through the Community of the Abbey of Regina Laudis. Monsignor Roderick Strange, Professor of Theology at St. Mary's University in London, was the main celebrant and homilist at the Profession Mass. Father Iain Highet, Pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Norfolk and St. Joseph’s Church in Canaan and Father Robert Tucker, Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Litchfield were concelebrants. Friends and colleagues, especially the Art Shop volunteers who work closely with Sister John Mary, participated in the First Profession Mass, followed by a celebration at the Jubilee Barn.
Read more about Sister John Mary and see a gallery of the Mass and celebration. ABBEY CHEESE FEATURED ON THE CBS SUNDAY MORNING SHOW NOVEMBER 20th
Every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving the CBS Sunday Morning Show broadcasts a show centered on food. This year our cheese was featured on a segment of their “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” program on Sunday, November 20th.
The CBS segment begins with the Monastic Community singing Gregorian Chant in our church Jesu Fili Mariae and then correspondent Mo Rocca visits our dairy where he interviewed an Abbey herdswoman and cheesemakers. Watch Sister Jeanne Paul feed the cows and introduce her beloved Milking Shorthorn Red Wing Lily who is certainly not camera shy. Sister Teresa Benedicta and Monastic Intern Regina show Mo the final steps of the Bethlehem cheesemaking process as they salt and wrap the cheese in cheesecloth. Mother Noella introduced Mo to the ripening process in the cheese cellar and through a microscope. They spoke about Benedictine Spirituality and how the work of each nun with an element of creation, opens to the comprehensive vision of St. Benedict. And of course Mo had his first taste of our Bethlehem cheese!
Mother Noella on the Science and Spirituality of Cheesemaking
In this web exclusive, Mother Noella, a Benedictine Nun of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, talks with correspondent Mo Rocca about enzymes—the catalyst in the traditional cheesemaking process—and how they relate to the spiritual. You can, she says, find the universe in a microbe.
From the CBS Sunday Morning Website, November 20, 2016Watch the video Mo Rocca Pays a Visit to the Abbey Dairy Farm.
Watch the Interview with Mo Rocca on the Science and Spirituality of Cheesemaking from the CBS Sunday Morning broadcast. MOTHER ABBESS' PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL FOR THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING, NOVEMBER 20, 2016
On the Feast of Christ the King the Church celebrated the closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. In Rome Pope Francis closed the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica. The Gospel for the feast was that of Luke 23, the exchange between Christ on the Cross and the Good Thief. We share Mother Abbess' Prayers of the Faithful for the Feast, which are a personal invitation to each of us to examine how we have fulfilled the call to Mercy and a reminder that during this time of a new cycle of our country’s leadership we are called to a kingdom "...that is yet to come."
May we pause on this last Sunday of the year to see how we have fulfilled or failed to fulfill the call to Mercy, and 'open our mouths' while there is still time to invite another into the paradise Christ has opened to all of us from the heart of the cross.
Let us pray to the Lord.
Read Mother Abbess Lucia's Prayers of the Faithful for the Feast of Christ the King.
2016 CHRISTMAS SALE AT THE ART SHOP OPENS ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25th
This year we offer exciting new products made by Abbey friends and colleagues as well as the Monastic Community. Last year we introduced our very popular soaps with Honey and Almond soap, made with our bees' honey and beeswax. This year we are also offering Creamy Cow's Milk soap, made with the creamiest of milk from our own dairy. Our line of perfumes has expanded and the array of Abbey beeswax candles, including pillars, tapers and figures, is breathtaking.
For the first time we offer herbal beauty products and herbal remedies from Bella Alpacas farm as well as gorgeous woven articles made from the alpaca wool. And the culture of Ghana is represented in products made from Moringa Oil as well as traditional jewelry. You will fall in love with the %100 cotton tea towels and aprons as well as mugs featuring the silk screen designs of artist Sydney Palmer C' de Baca.
Tooley Makes A Friend is a book for children of all ages with story by Ree Howell and illustrations by Mother Dolores Hart.
Tooley is a six year old boy who plans to be a detective during summer vacation. But his plans change when his parents announce that Tooley will be spending the summer on his elderly Aunt Nan’s farm while they go on a business trip to Japan. This is the very last thing Tooley wants to do! To cheer him up, Tooley’s Mom promises any gift he’d like when they return if only Tooley makes five new friends. Tooley, of course, presumes that this will be impossible because Aunt Nan has no friends. By story's end, how surprised Tooley is when he doesn’t make five new friends. He makes twenty-five!
Tooley Makes A Friend is available for sale at the Art Shop and on-line at Testa Books.
Join Mother Dolores and author Ree Howell at a Tooley Makes A Friend Book Signing at the Bethlehem Library from 1:00 to 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 19th. For more information email the publisher.
Mother Augusta and the Abbey's beef herd, comprised of the Belted Galloway cattle breed, are featured in the newly-released 3rd edition of The Belted Galloway Journal 2016. In this 4-page article, beautifully written by Kara Keeton, Mother Augusta recounts the history of Regina Laudis and the vision of our Foundress, Lady Abbess Benedict Duss, that our monastic life be rooted in the land. She recalls the work of Mother Stephen and Mother Ruth and those who established our farm, herds and flocks and how she herself took on responsibility for the continuity of their work. Mother Augusta continues to put into place environmental conservation practices at the beef herd and pastures. She speaks in detail of her work with our Monastic Interns, introducing them to the care of cattle and fields and land management practices that contribute to sustainability and wise stewardship of the land. The article is accompanied by stunning photographs taken by Mother Augusta.
'Saint Benedict set a standard that has made Benedictines environmentally conscious from the beginning of their history,' explained Sister Augusta. 'If we look back on the first monasteries, the monks were tied to the land for survival, so they tended the land as they tended their faith. Mother Benedict continued this tradition when she planted the first vegetable garden at the abbey...'
The cloistered Benedictine nuns at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, while small in number, have created a thriving sustainable farming operation with their strong foundation in stewardship and faith in God. Like the unique and self-reliant Belted Galloway herd that grazes on the pastures of the abbey land, the sisters at the abbey have been pointed in the right direction and have proven they can survive and thrive on the land.
From interview: Belted Galloway Cattle at the Abbey of Regina Laudis
Read and/or download the entire article Belted Galloway Cattle at the Abbey of Regina Laudis from The Belted Galloway Journal 2016-3.
The Belted Galloway Journal 2016 is a publication of the Belted Galloway Society, Inc. The article is made available through the generous permission of Jon Bednarski, Content Coordinator of The Belted Galloway Journal.
Read more and see galleries of the Abbey's beef herd. 50th JUBILEE OF VOWS OF MOTHER DOLORES HART
2016 marks the Golden Jubilee Year of Mother Dolores Hart who celebrates 50 years of Vowed life at the Abbey of Regina Laudis. On Saturday, September 17th, family, friends and colleagues joined the monastic community in celebration. Father Robert Tucker, Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Litchfield was the main celebrant at Mass and Father Iain Highet, Pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Norfolk and St. Joseph’s Church in Canaan, the homilist.
You always know when a person knows. And that’s why each one of you is here today because I have known you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making the presence of God's people so clear to us in the Community. Because what we must do, all of us together, is to stand erect in this world that has forgotten what real love is about. And if we can stand together in that mystery, we can do more to help our people than anything in the world, because our union is what they want, what the world does want, and what they fear cannot happen. So thank you for being the absolute presence of the mystery and I hope you have a great day!
Mother Dolores addressing all at her Jubilee Mass
Read more about Mother Dolores Hart's Jubilee and see the Galleries of the Celebration. WATCH THE ABBEY SKY BY MOONLIGHT ON A FALL NIGHT!
Abbey friend Paul Gaudiosi chose a Fall night when the moon was almost full to make this time lapse video of the Lower Monastery building. From 9:00 pm to 6:00 images were shot for 5 seconds at 20 second intervals for a total of 1588 pictures!
Enjoy the video.
FARMSTEAD FESTIVAL/THEATER FUNDRAISER—PERCY THOMSON MEADOWS FARM, OCTOBER 1st
On Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 11 am to 4 pm Percy Thomson Meadows Farm in Bethlehem will host a Farmstead Festival. Several featured guests will call attention to local farms, small batch producers of artisanal foods and to the important contribution that they make to our American culture. 800 feet above sea level, Percy Thomson Meadows Farm offers glorious views of the CT fall foliage and countryside. Relax, kick back and connect to the source at the Farmstead Festival!
Special Guests at the Farmstead Festival include Executive Chef Isaac Olivo of Mayflower Grace Inn & Spa in Washington, CT, certified Sommelier Sally Camm of Artisan Made America and Sister Noella Marcellino in a talk on the influence of "terroir" on cheese and wine making, Sam Kratzer of Lake Wine & Spirits in Southbury will present a selection of craft beers and Kenny Assard from Percy Thomson Meadows Farm will roast a heritage breed Berkshire pig. There will be 25 artisan food and craft vendors presenting farmstead cheeses, chocolates, honey, maple syrup, breads and baked goods, craft beers and wines.
Alika Hope and her band, the Ray of Hope Project, will provide live entertainment throughout the day.
* A portion of the festival proceeds will go to Clay & Wattles Theater Company, a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit performing arts and educational organization, which performs at the Abbey's The Gary-The Olivia Theater.
Visit our theater page for details and ticket information. MEET TIGER LILY, BORN SEPTEMBER 11, 2016!
On September 11th a new calf was born at the Abbey Dairy. Red Wing Lily, who came from Don Birden's well known "Lily" line of Milking Shorthorns, gave birth to a beautiful heifer whom we named Tiger Lily. As registered Milking Shorthorns, each calf of Red Wing Lily's line is named for a Lily, so Tiger Lily joins her sisters, Autumn Lily and Fire Lily in our dairy herd. Our milking Shorthorns' deep red coats are especially beautiful in the autumn light. Read more about the Abbey Dairy. NOVITIATE FEAST DAY—BIRTHDAY OF OUR LADY, September 8, 2016
Our novices and postulants celebrate their feast day on Our Lady's Birthday, September 8th. During the Divine Office and Mass as they took on the special roles of being cantors, acolytes and on Schola, our Choir was filled with a new sound of unique pure voices singing in unison.
The Novitiate also highlighted Mother Dolores Hart during her jubilee year, celebrating her role as Dean of Education.
Read Mother Abbess' Prayers of the Faithful and learn more about the celebration. COMMEMORATION OF THE LIBERATION OF THE ABBEY OF JOUARRE, August 27, 2016
It is our constant work to give ourselves to the continuity of this act of liberation, and our Foundress’ decisive response to it. Our world, our country continues to be enmeshed in war and violence with the now ever present threat of terrorism. We can neither forget the cost of liberation, nor ever cease working for the liberation and personal dignity and freedom of each other person.
Mother Subprioress, August 27, 2016
On August 27th under the gaze and protection of St. Michael the Archangel, the community and guests gathered in St. Pius hay field for our annual commemoration of the Liberation of the Abbey of Notre Dame de Jouarre. Regina Laudis was conceived in the heart of our Foundress, Lady Abbess Benedict Duss when this ancient French abbey was liberated by the American Third Army under the leadership of General George S. Patton Jr. during World War II. As is our custom on August 27th, we welcome veterans, widows, parents and families of deceased veterans; active service members and friends to our flag-raising ceremony.
We were honored with the presence for the first time of WWII veterans Jean and Ed Tierney who served in the Air Force Air Corps. And Mother Abbess Lucia shared a moving message sent that morning from Abbesse Christophe of Jouarre.
Read more about our celebration and see a photo gallery of our 2016 Commemoration of the Liberation of Jouarre. THE FANTASTICKS—OPENING GALA NIGHT TRIBUTE TO MOTHER DOLORES HART CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF VOWS
Our final production for the 2016 season will be the Harvey Schmidt, Tom Jones musical The Fantasticks the world’s longest-running musical (42 years and 17,162 performances at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in NYC) and the recipient of the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theater.
The Opening Night Gala will include a tribute to Mother Dolores Hart on the occasion of her 50th Jubilee Year of Vows. Come to the performance and celebrate this joyous occasion with Mother Dolores at the theater she founded with her dear colleagues and friends from Hollywood. Enjoy local wines and artisanal cheeses at intermission.
Music by Harvey Schmidt
Book and Lyrics by Tom Jones
Performances will run from September 17th—25th with two performances on Saturday, September 24th. Tickets are available—along with Senior and Group discounts at The Gary The Olivia Theater web site.
See photographs of the lead performers in the Fantasticks.
Read article ‘The Fantasticks,’ comes to The Gary The Olivia Theater in the Litchfield County Times.
★★★★★! THE FANTASTICKS IS SIMPY FANTASTIC!
Review by Joanne Greco Rochman, September 21, 2016
Every opening night at a theater is special, but the opening night of 'The Fantasticks' at The Gary-The Olivia Theater at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem was rather extraordinary. It coincided with the 50th Jubilee Celebration of Mother Dolores Hart and you couldn’t find an empty seat in the house. On every beam of the outdoor theater posters of the young actress Dolores Hart, including one of her with Elvis Presley posing cheek to cheek caught delighted theatergoers well aware of the fact that the young star gave it all up to become a nun at the Abbey where she has been for 50 years.Read full 5 star review. RAVE REVIEWS FOR ZORBA THE MUSICAL, BASED ON THE NOVEL BY NIKOS KAZANZAKIS!
"Zorba presentation strikingly powerful" (5 out of 5 stars)
Review by JOANNE GRECO ROCHMAN
When an entire audience gasps out loud, you know a production has succeeded in transporting theatergoers directly into the world of the play. So it is with Clay & Wattles Theater Company, where 'Zorba' is stunning audiences at The Gary-The Olivia Theater in Bethlehem.
Read the full review.
ACT ONE RECEIVED RAVE REVIEWS!
Joanne Greco Rochman in her review of June 16th sums up the successful run of Act One which opened the 2016 summer season of the Clay & Wattles Theater Company. Act One is based on the critically acclaimed play by James Lapine, Act One, based on the autobiography of the same name by American theater icon, Moss Hart. Hart’s autobiography is a love letter to the theater and the play offers a funny, rich and moving behind the scenes look at theater life on Broadway during the 1920’s and 30’s. Act One is also a “Rags To Riches” story about the son of a poor emigrant family in the Bronx and his rise to become one of the most successful playwrights (You Can’t Take It With You, Once In A Life Time) and directors of his time.
'Act One' Another Hit in Bethlehem—5 Stars!—Review by Joanne Greco Rochman, June 16, 2016.
READING BY MOTHER DOLORES HART
To whet your appetite for the play, Mother Dolores Hart reads an excerpt from Moss Hart's autobiography about his formidable Aunt Kate who had such an influence on his life and career. Mother's reading was recorded on our theater's stage. Our scenery designers and set builders have worked their magic again. The set for Act One has two floors! Go to Moss Hart Recording by Mother Dolores Hart. A NEW WEB PAGE—MOTHER ABBESS' PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL FOR SOLEMN FEAST DAYS
When we celebrate Solemnities, feast days which commemorate the most important mysteries of our Faith or of the Benedictine Order, Mother Abbess writes and offers the Prayer of the Faithful at Mass. It is a gift to us and those attending our Mass to hear the message of the Holy Spirt spoken through Mother Abbess Lucia. In response to the celebrant's homily and integrating the Scripture readings for the Mass, she eloquently expresses the mystery of the day as it relates to the events of our monastic life and world. We share her prayers with you who cannot be with us for your contemplation.
Read Mother Abbess Lucia's Prayers of the Faithful.
FOURTH ANNUAL TAG/BARN/BAKE SALE TO BENEFIT NEW HORIZONS, SATURDAY, JUNE 4th & MONDAY JUNE 6th
Don's miss the Slideshow of our Tag/Barn/Bake Sale—Preparations and Happy Customers on the Day of the Sale!
Hours of hard work by friends, volunteers, interns and the community made the tag sale a great success. Besides treasures of all sorts, our guests brought home delicious freshly-baked desserts and Abbey bread. Many shoppers stayed for lunch and enjoyed a grilled hot dog on the Jubilee Barn porch.
We are now preparing to launch Phase II of our New Horizons Renovation Project which will complete the transformation of the existing factory building complex that provides the main living quarters for the monastic community. The core of this final phase centers around the reconstruction of our beloved chapel, which has offered guests a sacred space for prayer and spiritual peace for 70 years. It is deteriorating, and not strong or sound enough to weather a renovation. It must be completely rebuilt. Phase II will also see the transformation of an existing dormitory into an urgently needed infirmary, improvements to living spaces for the nuns, workshops, offices, and places where the community can meet with guests. Our entire project is founded on sound principles of sustainability.
To prepare for this major renovation, attics, storage rooms and closets have been emptied and the treasures hidden in them for years have been sorted. As a result, we have many one-of–a kind old and new items for sale which you may never find elsewhere!
These treasures include:
Please help us find new homes for these items by attending our spectacular sale. All proceeds from the sale will go toward the New Horizons Renovation Project.
Bake Sale! Again this year freshly baked Sweet Breads, Cupcakes, Pies, Cakes, and Cookies will be available for sale to take home or to enjoy with a cup of coffee at the sale.
New this year! On Saturday only: grilled hot dogs will be offered for sale for your lunch on the porch of the Jubilee Barn.
Date and Times: Saturday, June 4th, 10 am-6 pm and Monday, June 6th, 10 am-4 pm (NOT Sunday)
Rain or Shine
Time: Location: The Jubilee Barn, 249 Flanders Road, Bethlehem, CT 06751
Directions FARM-ART FESTIVAL, INSPIRED BY NATURE, SATURDAY MAY 28, 2016, 11 am–5 pm
The Farm-Art Festival Inspired By Nature is a celebration of local artists, small farms, artisan food producers and the Clay & Wattles Theater Company—all inspired by nature and contributing to our area’s vibrant cultural life.
Come and speak to local artists including Suzan Scott, Melody Asbury and Mark Chabot who will be displaying their work in several different media—and all art work will be for sale.
They will be joined by local and regional food artisans including Percy Thomson Meadows Farm, Wave Hill Breads, Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Artisan Made America, Two Roads Brewing, Savor Cookies, Winding Drive Jams, Yumelish, Executive Chef Isaac Olivo from Mayflower Grace Inn and others presenting cheeses, jams and condiments, baked goods, chocolates, meats, produce, honey, wine and beer. Each vendor will feature a food item on the tasting menu for festival goers to sample—all food items at the festival will be for sale.
Special Feature: Mother Dolores Hart will be performing a dramatic reading with members of the Clay & Wattles Theater Company. Mother Noella Marcellino, aka the Cheese Nun, will participate in a Q & A around Michael Pollan’s recently released Netflix documentary entitled Cooked which features the work of the Abbey dairy and Mother Noella's research in the “Earth” segment of the documentary.
Abbey sheep will be in the pasture near the theater and our team of oxen, Eli and Sam, trained and driven by Brother David, will come to the festival.
Admission allows you to view cutting edge art works (available for purchase) and sample from the tasting menu. Purchase artisan made foods and wines and enjoy performances by the Clay & Wattles Theater Company. A portion of the festival proceeds will go to support the Clay & Wattles Theater Company, a 501 (c) (3) educational and performing arts nonprofit organization.
Date: Saturday, May 28th, Rain or Shine
Time: 11 am-5 pm
Location: The Gary The Olivia Theater 249 Flanders Road, Bethlehem, CT 06751
Admission is $12 online until May 27th and $15 at the gate. (Children 12 and under are free).
Visit the Clay & Wattles Theater Company website for more information about the festival and the 2016 theater season. FRESH ABBEY BREAD FOR SALE AT THE MONASTIC ART SHOP MAY 2016
We are pleased to announce that for a short time Abbey bread is available for sale in the Art Shop. Mother Elizabeth made Ciabatta, the rustic Italian bread with a slightly rounded rectangular shape. The fresh hearty bread is a wonderful addition to your Mother's Day celebrations, dinners or picnics, and is great for sandwiches. Mother Elizabeth suggests:
Dunk it in Olive Oil, or Spaghetti Sauce, or...Serve it with Cheese!
When you stop in at the Shop for bread check out our perfumes made with essential oils, our herbal products and sachets. All of these make wonderful gifts for the mothers in your lives.
Art Shop hours and more information.
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER GALLERIES AND MOTHER ABBESS' PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL 2016
We were plunged into the mystery of Holy Week this year with the terrorist attack and tragic events in Brussels on Tuesday of Holy Week, March 22nd. As is our custom, on Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week the Gospels of the Passion were reenacted in our sanctuary. This year we were again blessed with the presence of Father Jack Siberski S.J. as our main celebrant and homilist during the Triduum. On Holy Thursday, taking our keynote from our Holy Father Pope Francis, for the first time we welcomed Lay Women into the sanctuary to represent "Apostles" in the ceremony of the Washing of the Feet. At the Easter Vigil the Exsultet was sung beautifully by Oblate Choir member David Stein who was surrounded by other choir members illuminating his book with candles. Our Monastic interns and friends brought new life to the Liturgy of the Word reading the seven Old Testament readings, recounting Salvation History. On Easter morning the model for our projected Monastery Chapel was in the sanctuary of our church as a sign of hope and the miracles that await us.
Read more and Mother Abbess's Prayers of the Faithful and see a gallery of our celebration of the Triduum. May 2016—ABBEY GRASSFED REGISTERED BELTED GALLOWAY BULL FOR SALE
From our grassfed Belted Galloway beef herd, we have an upcoming 2 year old bull for sale, Regina Laudis Geno. Geno is friendly and loves being brushed. He is a Registered Belted Galloway bull, #37941-B. His sire is Holbrook Hill Siddhartha and his mother is Regina Laudis Monica.
Belted Galloway Bull: Regina Laudis Geno
Click to enlarge a photo and see detailed information.
Please contact Mother Augusta by phone: 203-266-7803 with questions.
Read more about the Abbey Beef Herd. NETFLIX PREMIERE OF COOKED DIRECTED BY ALEX GIBNEY IN COLLABORATION WITH MICHAEL POLLAN
Explored through the lenses of the four natural elements—fire, water, air and earth—COOKED is an enlightening and compelling look at the evolution of what food means to us through the history of food preparation and its universal ability to connect us. Highlighting our primal human need to cook, the series urges a return to the kitchen to reclaim our lost traditions and to forge a deeper, more meaningful connection to the ingredients and cooking techniques that we use to nourish ourselves.
Synopsis of the documentary film Cooked from Michael Pollan's Website
On February 19, 2016, Netflix began streaming an original 4-part documentary series based on journalist and author Michael Pollan's book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. Regina Laudis, in particular the Abbey Dairy, is featured in episode #4: Earth—Fermentation's Cold Fire.
Watch the Official Trailer for Cooked and read more.
VIDEO SERIES BY MOTHER DOLORES HART: REMEMBERING RICHARD DENEUT, MARCH 2016
On January 26, 2016, Richard DeNeut, beloved friend of Mother Dolores Hart and the Regina Laudis Community passed away in Los Angeles. For 27 years Dick was the West Coast bureau chief for Globe Photos which covered Hollywood for national and international publications. He compiled and edited Inside Hollywood: 60 Years of Globe Photos. A brilliant writer, Dick was co-author with Mother Dolores of actress Patricia Neal's autobiography As I Am and Mother Dolores' own acclaimed autobiography The Ear of the Heart: An Actress' Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows which was released in 2013.
Read more about Dick DeNeut.
Watch PART I of this video series: Mother Dolores reading the PREFACE to her autobiography The Ear of the Heart: An Actress' Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows. It is her personal account of the history of her relationship to Dick DeNeut.
Watch the PART II of this video series: Mother Dolores reading the INTRODUCTION to her autobiography The Ear of the Heart: An Actress' Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows. It is Dick's DeNeut's personal account of meeting Mother Dolores for the first time and the history of their relationship and life-long collaboration. GALLERIES OF MOTHER ABBESS LUCIA'S ABBATIAL BLESSEING ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO SEE, FEBRUARY 10, 2016
February 1, 2016 was the 1st anniversary of Mother Abbess Lucia's election as the 3rd Abbess of Regina Laudis. As we celebrated the Feast of St. Scholastica this year (moved to February 11th because of Ash Wednesday on the 10th) we were reminded that Mother Abbess chose the motto for her Coat of Arms from the Office of St. Scholastica. 'Plus potuit quia plus amavit' (She was able to do more because she loved more.) On this occasion we share Mother Abbess' Prayers of the Faithful for the Feast as well as the galleries of her Abbatial Blessing.
Read Prayers of the Faithful and see Galleries.
Laetare Sunday—see 2nd installment of photographs of the celebration at the Jubilee Barn.
MARCH 2016—NOW FEATURED IN THE MONASTIC ART SHOP: YARN FROM ABBEY WOOL.
The Monastic Art Shop has a new supply of yarn from the wool of the Abbey's registered Shetland sheep. The yarn is custom spun for us into two ply sport weight at approximately 1200 yards per pound. The natural white yarn comes from the wool of our sheep Lac and Celeste and the pewter grey is spun from the fleeces of Illa Die and her daughter Illa Nocte. These soft, semi-worsted yarns are suitable for knitting, crochet and weaving projects such as socks, hats, scarves and sweaters. Projects made from this yarn will require handwashing.
Click to enlarge a photo.
Read more about the Monastic Art Shop. FINAL PROFESSION OF MOTHER ESTHER AGEE, FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DECEMBER 8, 2015
On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2015, Mother Esther Agee made her Final Profession of Vows to God through the Community of Regina Laudis. This feast day of Our Lady was chosen by Our Holy Father Pope Francis to be the opening of the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. To mark the beginning of the Jubilee year, the motto of which is, “Merciful like the Father,” Pope Francis opened the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica. Father Peter Kucer was the main celebrant and homilist at the Mass offered in the Abbey Church Jesu Fili Mariae. Father Iain Highet, Father Robert Tucker and Father Douglas Mosey were concelebrants. Members of Mother Esther's family, friends and her professional colleagues participated in the Mass and Vows ceremony, as well as the celebration in the Jubilee Barn.
Read more and see the gallery of Mother Esther's Final Profession. O HOLY NIGHT—WATCH SHOOTING STARS IN THE ABBEY SKY!
Watch a time lapse video of the night sky with shooting stars over our Church Jesu Fili Mariae recorded by Abbey friend Paul Gaudiosi. May it remind you of the ancient text "Dum medium silentium..." sung for centuries within the Octave of Christmas and bring back the wonder of this Holy Night.
BECAUSE OF YOU WE REACHED OUR MATCHING GIFT GOAL ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, NOVEMBER 29th
On the First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2015, Mother Abbess Lucia blessed our Advent Wreath in the monastic refectory and asked God's blessing upon us. The Blessing extended to each of you who helped us reach our matching gift deadline on this Sunday, the beginning of the new liturgical year. Because of your donations we were able to match the $200,000 offered to us by friends in August 2015. Through your generosity we can take the steps towards beginning Phase II of the New Horizons project which we hope to do in 2016. Thank you!
Read the Blessing for the Advent Wreath.
OPENING OF ART SHOP CHRISTMAS SALE, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27th
This year our Christmas Sale features new crafts, beauty products, cheese and breads produced at the Abbey. Two new products made using honey from our abbey bees—beeswax lip balm and soaps—will be featured. For the first time we are offering woodwork crafted in our Carpentry Shop, such as honey dippers, pens made with olive wood from the Holy Land and hand painted wooden dolls.
Our specialty items sold throughout the year— sheepskins, woven scarves, ironwork, candles, jams and jellies, hot mustard, infused vinegars, herbal products, lotions, mists and perfumes—make wonderful gifts.
Read more and see a gallery of crafts and artisans.
VISIT OF ABBESSE CHRISTOPHE OF THE ABBEY OF NOTRE DE JOUARRE OCTOBER 30th-NOVEMBER 1st
For the first time in our history the Abbess of the Benedictine Abbey of Notre Dame de Jouarre visited Regina Laudis. The founding of Regina Laudis is intimately connected to this ancient Merovingian Abbey, founded in the 7th century by St. Telchilde. Our foundress and first abbess, Lady Abbess Benedict Duss, an American who had spent most of her life in France, entered Jouarre in 1936 and on the day the Abbey was liberated by the American 3rd Army during World War II had the inspiration to found a Benedictine monastery in the United States.
Mère Christophe (Claire) Brondy was elected abbess at Jouarre on August 6, 2014 and received her Abbatial Blessing on October 4, 2014. This Fall Abbesse Christophe participated in a course at the Institut de Formation Humaine Intégrale (the Institut of Integrated Human Formation) in Montreal. As the two-month course was nearing completion, Abbess Christophe contacted Mother Abbess Lucia to inform her that she was in North America. The choreography of the Spirit made it possible for Abbess Christophe to fly to Connecticut and spend two intense joyful days with our community, the second of which was the Feast of All Saints.
Read more and see a gallery of Abbesse Christophe's visit.
25th JUBILEE CELEBRATION OF MOTHER SIMONETTA AND MOTHER ANASTASIA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015
2015 marks the Silver Jubilee Year of Mother Simonetta Morfesi and Mother Anastasia Morgan who celebrate 25 years of Vowed life at the Abbey of Regina Laudis. On Saturday, September 12th, family, friends and community members joined the monastic community in celebration. Father Iain Highet was the main celebrant and homilist at the Mass offered in the Abbey Church of Jesu Fili Mariae.
The Mass was followed by a joyful celebration at the Jubilee Barn. The day was sunny and cool. Guests mingled and ate inside the decorated barn, on the porch, or at tables on the grass. The parents of Mother Anastasia's blacksmithing students outdid themselves to make the meal and party memorable. Music was provided by the Litchfield County bluegrass band Switch Factory. Many enjoyed the display of each Jubilarian's genealogy, monastic journey and handiwork. It was a time for old friends to meet again and celebrate.
Read more and see galleries of the celebration. NEW READINGS IN THE VIDEO SERIES ON ST. BENEDICT BY MOTHER DOLORES HART—October 31st, 2015
On July 11th the Church celebrated the Feast of the Birth of St. Benedict, Founder of the Benedictine Order and Co-Patron of Europe with Saints Cyril and Methodius. St. Benedict was born around the year 480 A.D. Known as the "Father of Western Monasticism", he gave civilization his Holy Rule for Monks which has been followed by Benedictine, Trappist and Cistercian Communities and Laity for centuries. What we do know about the life of St. Benedict comes to us in the Second Book of the Dialogues of Pope St. Gregory the Great, written about 50 years after the death of St. Benedict. One of the readings for the Office of Matins for the Feast was taken from the Apostolic Letter of Pope Paul VI entitled St. Benedict of Nursia, Co-Patron of Europe. Each year as we sing the Antiphons for the Feast, taken from the Dialogues and recounting the life and miracles of St. Benedict, we are filled with gratitude to share in the inheritance of the Saint. We feel inspired to share that inheritance with you through a series of readings by Mother Dolores of texts about St. Benedict, beginning with the Letter of Pope Paul VI, followed by chapters from the Second Book of the Dialogues of Pope St. Gregory the Great.
Go to the Index of Readings. FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, NOVEMBER 29th, IS THE DEADLINE FOR OUR MATCHING GIFT!
We have just received an immensely generous offer of a matching gift of up to $200,000 from friends who were inspired to support us because, in their words:
The world needs the Abbey of Regina Laudis now more than ever, as evidenced by its growth in these challenging times. We all benefit from having this community in our midst. The future of Regina Laudis is assured through the New Horizons project, and our desire to support this is at the heart of our gift.
With your donations we hope to be able to match this gift by the First Sunday of Advent, November 29th, 2015.
Read details about the projections for Phase II, the final phase of the project.
To make a donation: By mail: Abbey of Regina Laudis, 273 Flanders Road, Bethlehem, CT 06751 (Attention: New Horizons)
Via our web site: New Horizons,
or contact Mother Angèle Arbib, OSB at 203-266 -5132.
All contributions to the Abbey of Regina Laudis are tax deductible as permitted by law.
FARMSTEAD FESTIVAL/THEATER FUNDRAISER AT PERCY THOMSON MEADOWS FARM, Saturday, October 17, 2015
CONNECT TO THE SOURCE is the theme of this unique farmstead festival organized by Artisan Made Northeast (specialty food distribution and online retail since 2003) and Percy Thomson Meadows Farm (The Assard family at Percy Thomson has been farming in the Bethlehem area for over 100 years). The festival will feature food and wine pairings, an educational pig roast presented by Kenny Assard of Percy Thomson, entertainment and much more!Organized by Artisan Made Northeast (specialty food distribution and online retail since 2003) and Percy Thomson Meadows Farm (The Assard family at Percy Thomson has been farming in the Bethlehem area for over 100 years) the festival will feature food and wine pairings, an educational pig roast presented by Kenny Assard of Percy Thomson, entertainment and much more!
PERCY THOMSON MEADOWS FARM
78 Thompson Rd.
Bethlehem CT 06751
Visit our theater page for more information.
A YEAR AT REGINA LAUDIS, EXHIBIT IN ART SHOP GALLERY, SEPTEMBER 2015
On September 5, 2015, a new exhibit opened in our Monastic Art Shop Gallery. The show presents the work of the Abbey's current Artist in Residence, Laura Mogollon-Lee. The exhibit includes Laura's watercolors, drawings and graphic works, featuring stunning monotypes that have been inspired by her work with the Abbey's sheep.
Visit our Monastic Art Shop page to learn more about Laura and her body of work.
Laura works at the Art Shop on Sunday mornings from 10:00 to 12:00. You are welcome to come to visit and speak with her about the exhibit and her art work.
COMMEMORATION OF THE LIBERATION OF THE ABBEY OF JOUARRE, August 27, 2015
Every year on August 27th we have a flag-raising ceremony to commemorate the Liberation of the French Abbey of Notre Dame de Jouarre during World War II by the American Third Army under the leadership of General George S. Patton Jr. On this day Regina Laudis was conceived in the heart of our Foundress, Lady Abbess Benedict Duss. This year August 27th was a glorious bright sunny day and again we welcomed Veterans; widows, parents and families of deceased Veterans; active service members and friends. They participated in the raising of the American and Vatican flags, the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner and the Salve Regina.
We were honored this year by the presence of two World War II Veterans, one of whom served in the 503rd Military Police Battalion, Company B under General Patton and another who served in Germany and France in the 15th-19th Hassars Regiment of the British Royal Army and as a 2nd Lieutenant and Commander of a Cromwell Tank Squadron.
Our novice Sister Gregory gave a moving speech entitled The Liberation of Jouarre and the Power of Mercy. Read her speech and more about our celebration and see a photo gallery of our 2015 Commemoration of the Liberation of Jouarre. "RAGS TO RICHES"—A SPECIAL CONCERT OF MUSIC, THEATER AND DANCE TO BENEFIT THE GARY-THE OLIVIA THEATER
Saturday, September 19th from 3-6 pm
A Concert/Fundraiser for The Gary-The Olivia Theater entitled Rags To Riches will feature special guest artists performing dramatic readings, songs, and dances. Don't miss Mother Dolores Hart reading from Nikos Kazanzakis' Zorba The Greek, Hannah Dubner performing from Funny Girl, Korie Blossey, Maurio Hines and Katie Keough performing from Porgy & Bess, Meghan Corcoran from My Fair Lady, Thomas Camm from Zorba and Man of La Mancha, Nico Apicella from Huck Finn, and more with a full cast finale guaranteed to lift the spirits.
Dan Ringuette, Music Director
Sally Camm, Director/Choreographer.
After the performance concert goers will enjoy local cheeses from the Northeast, wines and artisan chocolates by Philippe Niez of The Mayflower/Grace Inn & Spa and a "meet and greet" with the performers.
Visit our theater page for more details. NEW EXHIBIT: FLOWERS FROM THE HAUTE-SAVOIE, MONOTYPES BY YVES BERGER, OPENS IN THE ART SHOP GALLERY
On the Feast of St. Benedict, July 11, 2015, a new exhibit opened in our Monastic Art Shop Gallery. Mother Abbess Lucia and the community are honored to present the work of artist Yves Berger who lives and works in a remote Alpine village in the Haute-Savoie region of France. Trained at the Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Geneve (1995-2001), Yves was awarded the Prix Stravinsky for painting. He has travelled widely, exhibited in numerous European cities and has work in private collections worldwide.
Visit our Monastic Art Shop page to learn more about the artist and for hours and directions.
MAN OF LA MANCHA AT THE GARY-THE OLIVIA THEATER IN AUGUST
Our musical for the 2015 season is the Tony Award winning Man of La Mancha which will run from August 1st through the 16th. Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm. The musical tells the story of the “mad” knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. Songs such as "All the Same", "Dulcinea", "I’m Only Thinking of Him", "The Impossible Dream", "I Really Like Him" and "Little Bird" will stay with you long after the curtain closes. The original 1965 Broadway production ran for 2,328 performances and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Read the July 30th article Classic Dreamer Don Quixote Brought to Life at the Abbey in Bethlehem in the Litchfield County Times.
Visit our theater page for more details.
EXTENDED HOURS AT THE MONASTIC ART SHOP FOR SUNDAY MATINEE THEATERGOERS
Since many friends and guests will be attending the Sunday matinee performances of Man of La Mancha at the Abbey's The Gary-The Olivia Theater, we are extending the Monastic Art Shop hours. The Art Shop will be opened uninterrupted from 10:00 am—6:00 pm on Sundays, August 2nd, 9th and 16th. As a special treat this year freshly-baked Abbey bread will be available for sale. Come before the 2:30 theater performance to browse and purchase farmstead products, woven and knitted goods, perfumes, objects made in the Blacksmith Shop, and greeting cards highlighting the artwork of some of the Abbey nuns and monastic artists. Or come after the performance to pick up bread for supper and see the new items available in the shop.
Sunday, August 2nd, 9th and 16th
Extended Hours: Art Shop open uninterrupted 10:00 am—6:00 pm.
TRANSITUS OF MOTHER MONICA NADZAM—JUNE 18, 2015
Reverend Mother Monica (née Eleanor Nadorlik) Nadzam, 94, died at the Abbey on June 18, 2015, after a long illness. She entered Regina Laudis as a widow in 1983, ten years after the death of her beloved husband George Nadzam. George and Eleanor had two children, Kevin and Cindy. Eleanor, known as "Lee" to her family and friends, loved welcoming people to her home and was famous for her spotless house and cooking, especially baking. Her gift for hospitality would later permeate her work and mission during her monastic life.
Calling hours will be at the Church Jesu Fili Mariae at 15 Robert Leather Road in Bethlehem on Friday, June 19th from 7:30—9:00 pm and on Saturday, June 20th beginning at 8:00 am followed by the Requiem Mass at 9:00 am and burial in the Abbey cemetery.
Read Mother Monica's biography. TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL OPENED THE SUMMER SEASON AT THE GARY-THE OLIVIA THEATER
The 2015 Season of the Clay & Wattles Theater Company at the Abbey began with the masterpiece The Trip To Bountiful. This lyrical and moving drama was written by Oscar Winner (To Kill A Mockingbird) Horton Foote.
From Joanne Rochman's Rave Review: 'Make the Trip to Bountiful!'
Director Sally Camm embraces the integrity of both place and play and allows the Clay & Wattles Theater Company to home in on the very essence of this poignant story.
Sarah Robards plays Carrie Watts, the protagonist of the play. Her performance is so unpretentious, so natural and warm that you forget she is acting.
Overall, this is a wonderful play about going back to one’s roots. It’s about learning to compromise in important relationships, and mostly it’s about respect for one another and honoring one’s personal freedom.
Read Joanne Greco Rochman's full review.
ABBEY CHURCH JESU FILI MARIAE WILL BE OPEN FOR SATURDAY AM MASS JUNE 27TH
The much-needed repairs have been completed at the Abbey's church Jesu Fili Mariae on Robert Leather Road. Mass will be celebrated in the Church again beginning Saturday, June 27th at the normal time, 8 am. Mass and Vespers from now on will be celebrated in our beautiful Church. All are welcome.
On May 10, 2015, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, the Right Reverend Mother Lucia Kuppens, O.S.B. received the Monastic Rite of Blessing from the hands of His Excellency the Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, S.T.D., Archbishop of Hartford. It was a joyful and Grace-filled celebration with abbots and priests concelebrating the Mass, and religious, family members and friends of Regina Laudis participating.
Read Mother Abbess Lucia's Biography and see the insignia of her Blessing.
Watch a 9 minute broadcast on Crossroads Magazine about Regina Laudis with excerpts from Mother Abbess' Abbatial Blessing, interviews with community members and footage of work on the land. The program was produced by the Hartford Archdiocesan Office of Radio and Television as part of the the Church's celebration of the Year of Consecration. (Video may take a while to load.)
Read an excellent article New Abbess at Regina Laudis had Background in Education by John Fitts published in The Register Citizen May 20, 2015.
OUR PRIORESS AND SUBPRIORESS
On February 6, 2015 our newly elected Mother Abbess appointed Reverend Mother Olivia-Frances Arnold as Prioress and Reverend Mother Margaret Georgina Patton as Subprioress.
Read the Biography of:
Mother Prioress Olivia-Frances
Mother Subprioress Margaret Georgina
Galleries of the Blessing and celebration and making of Abbatial insignia will be posted in the near future.
SATURDAY MAY 30, 2015—FARMSTEAD FESTIVAL FUNDRAISER FOR ABBEY THEATER
A window into the world of artisan made foods!11:00 am—4:00 pm Rain or Shine
Come to the Abbey's The Gary The Olivia Theater , 249 Flanders Road, on Saturday, May 30th from 11 am to 4 pm for a Farmstead Festival that will feature some of the top small farms and artisan food producers in the Northeast US.
Entertainment will be provided by the Clay & Wattles Theater Company and Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B. will read from her much acclaimed autobiography “The Ear of the Heart”. Mother Dolores will be happy to sign any copies of the book that are purchased on that day. Read more about the artisan food producers and artists participating in the event. HOLY WEEK AND EASTER 2015
Our Holy Week this year began with powerful practical commitments by the Monastic Community and Lay Oblate Communities in relationship. On Palm Sunday the Oblate Choir sang the Passion of Our Lord According to St. Mark with soloists singing the parts of Christus and the Chronista (Narrator). To celebrate the days of the Triduum we were blessed by the presence of Father Jack Siberski S.J. as our main celebrant and homilist. During the Office of Tenebrae on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday we heard the beauty of new voices in our choir as younger members sang solos: Lamentations of Jeremiah and Lessons of Tenebrae for the first time.
At the Easter Vigil our Christmas tree from last year was the base of the Easter Fire and its branches could be seen through the flames and sparks. Abbey friend Michael Briney sang the Exultet surrounded by members of the Oblate Choir. His gorgeous rendering of the ancient text and the seven Old Testament readings, each one proclaimed uniquely by the members of the Auscultatores, brought the wonder of this "Blessed Night" to life.
Read more and see the gallery of Holy Week and Easter 2015.
Watch a live recording of Mother Dolores Hart reading the Epistle to the Romans at the Easter Vigil.
ELECTION OF THE 3RD ABBESS OF REGINA LAUDIS ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST, 2015
It is with great joy that Mother Abbess David Serna, Abbess Emerita, announces the election of Reverend Mother Lucia Kuppens as the 3rd Abbess of the Abbey of Regina Laudis. The Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, S.T.D., Archbishop of Hartford, celebrated Mass and presided over the election which took place in the Abbey Church Jesu Fili Mariae. The Archbishop was accompanied by his secretary Rev. John L. Lavorgna and Sister Mariette J. Moan, A.S.C.J., the Vicar of the Office for Religious.
Prayer of the Faithful offered by Mother Abbess David, Abbess Emerita, at Mass preceding the Abbatial Election
-In gratitude for Mother Prioress from whom I have always received a response of faith and love and respect for the person of the Abbess.
-In gratitude for Mother Subprioress whose obedience has been exemplary as well as her full-hearted friendship and assistance which she has never failed to give me.
-In gratitude to my Council, to the Deans and to our Formation Mothers who have served me and the Community with whole-hearted trust.
-In gratitude for the love and obedience given to me by the entire Community. May the new Abbess know the same joy being surrounded by daughters who are also friends.
-In gratitude to the Brothers, Oblates and Friends of the Community who have faithfully supported us through their love and service.
-In gratitude for the presence of Archbishop Blair, Father Lavorgna and Sister Mariette who made themselves available to serve our process of election.
-In gratitude to God for the Blessing He bestowed on me through the Office of Abbess; may the next Abbess know herself Blessed to serve and may she do so relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the cooperation of the whole Community.
-In wonder that Archbishop Blair made present our Foundress Lady Abbess today, in his prophetic utterance of her motto: "Quis ut Deus", "Who is like to our God?".
FOR YOUR LENTEN AND EASTER MEDITATIONS—READINGS BY MOTHER DOLORES HART
This Lenten and Easter Season we are pleased to offer you readings by Mother Dolores Hart, recorded in our Church Jesu Fili Mariae. The texts have been chosen from Scripture and/or the Fathers of the Church. Mother Dolores adds a personal message of her own to each recording. We hope her readings are a source of inspiration and consolation for each of you as we enter Holy Week and celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.
Watch a video of Mother Dolores reading:
April 4th at the Easter Vigil—From the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, Chapter 6, verses 3-11.
March 27th—From the Book of Revelation, Chapter 21, verses 1-7.
February 25th—The Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord according to St. Mark, Chapter 9, verses 2-10.
February 25th—A Commentary on the the Transfiguration by Pope St. Leo the Great.
This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.
From the Gospel of the Transfiguration, St. Mark, 9:7.MOTHER DOLORES IS KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY COMMUNION BREAKFAST MARCH 22nd
Mother Dolores Hart was the keynote speaker at the Seventh Annual Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice (CAPP) Educators’ Communion Breakfast on Sunday, March 22 at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield Connecticut. The breakfast was preceded by Mass in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, followed by breakfast in University Commons. CAPP, the organization sponsoring the event, is named for Saint John Paul II's encyclical Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice that marked the 100th anniversary of the landmark papal document on social responsibility, Rerum Novarum. CAPP was founded to encourage business people, academics and other professionals to study and promote Catholic social teaching. During the breakfast Reverend William Sangiovanni was honored as Educator of the Year. After her presentation Mother Dolores, Dean of Education at Regina Laudis, greeted the guests and signed copies of her autobiography Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows. The photographs below, taken and generously shared by Tracy Deer-Mirek, show what a success the sold-out event was for all who participated. Judith Ruth Pinco, Monastic Scholar of Regina Laudis, accompanied Mother Dolores.
Read an article about the event with excerpts from Mother Dolores' speech in the Fairfield Catholic, the Newspaper of the Diocese of Bridgeport.
Click to enlarge a photo.
IT'S OSCAR TIME! WATCH TWO INTERVIEWS WITH MOTHER DOLORES HART
Since 2001 Mother Dolores Hart has been a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Hannah Thomas-Peter, New York Correspondent for Sky News Watch, visited Regina Laudis to interview Mother Dolores. In the interview and article: Oscars: The Star Who Gave Up Films For God, Mother Dolores shares her insights about the Film Industry and the Academy Awards from her unique perspective as an actress and the only nun who is a member of the Academy.
Thanks to the wonders of technology, Michael Smerconish of CNN in New York City was able to interview Mother Dolores long distance as she sat in the warmth and enclosure of our lower monastery chapel. Watch the CNN interview The Oscar Voting Nun: Mother Dolores Hart which includes clips from Mother Dolores' films. Mother Dolores is at her best in her unruffled, open responses to probing questions.
I think it has been one of the most wonderful years for films because I think the films have tried to show situations as they really are and not in a brutal, mean way.
From Mother Dolores Hart's interview with Michael Smerconish of CNN, February 21, 2015FAITHFUL FARMERS—REGINA LAUDIS FEATURED IN THE FURROW MAGAZINE
The Furrow is an agricultural magazine published by the John Deere Company. An article entitled Faithful Farmers is available on-line on in the January 2015 issue, pages 42-49. Journalist Joe Link captures the essence of our approach to stewardship of the land in the context of our Benedictine spirituality. New members of Regina Laudis: Sister Kateri Tekakwitha, postulant Gwyneth Owen (now Sister Teresa Benedicta) and postulant Suzanne Erickson (now Sister Jeanne Paul) are featured. The article is accompanied by gorgeous photographs of our young community members at our daily celebration of the Mass, at work on our land, and caring for our animals. Reflections from more "seasoned" members of the community, responsible for the beef and dairy herds and gardens are included.
Mr. Link has generously made available a PDF file of the full article and photographs for you to download and enjoy.
It’s part of our spirituality to have land we work. This is a way of getting to know God’s creation. It’s a way for people to get to understand themselves.
Mother Augusta Collins in Faithful Farmers article, published in The Furrow Magazine, January 2015DOLORES HART ON THE O'REILLY FACTOR ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT
On Christmas night Fox News aired a segment of Bill O'Reilly interviewing Mother Dolores called: The incredible story of a young Hollywood actress who became a spiritual leader. Clips from Mother Dolores' films are included in the excellent interview. Watch the six minute clip here on-line.
I think evil is the loss of love. Whenever something evil happens it's because persons refuse to love.
From Mother Dolores' interview on THE O'REILLY FACTORCOME AND SEE OUR BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS TREE
On the high mountain of Israel I will plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit and become a stately cedar. And birds of every kind will nest under it; they will nest in the shade of its branches.
Ezekiel 17:23Our beautifully decorated Christmas tree will be in the sanctuary of our Church Jesu Fili Marie until January 12th. A special blessing ceremony for the Christmas tree took place on December 23rd. Many families and friends joined us for the Blessing. The tree is one specially chosen from the Abbey land and this year is decorated with birds, fruit and "O" Antiphons made from birch bark and leather. The birds, made with real feathers, were made by Mother Praxedes. The children who blessed the tree with holy water picked out their favorite birds like the parrot and the dove. Each bird is a work of art and worth seeing.
MONASTIC INVESTITURE OF SISTER JEANNE PAUL
On December 14th, 2014, Gaudete Sunday, the Abbey celebrated the Monastic Investiture of postulant Suzanne Joy Erickson who was clothed in the monastic habit and received the name Sister Jeanne Paul. Father Robert Tucker, Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Litchfield CT was the celebrant and homilist at the Mass. Suzanne's parents, family members, and colleagues from her community at Trinity Grace Church in New York City participated in the liturgy and celebration. Read more and see a gallery of the Clothing and celebration.
NEW TRANSLATION OF ADVENT COMPLINE HYMN: ALMA REDEMPTORIS MATER
At the Office of Compline each night we sing a hymn to Our Lady which changes according to the liturgical season. On the First Sunday of Advent we begin singing the beautiful Alma Redemptoris Mater. Classicist and Abbey friend, Joseph T. Moller offers what he calls a new "interpretative translation" of the hymn, versicle, and collect which follow the hymn.
Read the new translation of Alma Redemptoris Mater.
A VERY SUCCESSFUL BOOK SIGNING WITH MOTHER DOLORES HART ON NOVEMBER 28TH
Thank you to all who came to our book signing the day after Thanksgiving. Mother Dolores personally greeted more then 200 people and signed copies of her autobiography Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows. Our guests waited patiently in the warmth and peace of our lower Abbey chapel for their meeting with Mother Dolores. Some who had purchased numerous books commented that the autobiography signed by Mother Dolores was "the perfect Christmas present" for family members and friends. Most of our guests also had their photographs taken with Mother Dolores. All proceeds from the books sold this day will go towards the Abbey’s New Horizons Renovation Project, an exciting and ongoing building initiative to create the additional space needed for our growing monastic community.
Read about Mother Dolores' autobiography.
PHOTOGRAPHS OF NOVEMBER 28th BOOK SIGNING WITH MOTHER DOLORES
Click to enlarge a photo.
ART SHOP CHRISTMAS SALE
During the Christmas Sale at the Monastic Art Shop there is a wide range of Abbey–made goods, including new designs in candles, new perfumes, ornaments, crosses, cards and creches. We also offer Abbey farmstead cheeses and homemade bread, herbal products, leather items, woven and knitted goods. We have expanded our popular children’s books and in response to an increased interest in monastic and Benedictine spirituality, are offering a larger selection of literature in these areas, as well as St. Benedict rosaries and medals. This year we are selling beautiful fresh Christmas wreaths made with locally-grown greens.
Read more about the Christmas Sale and see a gallery of happy shoppers and volunteers on the opening day.
MONASTIC INVESTITURE OF SISTER TERESA BENEDICTA
On November 1, 2014, the Solemnity of All Saints, the Abbey celebrated the Monastic Investiture of postulant Gwyneth Owen who was clothed in the monastic habit and received the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Father Iain Highet, Pastor of St. Joseph Church in Canaan and Immaculate Conception Church in Norfolk CT was the main celebrant and homilist at the Mass. Gwyneth's parents, siblings, numerous nieces and nephews, and friends of all ages participated in the liturgy and celebration. Read more and see a gallery of the Clothing and celebration.
NOVITIATE FEAST DAY—BIRTHDAY OF OUR LADY, September 8, 2014
It has been the custom for many years at Regina Laudis that the members of our Novitiate celebrate their Feast Day on the Feast of Our Lady's Birthday, September 8th. The novices and postulants take responsibility for all aspects of the day. During the Divine Office they take on the special roles of being cantors and acolytes and sing on the Schola at Mass. They ring the bells, plan and cook a special meal, and offer the community entertainment centering around a theme of their choosing. Read more.
2014 LABOR DAY MATCHING GRANT GOAL REACHED!
Because of your generosity we reached our Matching Grant Goal on Labor Day. Our friends who dedicated their summer bicycle pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela to our New Horizons Renovation Project gave us their promised $75,000 because you matched their pledge. The culmination of their pilgrimage was yet another bicycle ride, this time from Hartford to Bethlehem to present their check to Mother Abbess. Read Mother Abbess' message of gratitude to them for their inspiration to dedicate their pilgrimage and to you for responding.
Mother Abbess and Mother Prioress accept a generous
check for the Matching Grant presented by Rob and
Sally Cole-Whiffen on behalf of the Parents of the
Former Wightwood School.
COMMEMORATION OF THE LIBERATION OF THE ABBEY OF JOUARRE, August 27, 2014
Every August 27th we have a flag-raising ceremony to commemorate the Liberation of the French Abbey of Notre Dame de Jouarre during World War II by the American Third Army under the leadership of General George S. Patton Jr. This was the day that Regina Laudis was conceived in the heart of our Foundress and first abbess, Lady Abbess Benedict Duss.
We welcome Veterans; widows, parents and families of deceased Veterans; active service members and Abbey guests for the ceremony. This year we raised the flag of World War II Veteran, Peter Maggi, who probably participated in the Liberation of Jouarre. Another highlight was a personal and historic presentation by World War II veteran Jim Rogers. Read more, see a gallery of the celebration. and download the text of Jim's speech.
PROCESSION OF BANNERS, FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION OF OUR LADY, August 15, 2014
August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, is the Feast Day of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, named for the "Queen of Praise". The dogma of Our Lady's Assumption, promulgated by Pope Pius XII in 1950, that Our Lady was assumed body and soul into heaven, holds great significance for our community. Because Our Lady was assumed bodily into heaven she became the Gateway to Heaven for all Humanity.
On this feast we have a procession of colorful banners created by Mother Placid, Mother Praxedes and Abbey artists throughout the years. This year we processed in the garden on the west side of our Church Jesu Fili Mariae. This beautiful setting was landscaped by Sister Esther who renewed her First Vows at Mass on the Feast and carried the cross during the procession. Read more and see a gallery of the procession in the flowering garden.
JEAN DUNN'S RECENT ARTICLE IN VOICES NEWSPAPER:
July 2, 2014—Read and/or download Jean Dunn's beautifully-written article Abbey Nuns Slated to Begin Phase II of Renovations which presents an overview of our New Horizons Renovation Project: what has been accomplished since we launched the project in 2011 and a look ahead to Phase II. In her in-depth interview with Mother Lucia, monastic cellarer and project manager and Mother Angèle, coordinator of fundraising and publicity, Jean captures the gratitude and joy the community feels in the difference the renovations have made so far in our lives. She gives background to what is projected in Phase II which will involve the demolition and rebuilding of the part of the monastery known as St. Anthony’s Barn (shown at left), as well as more details of the bicycle pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela dedicated to New Horizons. The article includes two photographs: one of the exterior of the renovated part of the building and one of Mother Lucia and Mother Angèle in the Chapel in St. Anthony's Barn needing renovation.
ABBEY DAIRY NEWS
Our dairy has a new roof!
Our dairy barn and facility suffered extensive damage because of the severe weather of early 2013. In the spring of 2014 replacement of the roof was made possible through funds from the 2013 PLANT (Production Loss Assistance Needed Today) Grant offered through the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. Read more and see a gallery of the roof installation.
We have a new pasteurizer!
The pasteurizer we purchased in 1987 stopped functioning in the spring of 2012 and could not be repaired. As a result we could not sell our fresh cheeses which require pasteurization in order to be legally sold and were unable to make ice cream. Through the generosity of benefactors we were able to commission Frank Kipe of Microdairy Designs in Maryland to design and fabricate a new pasteurizer which would fit into our tiny dairy. Read more and see a gallery of the pasteurizer installation and blessing.
Cheese and Microbes Colloquium and Newly-published Book
On June 11th, 2014 at the invitation of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) Mother Noella, a microbiologist specializing in cheese-ripening fungi, participated in a colloquium on Cheese and Microbes in Washington, D.C. The colloquium was part of the AAM series called FAQ's in which “frequently asked questions” about microbes and how they affect our lives are addressed. The Cheese and Microbes colloquium proceedings will be published in a “FAQ's” booklet written in language that is accessible to cheese-lovers and cheesemakers who may not be scientists, and will available free to the public at the American Society for Microbiology web site.
Mother Noella is also a contributing author to the American Society of Microbiology book Cheese and Microbes released on April 30th, 2014. Her chapter entitled: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Tales of Fungal-Ripened Cheese was written in collaboration with her doctoral adviser from the University of Connecticut, Professor David Benson.
Read more about the Colloquium and Cheese and Microbes book.
JEAN DUNN'S RECENT ARTICLE IN VOICES NEWSPAPER:
July 2, 2014—Abbey Nuns Slated to Begin Phase II of Renovations
Jean Dunn's beautifully-written article presents an overview of our New Horizons Renovation Project: what has been accomplished since we launched the project in 2011 and a look ahead to Phase II. In her in-depth interview with Mother Lucia, monastic cellarer and project manager and Mother Angèle, coordinator of fundraising and publicity, Jean captures the gratitude and joy the community feels in the difference the renovations have made so far in our lives. She gives background to what is projected in Phase II which will involve the demolition and rebuilding of the part of the monastery known as St. Anthony’s Barn (shown at left), as well as more details of the bicycle pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela dedicated to New Horizons. The article includes two photographs: one of the exterior of the renovated part of the building and one of Mother Lucia and Mother Angèle in the Chapel in St. Anthony's Barn needing renovation.
JUNE 21, 2014— MOTHER DOLORES SPEAKS AT THE ATLANTA EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS
On June 21st Mother Dolores spoke to a gathering of 35,00 people participating in the 2014 Eucharistic Congress hosted by His Excellency Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Read Mother Dolores' reflection on this experience and excerpts from her presentation which was based on the theme of the Congress:
Go and Make Disciples.
GRATITUDE TO TRI-STATE INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE CORPORATION
We are extremely grateful to Mr. Kevin Eustace of Tri-State Industrial Maintenance Corporation in Oxford CT who for over ten years has donated the services of his company for the sweeping of our Abbey roads. In mid-June one of his drivers swept all of our roads and parking lots from 6:00 am to noon. After the severe winter we experienced this year their expert removal of sand and debris is greatly appreciated by all who drive and walk on our roads.
A REFLECTION FROM MOTHER DOLORES HART
In response to the countless heartfelt letters and questions Mother Dolores has received from those who have read her autobiography The Ear of the Heart: An Actress' Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows, she now offers on our site a personal reflection which will be updated from time to time.
June 27, 2014 Mother Dolores offers a reflection on her participation and presentation at the Eucharist Congress in Atlanta.
June 4, 2014—Mother Dolores offers a reflection: Passage of a Beloved Creature on the recent death of her African grey parrot Tobiel.
May 4, 2014—Mother Dolores' reflection on Annie Get Your Gun.
JUNE 15th BOOK SIGNING WITH MOTHER DOLORES HOSTED BY ST. JOSEPH'S CHURCH IN CANAAN CT
On Sunday, June 15th Father Iain Highet and the parish of St. Joseph's Church in Canaan Connecticut sponsored an afternoon with Mother Dolores Hart. Mother read from her acclaimed autobiography The Ear of the Heart: An Actress' Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows. Since June 15th was Father's Day, Mother Dolores accented the theme of Father, priests and father figures who nurtured and supported her in her journey as actress and in her call to religious life. The reading was followed by insightful questions from the audience of 180. Mother then signed books and greeted each one personally. Thank you to all St. Joseph's Parish for a wonderful afternoon!
Learn more about Mother Dolores' Autobiography.
MAY 27th MOTHER DOLORES WAS GUEST PROGRAMMER ON TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES
Many people watched Mother Dolores' appearance as guest programmer on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable channel on May 27th. She chose four films that were very close to her heart, beginning with Lisa in which she starred with Stephen Boyd. People were particularly moved by this film, based on a true story of a woman who survived Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.
Watch a segment of her appearance as guest programmer on Turner Classic Movies and read excerpts from her interview with TCM host Robert Osborne.
THANK YOU FOR MAKING OUR MEMORIAL DAY TAG AND BAKE SALES SO SUCCESSFUL
On Saturday May 24th at 8:00 am lines were forming outside our Jubilee Barn for our 3rd annual tag sale to benefit our New Horizons renovation project. When we opened the doors at 10:00 customers streamed in to peruse and buy one-of-a-kind objects, old and new, gathered from attics and storage spaces we have cleared to begin the second and final phase of our building project. Many of our customers went home carrying delicious cakes and cookies from the bake sale along with treasures from the tag sale.
We are extremely grateful to our team of volunteers and the Brothers of Regina Laudis who worked for weeks transporting, organizing and pricing the tag sale items as well as greeting and assisting customers with their purchases. It was wonderful to see familiar faces and greet new friends.
Enjoy the gallery of happy customers and ever-cheerful volunteers at our tag and bake sale. THE ABBEY SIGN HAS A NEW LOOK!
We are happy to announce the re-installation of our Abbey sign which can be seen on Flanders road as you drive into the main entrance of the Abbey. The sign, made of aluminum and copper, was originally designed and created by Mother Praxedes in collaboration with artist and blacksmith Jeffrey Havill (now Dom Gregory Havill, O.S.B. of Portsmouth Abbey) in the 1980’s. The motif was inspired by our foundress Lady Abbess Benedict who in her love of plants and photography, saw the shape of an abbatial crosier, the staff carried by an abbess and abbot, in the form of fiddlehead ferns growing on our land. Over the years due to oxidation the Maltese cross and surface of the sign had become covered with a patina.
The restoration was made possible by the generosity and expertise of Frank Kara of R Man Router Cutting Services of Bethel, Connecticut. Frank donated his services and shared his studio and professional mastery in instructing others in the steps of the restoration process. The work was spearheaded by members of the Abbey's Cellarer's Department, Sister Maria Evangelista, Sister Kateri Tekakwitha and our postulant Suzanne. Many people worked on the project—either taking the sign down, putting it back up, removing the letters, or re-painting the base— each step an essential part of a long daunting process.
Stay tuned—we will be be re-furbishing all the Abbey signs in the months to come...
ORIGINAL TRANSLATION OF THE EASTER PROCLAMATION THE EXSULTET
We are pleased to share a beautiful English translation of the Exsultet by classicist and Abbey friend, Joseph T. Moller. Going back to critical Latin sources, Joseph offers us a fresh poetic expression of the text, rather then a conventional translation. The translation is accompanied by images of our Easter Vigil and a gallery of the making of our Paschal candle and tapers.
FINAL PROFESSION OF MOTHER ALMA
On the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2014, Mother Alma Egger made her Final Profession of Vows to God through the Community of Regina Laudis. Read about the ceremony and see photographs of this joyous celebration.
WATCH A SLIDESHOW OF THE ABBEY!
We offer a new format of a slideshow with images that reflect the activities, seasons, and environs of our Abbey. The images are accompanied by selections from our Gregorian Chant CD's. We will update the slideshow regularly. Enjoy the slideshow and Chant selections.
LENTEN BLESSING OF SEEDS AND BEES
...unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies...On the First Sunday of Lent it is our custom at Regina Laudis to bless the seeds which will be planted in the Spring. This ceremony coincides with the offering of our Lenten Resolutions and makes visible the analogy that each of us is a seed entering into the unknown of Lent, with the prayer that our offering will bear fruit. This year our bees were also blessed. Read the Prayers of Blessing and see photos of the blessing.
NEW CHEESE PRESS INSTALLED AT THE ABBEY DAIRY
Through the generosity and expertise of Neville McNaughton, President of CheezSorce in St. Louis MO, the Abbey dairy has a new cheese press. When Neville visited our dairy in 2012 he saw that the old wine press we had been using for 32 years to press our cheese could no longer meet the needs of our growing dairy, especially during CT summer humidity. On our behalf he presented our need to American artisanal cheesemakers who generously contributed to the fabrication of a custom-made press, designed by Neville to fit into our tiny dairy. Neville (accompanied by his Irish Setter Bella) drove the press from St. Louis to Bethlehem and instructed our cheesemakers on its operation. Our cheesemakers are thrilled to be able to press two types of cheese simultaneously. As the press was blessed by Mother Abbess, it was named Neville (derived from Old French Néville "Néel's estate" or Neuville, meaning "new village" or "new town") because it allows our cheesemakers to bring their craft into the future.
See photographs of the installation of the press and new galleries of cheese being made at the Abbey.
PRESS ON THE IMAGE TO SEE THE NEW CHEESE PRESS IN ACTION!
CONTINUING EDUCATION 2014
On March 10th Mother Telchilde, Mother Noella, postulants Gwyneth and Suzanne, and Brother David attended the New England Dairy Conference which was co-sponsored by the Department of Animal Science and Agricultural Extension Service of the University of Connecticut. The keynote speaker was Thomas Herremans, an udder health management consultant and dairy sanitation specialist with the dairy farm supply company IBA. A very enthusiastic speaker,Tom, discussed strategies for keeping somatic cell counts (scc) low for the prevention of mastitis. Although our dairy herd of five cows is tiny compared to the herds used as examples in the presentation and our cows are hand-milked, the Abbey participants could appreciate that the principles Tom elucidated have been applied with a vigilance by Mother Telchilde in the care and milking of our herd. The conference was also an occasion for networking with other dairy professionals and for re-connecting with professors from the University of Connecticut. Other participants were happy to meet the new young milkers and cheesemakers who will bring our Abbey dairy into the future.
Three of the Abbey's dedicated gardeners, Mother Margaret Georgina, Sister Maria Evangelista and postulant Jenny took a five week webinar course entitled, Veggie Farming from Season-long Care to Harvest. They found the course, offered once a week by the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Long Distance Learning Program, to be extremely worthwhile and took advantage of the interactive resources such as the on-line chat for questions.
THE BEAUTY OF ORDINARY THINGS BY HARRIET SCOTT CHESSMAN
Harriet Scott Chessman's newly-released novel The Beauty of Ordinary Things, available in the Monastic Art Shop,is dedicated to the Abbey's beloved deceased members Mother Irene and Mother Placid.
Harriet has known the Abbey of Regina Laudis since 1973 when she met Mother Lucia Kuppens, O.S.B. (then Patricia), on their first day of Chaucer class as graduate students in the Department of English at Yale University. They became fast friends and remained so all during the searching, tumultuous, heady, heartbreaking years of the 1970’s that Harriet brings to life so well in this her fourth novel, The Beauty of Ordinary Things. Over the course of many years, Harriet has grown to be the beloved friend of the entire Abbey community and writes of her monastic experience with the sensitivity, intelligence and grace born of inner experience.
FROM THE AUTHOR'S WEBSITE
This resonant, lyrical novel is the story of the relationship between Benny Finn, a Vietnam veteran struggling to find his place in the world, and Sister Clare, a young Benedictine nun facing her First Vows. As Benny and Sister Clare come to know each other at an Abbey in New Hampshire over the course of one summer, 1974, they open themselves, with courage, to the grace and surprise of love's many forms.
Like Annie Dillard, Chessman plumbs the mysteries of the spirit and celebrates the quiet grace notes of the earth. The Beauty of Ordinary Things is deep as a prayer, a meditation on two people seeking their right place in the world. The book speaks softly, but oh how it lingers in the mind. I can't praise it enough. — Debra Dean, author of The Madonnas of Leningrad
Read more reviews and learn more about the author and her work.
'O' ANTIPHONS BEGIN AT VESPERS DECEMBER 17th
Beginning on December 17th until the Vigil of Christmas, the Great ‘O’ Antiphons are chanted each evening at Vespers. These seven Antiphons are so called because each begins with the cry or petition ‘O’. The antiphons express the Church’s longing and expectation for the Messiah. Each addresses Christ under one of his archetypal, symbolic titles found in the Old Testament and concludes with a distinct petition for the coming of the Lord.
Read new translations of these ancient antiphons and see images of 'O' Antiphons created in stained glass and mosaics by Mother Praxedes.
MONASTIC INVESTITURE CEREMONY
On November30th, 2013, Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle, postulant Katie Healy was clothed in the monastic habit and received the name Sister Gregory. Read about the joyful day and see photographs of the celebration.
INSPIRING NEW VIDEO
GREGORIAN CHANT: AN EXTRAORDINARY INHERITANCE
Dr. Theodore Marier responds to a question about Gregorian Chant from Mother Dolores Hart during a tutorial with the Abbey Choir in the 1980's. Includes footage of our Foundress Mother Benedict Duss.
Read more about Dr. Theodore Marier's work with the Abbey.
NEW PHOTO GALLERIES
We were blessed this year with abundant hay and apple harvests.
Read about the harvests and enjoy the photo galleries.
SILVER JUBILEE OF R.M. MARGARET GEORGINA PATTON AND R.M. DORCAS ROSALUND
2013 marks the Silver Jubilee Year of Mother Margaret Georgina Patton and Mother Dorcas Rosenlund who celebrate 25 years of Vowed life at the Abbey of Regina Laudis. On the Feast of St. Matthew, September 21st, 2013 family members and friends joined the monastic community in celebrating the lives of these incredible women. Father Iain Highet was the main celebrant and homilist at the Mass offered in the Abbey Church of Jesu Fili Mariae.
Read more and see the photo gallery of the celebration.
TRANSITUS OF MOTHER IRENE BOOTHROYD - July 19, 2013
Read the full obituary and life story of our beloved Mother Irene.
DOCUMENTARY FILM IN PROGRESS - MEMORIAL
Make a donation in Mother Irene's memory for the completion of a documentary film Uncompromising Valor about her life and experience as a World War II Army nurse.
CONNECTICUT VETERANS WARTIME SERVICE MEDAL
On June 21st, 2013 Mother Irene Boothroyd was honored with the reception of the Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal, presented by Dr. Linda S. Schwartz, Major, USAF (Ret.), Commissioner of Connecticut Department of Veterans' Affairs. See Medal and Citation.
MOTHER DOLORES HART'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY
The Ear of the Heart: An Actress' Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows
ARTICLE ABOUT MOTHER DOLORES AND HER AUTOBIOGRAPHY
For Mother Dolores Hart It's Time For Her Close-Up Again by Mark Pattison, June 18, 2013.
BOOK SIGNING at the Abbey with Mother Dolores Hart
On Sunday May 5th, more than 500 people came to meet Mother Dolores and celebrate the release of her long-awaited autobiography.
PHOTOGRAPHS OF MAY 5th BOOK SIGNING AND READING BY MOTHER DOLORES AND FATHER IAIN HIGHET
Click to enlarge a photo.
Read excerpts from the book and see photos of Mother Dolores.
MONASTIC INVESTITURE CEREMONY
On May 10th, 2013 Postulant Stephanie Cassidy was clothed in the monastic habit and received the name Sister Kateri Tekakwitha. Read about the day and see photographs of the celebration.
THE ABBEY AND OUR CHAPLAIN FATHER IAIN HIGHET FEATURED IN MICHAEL POLLAN'S NEW BOOK
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
My first impression of Sister Noella was of a woman decidedly more earthy than spiritual. But I soon came to see that, for her, the miracles of Christ were many, and could be witnessed in the unlikeliest of places, including a barrel of milk or under a microscope. Several of Christ's miracles rather famously involve fermentation, as she pointed out to me with a twinkle. Like bread and wine, cheese is the transformation of ordinary matter into something extraordinary, a process suggestive of transcendence.
As it happened, Father Iain's sermon that morning was on the subject of fermentation. The day's text was the exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees. What was Jesus' attitude to the covenant of the Old Testament? He did not seek simply to reject it, Father Iain said. 'No one who has been drinking old wine desires new,' Jesus tells the Pharisees. Tradition, like an old wine, is too precious to throw out. And yet Christ's gospel did introduce something new and transformative, the result of a process Father Iain likened to fermentation. In the same way that 'fermentation releases energy in the process of breaking down the wheat, grape juice or curds; so Jesus is saying that his interpretation and revelation of the covenant is a life-giving and transformative mediation of the covenant...'
Michael Pollan, Part IV Earth: Fermentation's Cold Fire in Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
To read more excerpts or to order Cooked.
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