Letter to our friends
February 2, 2006
Today in Nový Dvůr, we celebrated the 25th jubilee of our Father Abbot’s from Sept-Fons, Sept-Fons Abbey being our founding house in France. I like the incisive reflection he humorously had once: “There are some days where everything goes well. And then, the next day, nothing goes well and it keeps on going like this for one’s entire life! One must accept it otherwise one shall go mad! And then, how one can serve God who righteously disposes good and less good things? ”
We have not gone mad, thank God. Yet, at the end of November, we had to suspend all the building works for lack of sufficient funds, except for those in the guest house. The donations received around Christmas time allowed us to pay most of our invoices but our balance is still showing a loss. The monastery’s finishing touches will wait for your generosity and the return of nice weather. Am I going to tire you with my recurrent complaints, always the same from one letter to another? We had better share a slice of our lives!
On New Year’s Eve, in Sept-Fons and in Nový Dvůr, the monks go to bed after the Reading of Complines like every other evening. On the 1st of January, they wake up at 3’15 am, like every other mornings. Before the Reading of Complines, our Father Abbot sums up the main events of the year: death and election of the Pope, various events in our communities… Economic life is also an opportunity for statistics. In 2005, we produced 32 785 jars of mustard of which Sept-Fons sold 2/3; Sept-Fons on its side sold 768 jars of jam in Prague. A modest start! On the agricultural side, we can hold our heads up: 69 cattle heads in Sept-Fons, 49 in Nový Dvůr. Yet, Sept-Fons owns milking cows and Nový Dvůr, ewes. The compared weight of both herds is not in our favour. Economic life is not the essential: in 2005, in Sept-Fons as well as in Nový Dvůr, monks have been admitted to receive the novice’s habit. Please God these brothers shall persevere.
Our works, thank God, are progressing. In Nový Dvůr, many buildings have been completed in 2005: the scriptorium, the infirmary, the guest house roof, etc. In 2006, the guest house will get the best part. To finalize the works in the monastery, we need 4 millions Czech Crowns. (138.000 $). We depend on you.
We regularly receive texts or photographs from Czech, German or French friends who in the past, lived or were prisoners in the region. We keep these documents in our archives. Should you write to us, please note our new zip code which often remains erroneous particularly on electronic files: CZ 364 01 Toužim.
Around New Year’s Eve, a fox came wandering around the sheepfold where three young lambs had just been born. Yesterday morning, after service, it ventured underneath the scriptorium windows. The brothers saw it, as they were leaving the church, taking its time, turning right and left before getting back to its regular business, with no hurry.
To conclude, here is another extract of a letter that Father Abbot addressed to me in… 1983! “It is not being weak to ask for my prayer. First, it is already yours, every day and even several times a day. You know and have known one side of life with God. Others will prove rougher but shall deepen the understanding. Do not weaken.”
May the friendship developing between us from one year to another provide bliss to each of you. You shall rely on our gratitude and our prayer.
Monastery of Nový Dvůr
September 30, 2011, Feast of Saint Jerome
May 1 2011
September 2 2010
January 29, 2010
February 2, 2008
September 2, 2007
July 5, 2007
September 2, 2006
March 25, 2006
September 2, 2005