Letter to our friends

Autumn 2013

Dear friends,

Western societies are de- Christianizing, churches are emptying, priests are aging, etc...“But God has conquered the world. And allow me this paradox: Christians remain very efficient. The Church might well be the only institution that is not in crisis. Unlike education, justice, companies, politics, the Church knows how to reform. It has always spoken the truth, it has always been poor, all freely, not expecting any secular success. Today, the believers who are still Catholic know why they are. A rare privilege.” (Jean- Luc Marion: To live humanly, one must lead a godly life (to a certain extent), Le Figaro 08.21.2013). One could re- proach the philosopher for his metaphysical choices, but as a Christian, what he asserts here is heartening. Similarly, Cardinal Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon and former bishop of Moulins: “If mercy is not at the center of our Christian stance, all is hollow, even rotten or perhaps violent.”

On September 14, Father Joseph, a priest since just June 24, celebrated his first mass in his home parish in Brno in Moravia. When leaving the church, a few people I did not know greeted me with: “Thank you for your letters – you do not hide your difficulties, even though you rarely say what they are.” I thought of the answer I received when, thirty years ago, I had asked someone to tell me about the trials of his life: “Is this God’s will? I would have to talk about living people. How then could I neglect charity?” Wisdom...

Some good news: the building of the workshops, God willing, will be finished before Christmas and ready for use by spring, after the expected heavy investment during the first quarter of 2014 (consisting of an electric generator, a 660-pound homogenizer for the laboratory, etc...). We then will be able to increase our output and consider lowering our prices. We do hope you will appreciate this strategy and that you will continue to have confidence in our monastic products. Since our working time is limited by the time devoted to prayer and our Divine Office, we need to focus on making high-quality artisanal products, whose prices will never match those of industrial-scale products. To put a seal on these projects, a statue of St Joseph and the child Jesus, age 12, is being made by the artisan who created the statue of St Benoit-Joseph Labre. Next year, the friends of Sept-Fons will see its replica in our motherhouse.

You know that Brother Lev has been appointed Master of Novices. The Father Master of Sept-Fons answers his every request for advice. We are publishing an excerpt of one of his latest letters. Father André has replaced Father Romaric as Sub-Prior. Except for the Abbot and the Prior, all of the “officers” of the monastery are now Czech or Slovak. Meanwhile, we wait for what comes along next... Father Romaric left Sept-Fons in January 2006 to join us. We welcomed his active nature, and he has helped us to face events of all kinds. Even though he is quite sprightly, he is no longer young. We are preparing for the future by giving responsibility to new strength.

Other news? What can be said about a community that, every morning, gets up at 3 am to sing the Office, reads or studies, works, educates the young people who have joined it – a community that devotes the best of its time to prayer, and goes to bed after Compline, at the end of a full day? The Český Západ association carries on with its activities in support of the Romany families in Dobrá Voda. A European subsidy will help us renovate the association’s headquarters. A friend wrote to us: “It seems your church is no longer open to the public.” Yet another rumor going around! Our church is always open to those who want to pray there during the Offices. Our last piece of news, this one quite ordinary: one of our Huskies gave birth to eight puppies; the Father Cellarer, who is usually quite serious, looks after them with pleasure until they are adopted by families to entertain other children.

During this month of November, we are praying especially for our deceased. Let us assure you that we are grateful. Soon, we will celebrate Christmas.

Br. Samuel, Abbot of Novy Dvur

Second Letter of the Father Master of Sept-Fons to Brother Lev, Father Master of Nový Dvůr

February 2009
September, 2nd 2014
July 5, 2013
March 10, 2013
A few weeks before Christmas 2012
September 2, 2012, Solemnity of the Dedication of Novy Dvur
Whit Sunday 2012
January 11, 2012
September 30, 2011, Feast of Saint Jerome
May 1 2011
September 2 2010
May, 2010
January 29, 2010
Pentecost 2009
February 2009
May, 2008
February 2, 2008
September 2, 2007
July 5, 2007
September 2, 2006
March 25, 2006
February 2, 2006
September 2, 2005