Finally. . . 
. . .a real winter storm came our way. Never mind that it is only a month late; native North easterners were glad (somewhat!) to have a day or two of zero temperatures and nearly two feet of snow after those record breaking warm spells. But now that is done we anxiously await spring-like weather.
Japanese garden under snow cover.
We’ve been having several community dialogs lately including the desirability of some changes in our daily schedule and moving ahead with the renovation of our front entrance including the reception room and bread and book store. There will be further community dialogue on the schedule change and we’ve appointed a building committee that will get the renovation process going again. Fr. Jerome has posted the latest news about the current state of things entitled: Phase Two: The Mary Mans Store and Welcome Center. To catch up on developments go to the PHASE TWO  page. While there be sure to check out the two links at the bottom of the page, In Memoriam and Donor Recognition.
Brief Bakery Tour
Our local Fox News station features a weekly Friday Factory Tour during which they give a tour of local factories. Recently they made a brief tour of our Monks’ Bread bakery in three parts. If you are interested you will find it at Factory Friday at Monks’ Bread . Only the bread bakery was featured this time. Hopefully when our specialty bakery renovation is completed we will have a complete tour there too. Note: some browsers seem have difficulty downloading the video. We discovered that Chrome works best.
If you’d like a more extensive tour of the bakery you will find it at Monks’ Bread Bakery Tour.  While we’re at it sometime ago The Livingston County News did a short video about the Abbey during which the specialty bakery was featured. You will find that at Inside the Abbey of the  Genesee. 
The Cross is the mysterious design of God for our glorification. We must not identify it with pain as such. Its significance lies, not in the physical and mental torment of him who hung upon it, but in his obedience, his passionate surrender to God; and it is these we must make our own.
We have God’s word, Jesus’ word, that it is utter blessedness, a real sharing of God’s own happiness and fullness of being. Faith, obedience, surrender in trust must be our response. We are called to a fulfillment that surpasses the capacity of our natural powers not merely to attain but even to conceive.
Essence of Prayer
Ruth Burrows, OCD