Genesee Christmas 2016 
On the whole our Christmas was quiet and peaceful. Even the weather was quiet even though storms were raging in other parts of the country. During the last week of Advent the Christmas decorations began appearing in the Church and refectory and all was ready for First Vespers of Christmas. With the Christmas Greetings all spread out in the refectory it felt like many of our relatives and friends joined us for the celebrations.
We were happy to have Fr. Gregory Hamill, parish priest of the Philadelphia diocese, with us as he began his two month observership. His arrival brings our novitiate population up to four. Most members we’ve had at once in a long time. Preview of coming attractions, hopefully!
Needless to say as we begin the New Year the needs and intentions of our families, friends and benefactors are in our special intentions.
Our annual Christmas movie this year was Bridge of Spies, a gripping Cold War spy story based on the true story of the 1960 U-2 incident during the Cold War. A highlight of the film was the prisoner exchange scene that was filmed on the Glienicke Bridge (the so called Bridge of Spies) spanning the Havel narrows between Berlin and Potsdam where the historical exchange actually took place in 1962.
This year we are having another feast day movie, The Client, to be shown this afternoon. Reports are it is a good selection though it will be quite a feat to surpass Bridge of Spies.
News from our OCSO web site reports armed robbery at our monastery in Venezuela. For complete story see Los Andes. 
It is so fitting that today on the octave of Christmas, we honor in a special way the memory of God’s holy Mother, the Theotokos. The immense mystery of the Incarnation would have been impossible without her. Jesus’ father is God himself, but he needed a human mother to become man to be born among us.
Mary, the humble maiden from Nazareth, was assigned that role; she accepted it willing, in complete submission and cooperation with God’s plan. Therefore, from that moment on, all generations call her blessed.
She is our mother, our friend, our helper, our living example of true Gospel living, our refuge in time of danger, a solace in time of affliction. She is also a luminous guide when we find ourselves submerged under the shadows of darkness and despair. On our pilgrimage toward God’s kingdom, her maternal presence dispels our doubts, our loneliness. She provides the strength and encouragement needed for the remainder of the journey.
A Monastery Journey To Christmas
Br. Victor-Antoine D’Avila-Latourrette