The Negotiator

We are currently reading former senator George Mitchell’s (D-ME) book, The Negotiator: A Memoir.  (Did you know a Mainer is someone from Maine who still lives in Maine and a Mainiac is someone from Maine who no longer lives there?)

Since my last table reading post, we have read two books over the Advent and Christmas seasons:  City of Saints: A Pilgrimage to John Paul II’s Krakow by George Weigel and Father Richard Leonard, SJ’s What are we waiting for? Finding Meaning in Advent & Christmas.  Probably not the best time to start reading the latter, but maybe next year.

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Brother Francis

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Abbot Mark Cooper, OSB and Brother Francis

Earlier today, Ryan McCarty,  class of  2010, began his novitiate here at Saint Anselm Abbey.  The abbot gave him the religious name, Brother Francis.  Father Peter Guerin, OSB will be the Novice Master.

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Deep Down Dark

About two weeks ago we finished reading Rinker Buck’s The Oregon Trail and began Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar.

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Canonical Visitation

The Abbey this week is pleased to welcome visitators from our Congregation, the American-Cassinese Congregation.  The two visitators are Abbot John Klassen, OSB (St. John’s, Collegeville, MN) and Father James Flint, OSB (St. Procopius, Lisle, IL).

Every five years or so each monastery undergoes a canonical visitation, where monks external to your community come and visit for a few days and issue a report on the monastic life at your abbey.  They can make recommendations, commendations, and even warnings.  The process is somewhat analogous to accreditation for colleges and universities.  However, in addition to the goal of fostering improvement a visitation also has a spiritual side, offering each monk a formal opportunity to reflect on the life of his community in seeking God.

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Land Developer

Even though the Oregon Trail was published early this summer, presumably the author, Rinker Buck, had no inside knowledge about the current state of the Republican election campaign when he wrote:

“Few academics and high school history teachers want to risk their careers by suggesting to their students that the father of their country worked the same day job [land developer] as Donald Trump.”  (page 32)

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Oregon Trail

Last week at table we finished reading The Millionaire and the Bard by Andrea Mays  and began reading Rinker Buck’s The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey.

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The Millionaire and the Bard

Having concluded the pope’s encyclical, we returned to Zoellner’s transiberian express journey on Train, and quickly concluded with chapters on moving freight by rail in Peru and moving passengers by high speed rail in Japan.

Last week we began reading Andrea Mays’s The Millionaire and the Bard:  Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Folio.

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