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News from the Order of the Holy Cross

Updated: May 9, 2020

Return from vacation and the clothing of a novice

The first two weeks of this month, I went on vacation with Sr. Elizabeth Broyles, CMA and Br. Aidan. We were invited to stay at a cabin in the mountains near a lake in Colorado! Our friends Lysa and Steve ErkenBracks welcomed us in their home in Grand Junction, Colorado and then sent us on our way with a family four-wheel-drive vehicle. We drove South for over two hours and moved from a high desert semi-arid landscape to the high mountains continental humid climate of Telluride. Lysa and Steve share a cabin on man-made Trout Lake with a circular view on snow-capped mountains.

We spent a restful, restorative and spirit-filled 10 days in the cabin. We observed silence until 9 a.m. (sometimes noon). We prayed Vespers in the late afternoon. In-between, we read abundantly, hiked the mountains, visited the village of Telluride and its attendant Mountain Village, played lots of games and generally had a very good time.

At the end of our stay, we returned to Grand Junction and got to spend a full day with Lysa and Steve before catching our flight home. Steve had noticed my sparkling eye in the garage when I saw his Miata convertible. On our last day in Colorado, I got to drive this zippy little sports car into the Colorado National Monument park. If Br. Aidan had had longer hair, he'd have ended up very disheveled as we negotiated the mountainous drive through the park. Elizabeth and Lysa followed us in a more sedate but nevertheless fast Lexus SUV. Wheeee!

One sign of a good vacation is thoroughly enjoying coming home. Check! I love our monastic life and after a while, I hanker for it. Max Esmus was away on his pre-clothing vacation and was missed. He came back to us with members of his family just in time for his big day. Brother Max was vested as a Novice of the Order of the Holy Cross at Vespers this Saturday, June 20th. It is always a joyful and moving opportunity when a new member joins our Brethren.

This weekend, we were also hosting one of our several annual Associates Retreats. The Associates were delighted to witness Max's investiture. And in time-hallowed Holy Cross fashion, we had a party after the ceremony. It was so hot in the Pilgrim Hall that eventually, we moved the proceedings to the air-conditioned refectory before supper time was up.

Please keep Br. Max Esmus in your prayer as he continues his journey deeper into God along the monastic way. If you know of young (or less young) men who would benefit from exploring a monastic vocation, be sure to point them our way and refer them to Br. Bob Pierson, our Vocations Director.

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