A topic that is quite relevant to Mount Michael's monastic community is: old age and dealing with aging.
Today's feast reminds me of elderly people because of two elders in the gospel for today-- Simeon and Anna. Of course, in monastic communites today's gospel contains words that we hear and sing every day at Night Prayer or Compline, the Nunc Dimittis-- Now you can dismiss your servant!
I think of myself aging, but I also think of the elders of our community. The one that comes to mind immediately is Br. Francis Schmitz. He has become quite a character in our community as he ages. He keeps us all laughing, eventhough his antics are sometimes preditable.
Here is Br. Francis in his raincoat at this year's Fall Festival. One can be assured that he is answering any questions by asking more questions. He loves responding that way these days.
Br. Franics's birthday is coming up this month. On February 18th he will be 84 years old. Although a few of our monastic members are ahead of him, Br. Francis certainly comes to mind when I think of the elders of my life who recognize God in his midst! All one can say is: "He is something"!
The other community members in the 80s are: Abbot Raphael Walsh, Abbot Theodore Wolff, Fr. Adrian Liable, Br. Mark Bern.