5 September, 2016 - Our annual Labor Day procession




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Each year on the first Monday of September, the monks of Gethsemani mark Labor Day by processing around the workplaces of the monastery and blessing them with incense and holy water.

Work is central to the Cistercian way of life. We live by the labor of our hands, as it says we should in the Rule of St. Benedict.

Our products, fruitcake and fudge, are made, packaged and shipped entirely by the monks here. In addition, monks do all the cooking for both the community and the retreatants, and do many housekeeping chores around the abbey, as well as keeping the grounds in shape. Monks are also in charge of our sewage plant, land management, library, gift shop and infirmary.


After the procession, we all headed to the refectory where we celebrated a Gaudeamus supper. Guadeamus literally means "let us celebrate." In the monastic context, it means that we can talk during the meal. Much jovial conversation ensued.

This was fuelled by the wonderful variety of pizza, cold drinks and ice cream which the kitchen staff under Br. Thomas had prepared for us.



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