After 3 weeks of patiently waiting for the aftershocks to cease and the assurance from engineers of its safety, the monks began offering sung Conventual Mass in the scavi area on Sunday, with solemn Mass to commemorate the occasion. The Mass was said at a portable altar in front of a 15th century fresco of Our Lady, St. John and St. Sebastian taken from an old church in the nearby town of Biselli, after, alas, the last earthquake in 1997 destroyed the rest of the that Church. The scavi, or old roman ruins, that house the fresco were filled to the brim with faithful friends and supporters including the warm visit of three French abbots from the monasteries of Le Barroux, Triors and Fontgombault who came on pilgrimage to offer their encouragement in aftermath of the earthquake to the monks and Norcia. A tour of the ruined sections of the buildings in town followed the Mass where the abbots also encountered our monastery’s one pet. That would be Tertullian, the turtle, who lives in the garden.
Monks at San Benedetto in Monte continue to tame the forest and try to put the land in order, an effort helped by a surprise gift from Sara Fumagalli and friends and supporters in the Commune of Cisano B.sco, Lazzate and Aracole. Only 3 days previously the monks were at a hardware store admiring a chainsaw which we needed to help tame the land but the price was high and prudence dictated careful consideration. Sara and her ONLUS van arrived with none other than the exact same chainsaw and many other helpful supplies for gardening and building. The hand of Providence was upon her and we shared some Birra Nursia with her and her kindly drivers.
Some give gifts in kind, some help with monetary donations. Both are much appreciated! For the latter, at last our fundraising efforts to rebuild have begun and on Friday we will release our official “Deep Roots” campaign summary and video. Please consider a gift to help us rebuild.
Also for all those in the NYC area or desirous of a good reason for a trip to the Northeast, our first Norcia Landing to raise funds for the rebuilding efforts will be Sept. 30th in Darien CT. We’ve extended the time to RSVP so that as many as possible can join us. Recent visitors to Norcia will tell of their experiences there and the monks will give the latest updates on the rebuilding efforts.
Whether we meet there, or in Norcia, or somewhere in between, know of our heartfelt gratitude to all you who have already given and the assurance of our prayers for all those who do good to us in God’s name.