News from the Abbey Farm
The past months have been a busy time on the farm. We had some beautiful weather in February so the cattle were let out to grass. However, they had to return to the sheds again when the weather turned very wet, and they were not too happy to leave the green grass and the freedom of the wide open spaces. By Easter the weather had improved so they were back in the fields again munching away contentedly.
We took advantage of the mild March weather to harvest our crop of miscanthus, at 11% – 15% moisture. This is an energy saving crop which we hope will produce heat for the Abbey. Planning permission has been granted for installing a Biomass Boiler which hopefully will be up and running by next Winter.
The highlight of the farm every Spring is the arrival of the baby lambs, so March is a busy month. Mother Marie, our Abbess, is on call day or night to offer her midwifery skills in assisting with the lambing when necessary.!
Sheep and lambs seem to dominate the scriptures during Eastertide – and we have just celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday. Everyone seems to be attracted to these delightful animals. The lambs are really therapeutic to watch – skipping, running and jumping – they are so full of life and the poor mothers are exhausted running after them to make sure they do not come to any harm. One could spend all day watching and contemplating their actions and their gentleness.
In April we had the death of our dear Sr. Gerard, R.I.P., who no doubt is now enjoying the new Springtime in the Heavenly Homeland – and I am sure there are lambs and flowers in abundance for her to enjoy.!
Speaking of the Good Shepherd, on Divine Mercy Sunday, Mother Marie and Sr. Kathleen attended the ordination of our new bishop, Alphonsus Cullinane. We welcome him to our Diocese and we pray that he will be happy amidst his flock – and as Pope Francis has said ‘that the smell of the sheep will be familiar to him’! We are most grateful to Bishop William Lee emeritus for his years of ministry and pray that he will enjoy many years of good health.
As I write this the noise of machinery and heavy drills create a very different monastic environment ! Thank God the demolition phase is coming to an end and then we will look forward to the emergence of the new bedroom block and kitchen.
Farm Manager (as pictured)