Here is a wonderful picture of Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB, the recipient of the IRL’s 2012 Pro Fidelitate et Virtue Award, presenting Pope Benedict XVI with a bottle of his community’s newly brewed beer. Since the community’s home is at the birthplace of St. Benedict of Nursia, it is appropriately enough called Birra Nursia (Nursia Beer).
Which is a reminder. Whenever possible, I buy gifts or order cards from our monastic communities, supporting them in the work that helps them to keep their lights on. Try some of these favorites from a few of our IRL communities:
Brigittine fudge: The only community of Brigittine men in the US. Originally founded by St. Bridget of Sweden. Fudge is tops with my mother.
Seignadou Soaps from the Summnit, NJ, Dominican Nuns. Seignadou means “sign from God” and commemorates the sign received by St. Dominic confirming his work. Caribbean Coconut, Citrus Basil, and Cedarwood Sage are some of the scented varieties.
Hand drawn cards – the word “card” does not do justice to these hand-drawn and colored calligraphy cards. I simply tell the Passionist Nuns in Ellisville, MO, what I want (birthday greetings, condolence card, ordination, etc ) and they do a customized card for the recipient. For $25.00 I got a beautiful 8 1/2 x 11 folded, hand-drawn card, sent out immediately. Smaller sizes available. Must call or write to them: 15700 Clayton Road, Ellisville, MO, 63011 or 636-527-6867. I should add that the receiver is remembered in the nuns’ prayers and masses for all time. What a gift!
The Holy Transfiguration Skete in Eagle Harbor, MI, offers homemade jams in not your usual run-of-the-mill varieties – bilberry, chokeberry, wild crabapple, red currant. They are a Catholic Monastery of the Byzantine rite.