How We Spent Our Summer Vacation, Part Two: A Visit From the Archbishop

Part One may be found here.

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On August 11, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco made his annual visit to our monastery. After celebrating Mass with us, we welcomed him inside the cloister for conversation and a walk around our grounds. 

We were eager to learn His Excellency’s ministry is flourishing with the growth of St. Patrick’s Seminary nearby, and with his unique initiative to restore the beauty of Gregorian chant in parishes through the new Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship. Chant camps for children are now being offered, and inmates at the San Quentin state prison have formed a serious schola. Incredibly, the chants are being sung unaccompanied—an extraordinary musical feat in our modern times.

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During our walk around the grounds, he seemed particularly impressed with the new brick patio and gazebo installed by the novitiate, and with our overgrown prickly pear cactus, which prompted some nostalgia from his boyhood. And we learned some tips for how to pick the fruit without getting pricked! We are fortunate to have such a holy and dynamic shepherd for our Archdiocese.