Restoration

Restoration

Column: Combermere Diary

This column contains articles about current events at the Madonna House training centre in Combermere, Ontario. (Note that the article is often written in the month preceeding the publication date.)


Combermere Diary (March 2014) — by Paulette Curran. In our part of the world, it isn’t really spring in March. We are, however, cheered at that time by many small signs that it is finally on its way.... (March 17, 2014)

Combermere Diary (February 2014) — by Paulette Curran. Writing this column for the February issue of our newspaper feels a bit strange. Why? Well, due to the time requirements of layout, printing, mailing etc., I am writing it well ahead of time, about a... (February 20, 2014)

Combermere Diary (January 2014) — by Paulette Curran. I have just returned from a morning at our Restoration mail-out bee. Whoever could be spared from his or her regular work participated, and we folded your newspapers, stuck labels on the envelopes, and stuffed the... (January 22, 2014)

Combermere Diary (December 2013) — by Paulette Curran. In his poem "Ode to Autumn," John Keats (1795-1821) speaks of the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness." Keats lived in England, and so, of course, not all his poem can be applied to the backwoods of... (December 18, 2013)

Combermere Diary (November 2013) — by Paulette Curran. The other day, I talked on the phone with one of our readers, a farm woman from Alberta in western Canada. Her family, she mentioned, is in the midst of harvest, their busiest time of the year.... (November 22, 2013)

Combermere Diary (October 2013) — by Helen Porthouse. By autumn time, these summer events in Madonna House will have become memories for us, like the green leaves on the trees. Worldwide events, too. One worldwide event occurred on July 22nd, when Pope Francis landed... (October 25, 2013)

Combermere Diary (September 2013) — by Beth Holmes. Our summer has begun, as usual, with a full plate of activities.... (September 20, 2013)

Combermere Diary (July-August 2013) — by Paulette Curran. Every year in early May, shortly before the leaves come out, the directors of all our houses come home for 2 ½ weeks of meetings. This is usually the main event of this time of year.... (August 13, 2013)

Combermere Diary (May-June 2013) — by Paulette Curran. This past while, two major influences on our lives, as on the entire Church of course, were the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis.... (June 04, 2013)

Combermere Diary (April 2013) — by Paulette Curran. As I was looking over the events of the past month in preparation for writing this column, I was struck once again by the simplicity of our Madonna House life.... (April 22, 2013)

Combermere Diary (March 2013) — by Paulette Curran. Here in Madonna House, January—after Epiphany at least—is a relatively quiet and uneventful time of year. And probably it seems even more so, coming as it does right after the festivities of Christmastime.... (March 25, 2013)

Combermere Diary (February 2013) — by Paulette Curran. I am writing news of the past month towards the end of Advent, when most of the news is about our Advent celebrations. So, in the midst of articles about fasting and the Lenten effort, why... (February 25, 2013)

Combermere Diary (January 2013) — by Paulette Curran. November, the general time-frame of this column, has been a relatively quiet time for us—the time between the harvest and Advent. The weather has generally been mild for this time of year, and so far our... (January 21, 2013)

Combermere Diary (December 2012) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this column, we are in the dying days of autumn—a time of browns and grays and dark evergreens, a time when most of the trees are bare and the ground is covered with... (December 10, 2012)

Combermere Diary (November 2012) — by Paulette Curran. Early autumn, harvest time, is always a busy time here, as well as a beautiful one. Helen Schreiner’s death was both sudden and not so sudden. For a few months, she had been somewhat seriously ill... (November 28, 2012)

Combermere Diary (October 2012) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this column in late August, summer is winding down. The weather is markedly cooler, as it usually is after August 15th, and the harvest and food processing are in full swing. Cana Colony... (October 22, 2012)

Combermere Diary (September 2012) — by Paulette Curran. Summers in Combermere can be cool, but not this one. This year, so far, the weather has been, and continues to be, unusually hot and dry. Thanks be to God we are able to irrigate, but... (September 24, 2012)

Combermere Diary (July-August 2012) — by Paulette Curran. If you are a regular reader of this column, you will know that, among other things, we live according to the rhythm of the seasons—both liturgical and natural. In part of the time covered by this... (August 16, 2012)

Combermere Diary (May-June 2012) — by Paulette Curran. When you receive this paper, the Easter Season will be ending, or perhaps it will be over. I am writing at the other end of it: on Wednesday of Easter Week. This is our first day... (June 19, 2012)

Combermere Diary (April 2012) — by Paulette Curran. Spring comes late in this part of the world, and as I write this column in early March, the ground is still covered with snow. But Lent has begun, days are getting longer, and though we... (April 24, 2012)

Combermere Diary (March 2012) — by Paulette Curran. January in Madonna House Combermere, at least after the Christmas season is over, is usually a quiet time. In fact, unless there is an added event, it is probably the quietest month of the year.... (March 21, 2012)

Combermere Diary (February 2012) — by Paulette Curran. With our normal schedule, it is about two and a half weeks between the time I finish writing "Combermere Diary" and we mail out the paper. Sometimes, because of various circumstances, it is longer than that.... (February 17, 2012)

Combermere Diary (January 2012) — by Paulette Curran. One of the wonderful things, about being Catholic, at least for me, is the liturgical cycle. And the feasts, both the great ones like Christmas and the smaller ones that spring up like flowers in the... (January 25, 2012)

Combermere Diary (December 2011) — by Paulette Curran. If you read last month’s "Combermere Diary," you might remember it as a column with lots of events squeezed into it. Well, this month this column will reflect a less eventful month.... (December 12, 2011)

Combermere Diary (November 2011) — by Paulette Curran. Most funeral times at Madonna House are intense, all-encompassing affairs, times in which the rest of life seems to stand still—times when all efforts, thoughts, and prayers seem to center on the person who died and on... (November 21, 2011)

Combermere Diary (October 2011) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this column, it is late August, and summer is coming to an end. For us at Madonna House, the highlight of the end of summer, of the whole summer in fact, is the... (October 21, 2011)

Combermere Diary (September 2011) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this, it is the height of summer, a summer that is bursting with life in more ways than one. It’s certainly bursting in nature. Ever since late spring, we’ve been having lots of... (September 23, 2011)

Combermere Diary (July-August 2011) — by Paulette Curran. Combermere has had a cool, rainy spring, but no weather lasts forever, and just these last few days the sun has been shining warmly, and you can smell that summer is not far off. Spring comes late... (July 07, 2011)

Combermere Diary (May-June 2011) — by Paulette Curran. Most mornings after breakfast, Fr. David May gives us the news headlines, and newspapers and a variety of magazines are available. So every day, even though we live in an isolated area, we hear of so... (May 24, 2011)

Combermere Diary (April 2011) — by Paulette Curran. Madonna House funerals, however hard, are always times of grace and blessings, and Joan’s and Marg’s was no exception. One of these was the outpouring of love and support from friends and neighbors. This happens with all... (April 12, 2011)

Combermere Diary (March 2011) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this column, we are deep in winter. The Christmas festivities are over, and we are in a relatively quiet time of year. Yes, Christmas. It seems a little strange to be writing about Christmas... (March 22, 2011)

Combermere Diary (February 2011) — by Paulette Curran. In this rich, beautiful time of Advent—yes, I am writing this news column in December—so much could be said. But two events stand out: the 25th anniversary of the death of our foundress, Catherine Doherty, and the... (February 22, 2011)

Combermere Diary (January 2011) — by Paulette Curran. The biggest event of the past month or so was the death and funeral of our sister, Diane Kunz. Unlike most of our last few deaths, this one was sudden.... (January 27, 2011)

Combermere Diary (December 2010) — by Paulette Curran. Late autumn is the beginning of a relatively quiet time in Madonna House Combermere—the time between harvest and Advent. The last part of the harvest was the slaughtering, butchering, and meat cutting. Several friends helped with this... (December 31, 2010)

Combermere Diary (November 2010) — by Paulette Curran. As I looked over the events of the past month or so in preparation for writing this column, two words came to me: gratitude and joy. They came especially in connection with four events: the acceptance of... (November 24, 2010)

Combermere Diary (October 2010) — by Paulette Curran.  As I write this in mid-August, we are heading into the end of summer. August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption, is the turning point. After that, the weather begins to get crisper and the days shorter... (October 20, 2010)

Combermere Diary (September 2010) — by Paulette Curran.  By the time you see this column, summer will be ending, but as I write it, it is at its peak. So far it’s been a hot one, but obviously this is not the case just in... (September 23, 2010)

Combermere Diary (July-August 2010) — by Paulette Curran. Most days, we, like you, live very ordinary lives. Sometimes we’re tempted to think we are wasting them washing dishes, sweeping floors, chopping wood, cleaning, and eternally keeping things repaired and in order. Most of the time,... (August 13, 2010)

Combermere Diary (May-June 2010) — by Paulette Curran. I am writing this column on Wednesday of Easter week, our first day back at work after our celebrations. And, as many of you know, we really celebrate.... (May 27, 2010)

Combermere Diary (April 2010) — by Paulette Curran. This past while—February and late January—has been a relatively quiet time. Barring deaths (we had three last February) or some unusual event, this time between the Christmas Season and Lent usually is.... (April 16, 2010)

Combermere Diary (March 2010) — by Paulette Curran. I suggest you consider this month’s "Combermere Diary" a wee respite from the atmosphere of Lent in some of the rest of this newspaper. For the main happening this past while was Christmas and the Christmas season.... (March 23, 2010)

Combermere Diary (February 2010) — by Paulette Curran. "Is it tiring or is it life-giving?" a friend of mine asked. I was telling her on the phone about our Advent. "Both," I said. Advent in a February newspaper? Well, this is a news column and,... (February 12, 2010)

Combermere Diary (January 2010) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this in mid-November, we are continuing to enjoy an unusually mild autumn. But though it doesn’t feel like November, the view from my window confirms that it is. The bright leaves of autumn are... (January 25, 2010)

Combermere Diary (December 2009) — by Paulette Curran. Often when I begin "Combermere Diary," I am confronted with the fact this column is a news article in a newspaper which, though it doesn’t look like it, is factually a magazine. "Newspaper format, magazine content" is... (December 04, 2009)

Combermere Diary (November 2009) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this column, it is still early autumn, but in our part of the world, autumn, unlike spring, moves quickly. It is a beautiful time of year but also a reminder of the long winter... (November 27, 2009)

Combermere Diary (October 2009) — by Paulette Curran. By the time you read this column, the trees outside my window will be ablaze with the reds and golds of autumn. Right now, however, they are richly green. For we are still in summer, though it... (October 22, 2009)

Combermere Diary (September 2009) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this, we are at the peak of summer, and so far, it’s been an unusually cool and wet one. Probably the fact that our summer is so short is part of what makes it... (September 25, 2009)

Combermere Diary (July-August 2009) — by Paulette Curran. June 8, an ordinary day for most people, is for Madonna House one of the most joyous of the year. It is the feast of Our Lady of Combermere and the day some of our staff make... (August 10, 2009)

Combermere Diary (May-June 2009) — by Paulette Curran. The past month has been a much more ordinary one than the one before—thanks be to God. As we told you last month, three of our family died, and we are, of course, still grieving. It is... (May 12, 2009)

Combermere Diary (April 2009) — by Paulette Curran. This past month was a holy one—one which contained suffering and grief but also joy and laughter, extra work and challenges, and profound graces. It was a month which contained three times of dying, three deaths, three... (April 22, 2009)

Combermere Diary (March 2009) — by Paulette Curran. March! In our part of the world, in March, spring, like Easter, is something on the way—not yet arrived but sending signs that it is coming. There’s a change in the quality of light, and days are... (March 20, 2009)

Combermere Diary (February 2009) — by Paulette Curran. "Boots on; boots off. Boots on; boots off." This is the refrain of a song Chris Hanlon wrote to the tune of "Sunrise, Sunset," a song from Fiddler on the Roof. Our song was written a few... (February 23, 2009)

Combermere Diary (January 2009) — by Paulette Curran. By the time you receive this, we and many of you will be well into winter. Right now, however, I am looking out the window at our first snow. It came gently during the night, robing the... (January 30, 2009)

Combermere Diary (December 2008) — by Paulette Curran.One of the hidden works of Madonna House is our prayer and the offering of our daily lives for the whole world. Seems like there is always so much to pray for, especially these days. The economic situation,... (December 12, 2008)

Combermere Diary (November 2008) — by Paulette Curran. As I looked out my office window on this golden autumn day, it struck me how much our Madonna House life is formed and affected by the seasons. Liturgically, of course, autumn is Ordinary Time, a time... (November 29, 2008)

Combermere Diary (October 2008) — by Helen Hodson. As people throughout the world were cheering Michael Phelps on to his eighth gold medal in the Beijing Olympics, we were quietly celebrating some far greater and further reaching events: the glorious feast of the Assumption of... (October 24, 2008)

Combermere Diary (September 2008) — by Helen Hodson. "Conversion to God is always the fruit of the rediscovery of the Father who is rich in mercy." — Pope John Paul II The six weeks of our annual summer program, the theme of which is ‘Preaching... (September 18, 2008)

Combermere Diary (July-August 2008) — by Paulette Curran. Summer is here—even in early June as I write this. All is full, lush, and green, and for now—though this early it will not last long—it is quite hot. Several hardy souls have even ventured into the... (August 19, 2008)

Combermere Diary (May-June 2008) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this, we are in the midst of the Easter Season—listening to the glorious Easter readings and singing the Easter hymns at Mass and enjoying the Easter decorations. We taper down the decorations as time... (June 12, 2008)

Combermere Diary (April 2008) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this column, Lent has just begun. The outward changes this season brings are easily listed: the liturgical purples, the readings at Mass, our beautiful Lenten hymns which we sing over and over, and fewer... (April 18, 2008)

Combermere Diary (March 2008) — by Paulette Curran. In Madonna House, January—barring the unexpected—is the quietest time of year. Our numbers are down, for one thing. Some of our longterm guests always leave after Christmas, and not many new ones come until later in the... (March 12, 2008)

Combermere Diary (February 2008) — by Paulette Curran. Just before the beginning of the new millennium, one of the well-known news magazines gave a kind of overview of the past two thousand years. I was struck by their description, dismissal really, of the whole Middle... (February 01, 2008)

Combermere Diary (January 2008) — by Paulette Curran. Though most of you will be reading this sometime during the Advent-Christmas Season, the news in this column is from an earlier, quieter season. I am writing this on a mild, gray day in November, during a relatively... (January 18, 2008)

Combermere Diary (December 2007) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this column, it is not yet winter, though it’s obvious it’s coming soon. You can feel it in the increasing cold and see it in the trees that are slowly getting bare as the... (December 05, 2007)

Combermere Diary (November 2007) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this, it is early autumn. The days are getting cooler, and the leaves are just beginning to turn their glorious yellows, reds, and oranges. In some ways, autumn is a quieter time than summer.... (November 14, 2007)

Combermere Diary (October 2007) — by Paulette Curran. This summer has certainly been for us a summer of 50th anniversary celebrations.... (October 26, 2007)

Combermere Diary (September 2007) — by Paulette Curran. Summer in Combermere is a very busy time and one filled with much life of every kind. Though it has been cooler than usual so far, there has been lots of rain, and the vegetation, both wild... (September 24, 2007)

Combermere Diary (July-August 2007) — by Paulette Curran. As always at this time of year, we are happy to share with you our joy of June 8th—the day we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Combermere and the day of commitment to God through... (July 02, 2007)

Combermere Diary (May-June 2007) — by Paulette Curran. This month two of our news items ended up being separate articles. Both of them—the hosting of the Ark of the New Covenant and the dying, death, and funeral of Rosemary Hanlon—are beautiful examples of Catholic culture.... (May 03, 2007)

Combermere Diary (April 2007) — by Paulette Curran. Ah, spring! Well, here in Combermere, as I write this, it’s not here yet. But there are a few signs that it is on its way: daylight is remaining a little longer every day, Janine Gobeil has... (April 02, 2007)

Combermere Diary (March 2007) — by Paulette Curran. January in Madonna House is a relatively quiet, uneventful time—a time not unwelcome after the intensity of Advent and Christmastime. It is also a time of natural beauty—a time when snow brightens the grayness of cloudy days... (March 09, 2007)

Combermere Diary (February 2007) — by Paulette Curran. When most of you read this, Lent will not be far away. But I am finishing this column on our first workday after Christmas! I am reminded of how Catherine very soon after Christmas Day would talk... (February 16, 2007)

Combermere Diary (January 2007) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this, it is late November, the gray time between the bright colors of autumn and the sparkling whiteness of winter. In our lives as well, it is an in-between time, a relatively quiet time.... (January 08, 2007)

Combermere Diary (December 2006) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this diary, autumn is still with us, and an unusually mild and wet autumn it has been. Today’s cloudy day is typical. There was only one sunny day last week, and this week the... (December 01, 2006)

Combermere Diary (November 2006) — by Paulette Curran. Our life here is so simple and ordinary, and at the same time, so rich. I wonder if this is always the case when life is centered on God and connected with him. This past month, as... (November 15, 2006)

Combermere Diary (October 2006) — Even though it isn’t here yet, we can feel fall coming. The weather is getting cooler, summer school is over as is Cana, and the harvest is coming in. What a wonderful harvest it is this year! Ideal conditions—lots of... (October 13, 2006)

Combermere Diary (September 2006) — by Paulette Curran. Here at Madonna House, in this tiny corner of rural Ontario, it sometimes seems as if we live in several worlds at once. Right here—within each of us and among us, and through the varied events of... (September 18, 2006)

Combermere Diary (July-August 2006) — by Fr. Denis Lemieux. "God must be happy about something!" So commented one of our members after magnificent ‘full-arc’ rainbows appeared over the Madawaska river here, on two consecutive evenings! "God must be happy..." well, I suppose that God’s happiness... (July 10, 2006)

Combermere Diary (May-June 2006) — by Paulette Curran. Spring comes slowly to this part of the world. And when it is young, it teases. The temperature rises, and the snow begins to melt. Water drips from the roofs and flows in little rivulets everywhere. We... (May 11, 2006)

Combermere Diary (April 2006) — by Paulette Curran. Ah, April! It’s a lovely thought as I look out the window on this day in late February at lots and lots of snow. Though spring is definitely on its way, at this time of year the... (April 26, 2006)

Combermere Diary (March 2006) — by Paulette Curran. In giving us the liturgical year, the Church, in her wisdom, has given us the variety of life itself. When you receive this newspaper, you will be entering the solemn season of Lent, and here am I... (March 06, 2006)

Combermere Diary (February 2006) — by Paulette Curran. When looking over the events of this past month in preparation for writing this column, I was struck by how much our Madonna House life is built around and permeated with the liturgy—both the unchanging essences of... (February 03, 2006)

Combermere Diary (January 2006) — by Paulette Curran. For a while now, winter has been easing in with its colder temperatures and occasional snow flurries, but yesterday—later that we usually do—we had our first real snowfall. Today the air is crispy cold and all around... (January 04, 2006)

Combermere Diary (December 2005) — by Paulette Curran. The leaves are falling, falling, falling, and soon the trees and all the land will take on its brown and gray November look. Without the in-between time of starkness, would the first bright snow bring such delight?... (December 05, 2005)

Combermere Diary (November 2005) — by Paulette Curran. As I look out my window on this early October day, I see an unusual sight for this time of year. Most of the leaves are still green. And if I walked around to the other side... (November 09, 2005)

Combermere Diary (October 2005) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this, it is late summer—a beautiful time of year here. After an unusually hot summer, we are enjoying cooler temperatures—ideal for Sunday afternoon hiking and biking, and usually still warm enough to curl up... (October 05, 2005)

Combermere Diary (September 2005) — by Paulette Curran. “If we ever want to start a business and earn some money,” one of our priests once quipped, “we could hire ourselves out to put on celebrations.” Yes. Both Catherine Doherty and Archbishop Raya really taught us... (September 05, 2005)

Combermere Diary (July-August 2005) — by Paulette Curran. The past two months—the time-frame covered by this Combermere Diary—have been, not only eventful, but rich and full. They began with a major event in the Church—the death of Pope John Paul II—and ended with a major... (July 22, 2005)

Combermere Diary (May-June 2005) — by Paulette Curran. The first day back to our ordinary work schedule after three days off for our Easter celebration, I have just discovered, is not ideal for writing Combermere Diary. Usually I have thought about this column before sitting... (May 09, 2005)

Combermere Diary (April 2005) — by Paulette Curran. By the time you read this, at least those of you who live in the United States and Canada, it will still be early spring in this part of the world. But even now, when it is... (April 11, 2005)

Combermere Diary (March 2005) — by Paulette Curran. The time I am writing this—towards the end of January—is the quietest time of the year for us at Madonna House. For it is a time of fewer visitors and a time between two major liturgical seasons:... (March 08, 2005)

Combermere Diary (February 2005) — by Paulette Curran. One big piece of news is that the carpenters and others have finished the renovation of the main kitchen. So after eight weeks of living with St. Mary’s, our community down the road, we of the main... (February 01, 2005)

Combermere Diary (January 2005) — by Paulette Curran. As I write this, we are just ending the sixth week of our temporary “merging.” Yes, as we said last month, at this time of major renovation of the kitchen of the main house, our two communities—the... (January 01, 2005)

 

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