A Week with Canons

No, I'm not at a military re-enactment encampment.  Not those kind of cannons.  These are priests known as canons.  I've been giving a retreat this week to the Canons Regular of Premontre at St. Michael's Abbey in Silverado, California. This particular community of about 70 Norbertines has outgrown its present location and has purchased land nearby where they are planning to build a larger facility to accomodate their needs. Besides running St. Michael's Prep School and a summer camp at the Abbey, they also serve in parishes and schools around southern California and perform other pastoral and spiritual works. But their primary work is prayer which involves chanting the entire seven segments of the Divine Office. The focus on my retreat with them is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I've been privileged to pray with them and here is the schedule we have been following:

6:45 AM    Office of Readings and Morning Prayer
7:45 AM    Breakfast (in silence)
8:45 AM    Terce or Third Hour Prayer
9:00 AM    First Retreat Talk
9:40 AM    Free Time for Prayer and to Meet the Director
11:00 AM  Mass
Noon          Midday Prayer
12:15 PM   Lunch (in silence with a reading)
1:00 PM     Free
3:30 PM    Second Retreat Talk
4:20 PM    None or Ninth Hour Prayer
4:30 PM    Rosary
5:00 PM    Vespers
5:30 PM    Supper (in silence with a reading)
7:00 PM    Third Retreat Talk
8:00 PM    Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
8:05 PM    Compline or Night Prayer
9:05 PM    Benediction

The table reading at lunch and supper has been from Blessed John XXIII's "Journal of a Soul." His deep devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is evident throughout this journal that covers most of his life, from his seminary years up to and including his time as pope.

The services at St. Michael's Abbey are open to the public and it has been a blessing to see how many people come for Mass, the various prayers throughout the day, and the Holy Hour in the evening.