A Year and a Day
Now We Have a History
In July, 2010, the curator of the Osage Mission-Neosho County Museum asked me to write about a day in the life of a novice.
"We knew nothing about you guys. You were 'the novices', nothing more," he said. "We could hear your laughter in the garden as we high-schoolers drove by on the way to a dance or party. We saw you on Sundays in the choir but you had no names, no histories, no stories. I want to be able to tell our high school seniors, as they move out into the world, what happened here. Help me show them, through your history, how important is this time in their lives."
After I agreed to write this vignette, I began thinking, "This is boring! What can they possibly learn from an hour-by-hour description of lives spent in complete isolation. No magazines, no newspapers, no telephones, and no televisions. No contact outside the two acres of monastery grounds in a corner of southeast Kansas!"
In October, 2010, I found a timeline on the Internet that documented events in that outside world. The timeline listed daily events that happened from 11 July 1964 to 12 July 1965–our canonical 'Year and a Day' of novitiate.
Here's the fruit of that thought, A Year and a Day-Now We have a History. It has been copyrighted and I now want to make it available to anyone who wants to read about a time of immense change both in the modern world and the isolated world of a monastery. It's serious and humorous. It will evoke memories pleasant and sad. But that's what history does.
The Beatles emerged on the world stage. Vietnam began. Race riots proliferated. Natural disasters occurred. Personages long known passed away. Vatican II happened and the Church changed with the world around it. And thirty boys became men.
You will find this story at the bottom of this description. It is a 4 Mb PDF file, so be patient when you download it. There is also a 'Donate' button below the download. If you are moved by this story, press that button and donate to the Archives of Holy Cross Province. You can donate by credit card and all monies received will be forwarded to the Provincial Office in Chicago for the express purpose of continuing their work in documenting their history and ours as well. If you pass this story on to others, ask them to come here and donate, too.
Brochure, ca. 1960