Upcoming current events

Teilhard de Chardin: Cosmology, Consciousness, and Contemplation

Daylesford Abbey, Paoli, PA

September 27, and October 4, 2022

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ was a mystic priest and scientist whose dynamic vision and spirituality present a pathway for understanding the relationship between faith and evolution. Teilhard sees evolution as the universe growing closer to God by becoming more “spiritualized” and “Christified.” As the universe increases in its material complexity, there is a corresponding increase in consciousness, leading us to become ever-more aware of the Divine Fire burning at the heart of matter and bringing all into union. In this three-part series, we will explore the life and vision of Teilhard, taking time to unpack his mysticism and consider the role of contemplation within the unfolding of cosmic evolution.
$30.00Registration for Teilhard de Chardin: Cosmology, Consciousness, and Contemplation with Andrew Del Rossi, Th.D.

Michaelmas
Feast of St. Michael the Archangel

September 29, 2022

St. Michael's Abbey, Silverado, CA

Michaelmas is the celebration of the feast of St. Michael. Roman Catholics have been celebrating the valiant archangel since at least the fifth century. The Leonine Sacramentary (the oldest surviving liturgical text in the Church) mentions that a basilica built along the famous Via Salaria near Rome was consecrated to the Archangels on September 30. The Gelasian Sacramentary and Gregorian Sacramentary, written in the following 200 years, clarify that this was a celebration of St. Michael, and that the accurate anniversary of the basilica’s consecration was September 29. (Sometimes record keeping isn’t an exact science!)
In any case, September 29 seems to have been when people actually observed the holiday. And while that basilica is now lost to time—it survives only as a somewhat unimpressive archaeological site in the Castel Giubileo suburb of Rome—the legacy of this important feast remains!
By the Middle Ages, Michaelmas had grown into a significant feast. In addition to being declared a holy day of obligation—a designation the solemnity enjoyed until the 18th century—Michaelmas also gained a cultural and political character. In the British Isles, Michaelmas marked the end of major harvests and signified the coming of fall. This timing made the day a convenient time to conduct business: loans and rent expired on Michaelmas, contracts ended and needed renewal, and wages were paid. Soon, Michaelmas became an occasion for elections for both political and academic positions, too.
Catholics would prepare for the solemnity with a short “St. Michael’s Lent,” so when Michaelmas finally arrived many Medievals took the holy day as a chance to party! Towns hosted processions, unveiled the first beer of the fall, and cooked special feasts. In Italy, it became popular to consume ales and desserts featuring ginger, probably because of the root’s association with good health. In England, eating goose was customary. People across Europe used the holiday to pick Asters (sometimes referred to as Michaelmas Daisies) to decorate their churches and homes.
One legend from the British Isles holds that when St. Michael defeated Satan, he cast Satan into a particularly prickly blackberry bush—a tale which developed into the practice of making blackberry jam and pies leading up to Michaelmas and avoiding the berries once the feast had passed. In Ireland, the faithful took the occasion as a chance to remember the dead.
Though the feast is no longer a holy day of obligation, it is still celebrated as a major solemnity by Catholics all around the world—including the Norbertines at St. Michael’s Abbey!