Troops of St. George Visit Clear Creek Abbey

 In the early morning  Thursday, on the vigil of St. John the Baptist, the Troops of St. George fathers and sons mounted their vehicles and started their pilgrimage to our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey- a Benedictine Monastery near Muscogee, Oklahoma USA, near the Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas borders.
The Father-Abbot and Abbey Guestmaster greeted the Troops and Canon Jayr as they arrived just in time to join the monks to pray for the hours of None and Vespers (2-3pm) down at the Abbey church crypt.
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The solemn Gregorian chants, echoed everywhere throughout the solidly built walls and Romanesque arches and vaultings.  The entire atmosphere brings the mind and heart to reflection and gratefulness, and companionship with God, thus describing what the word, “glorious” should only be reserved and used for.  The monks of this Benedictine Abbey bring forth the true glories of God here on earth --  the morning and evening chants,  the tolling of bells,  the fraternal walks through dusty trails in cassocks, dining in community, enjoying their homemade food and drinks, working and sweating in the fields, tending sheep, pigs, ducks, working in the saw mills, and serving each other humbly-- all for the greater glory to God. ORA ET LABORA, St. Benedict pray for us.
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On Saturday, the Troops visited the Institute of Christ King Sovereign Priest Oratory of St. Frances De Sales in St. Louis, Missouri. Brother Jeffrey Walton, gave us another glorious vision of God's delights, by opening the church for the Troops' private viewing of its beautiful stained glass windows built by German immigrants using  "old world" techniques- deep blue, rich red colors, and with signage in German "Geshenken von Johann und Katarina Wiildhaber" (gifted by Johann, etc...).
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The Troops dined outside on pizza and drinks, enjoying the night air, while admiring the history of the beautiful church -- the tall, dominating spire and solid, manly Gothic masonry, balanced with graceful pinnacles and mini-buttresses.  All that was missing were a few gargoyles!
We were ever so grateful to Canon Coggeshall.  It truly felt a home away from home -- far away from St. Stanislaus, yet so near -- with the Canons, and Acolytes in the Institute blue & white cassocks, as well as meeting fellow Troops from St. Frances de Sales, and enjoying Donut Sunday.
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What a glorious weekend it was, filled with glimpses of the glories of God: from the humble lifestyle of the monks and their Gregorian chants of prayers, to the stunning craftsmanship of stained glass windows! Despite the heat visited upon us, by persevering we were granted many blessings! How relevant the monks prayers during the Prime hours from Psalm 18, directed to the Troops: "He hath set His Tabernacle in the Sun...and like a Giant running across the skies, He rejoices....And  there is no one that can hide himself from His heat".

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