Brother Aelred (Joseph) Reid pronounced his life-vows to our monastery on April 16,
with Abbot Brian presiding at the ceremony. In attendance were his parents, Mr. and
Mrs. Joseph Reid of Raymond, Maine, and other guests from New England. Also on hand
were many of the friends that Bro. Aelred has made in his four years in North Dakota.
Since Bro. Aelred is 51 years of age, he has had a good deal of life experience between
the date of his birth on March 20, 1954, and his final profession. After graduation
from high school in the Boston area, he attended a minor seminary run by the Society
of African Missionaries. Due to his long interest in monastic life, he made contact
with the Trappists at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Massachusetts. He was living and working
with the Dominicans in New York City when he sought entrance into our Abbey.
Over the years, Bro. Aelred worked at many different jobs, but perhaps his main work
was as a waiter in various high-end restaurants in New York and Miami. During his
time here, Bro. Aelred has made good use of the many skills he has learned in the
work-world. He has served as sacristan and he is currently our laundryman. Although
he had not worked on the farm for many years, he now finds himself assisting with
our ranching operation on occasion.
Many of Bro. Aelred’s gifts lie in the area of aesthetics: he likes things to be
beautiful. This has manifested itself in the flower arrangements he provides for
the Abbey church and for the dining room. But lately even more of his abundant energy
has been devoted to the mounting and framing of icons. For this he has a studio above
the library where he can find the quiet he needs and also risk the noxious fumes
associated with this process.