The monastery’s use of and advances to technology have, according to some monks, made life at the monastery faster in pace than it used to be. However, although some members feel that the monastery has expanded its borders and become less isolated, they do not see major changes within the daily routines of the abbey’s members. The abbott and one of the fathers have to use e-mail fairly regularly in order to keep in contact with the outside world (ie. maintenance of the Monks’ Bread site, contact with other parishioners).
Before the Second Vatican Council, monks at the Abbey of the Genesee only communicated via sign language; silence was strictly enforced. Now, monks speak to each other when necessary and the silence aspect of the brotherhood is far less rigid than it used to be. As the abbott puts it, “now we communicate. We don’t chat — we communicate.”
Although the monks still follow a strict schedule of work, prayer, and contemplation, one founding monk remembers the “heavily structured” schedules the monks used to follow. Coupled with a “rigid, tight form of obedience” and the mandatory silence, the brotherhood seems to have become slightly more lenient than in years past.
The video below is a compilation of interviews from monks in which they describe their view of the daily routines at the abbey currently as opposed to years past. For site visitors with hearing impairments, please feel free to utilize the closed captioning option on the YouTube bar.