In 2017 Br. Daniel and I were spending time in little hermitages on a corner of the Mission. Without electricity we began to learn about hand tools. The physical exertion of ripping boards with a hand saw and planning are a good counterbalance to the more stationary elements of prayer and other duties. For a while the hermitage and workshop were one, but the dust got to be a bit much to sleep in. We have since had to move our workshop back up to the Brothers house where we have converted an old corrugated shed into our workshop.

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Machines make surfaces pristine and perfect. A standard efficiency of pre-industrial craftsman was leave the secondary, unseen surfaces with the marks of mens’ work. Marks from tools, pencils, effort, thought and imperfection.

These traditional methods have much to teach us. A square board, a whet edge, patience. They remind us of St. Joseph. We think of his human virtues, but above all his divine Faith in the midst of the very ordinary and human circumstances of his life.

St. Joseph pray for us

Jesus we trust in You