Impressions gathered by Abbot Jeremias Schröder OSB, August 2015
This is the question I am asked most frequently. None of our recent foundations has provoked a similar interest. Answering the question is not easy. There is on the one hand the inner growth of our fledgling community. It is growing, not very fast but steadily. In March 2015 the first Cuban monk made his vows, others are planning to follow suit. The external growth is not exactly rampant; the construction of our first proper monastery requires approval statements from 7 government departments. And there are surprises. Recently we learned that the whole plot could be flooded and is therefore out of bounds for any construction. A few months later, after intensive research and Überzeugungsarbeit the objection was lifted – saving our future. It took us two years to get the permission to import a new tractor from abroad. The paper has now arrived and we can place the order. Meanwhile, we have managed to obtain an ancient Russian vehicle – at least something, so that the first roads into our future farm can be made. Sopmetimes things drag on, and everything appears bitterly bureaucratic, and then suddenly there is a leap forward, – often promoted “from above”, and in Cuba that is not a metaphysical category.