The band. It was meant to be the offical photo.

Marist Fathers’ Novitiate,
Private Bag,
Palmerston Nth.
19th Jan. ’69.

Dear Mum & Dad,

Congratulations on the Lottery win! I’m not supposed to think of “worldly” things during Novitiate, but I guess I can be forgiven this time!! No, there is nothing I want immediately with mine – thanks very much.

You said that you were interested to hear what we did during the day.

5.28 Rise
5.50 Morning Prayers
6.00 Meditation
6.30 Mass
7.15 Lauds (Office)
7.45 Breakfast
8.30 Terce (Office)
8.45 First class
9.25 Second class then a 10 minute break & study
10.45 3rd class
11.25 Inside Manual Labour
12.30 Lunch
2.15 p.m. Matins (Office) and then study until
3.30 Afternoon Tea
3.45 Outside Manual Labour
4.30 Singing Class (to be taken by me soon!)
5.00 Vespers (Office)
5.30 Class
6.00 Tea then washing dishes & recreation
7.00 Rosary & Visit in Chape
l 7.30 Spiritual Reading
8.00-9.00 Study
9.00 Night Prayers
9.30 Lights Out
5.28 Rise…

So you can see that everything is planned. On Wednesday & Saturday afternoons you can either go for a walk or work (when we say work it means you work at your jobs, which Fr. Bennett means to be a hobby rather than a task). The only free time we get is about 1 ¼ hrs. on Wed. & Sat. in the late afternoon. Yesterday afternoon we were hay making so that provided a change in the time table. We are not allowed to use any machines (except the lawn mowers!) so we loaded and unloaded the hay. There is a lot more hay to be done yet but it depends on Fr. Bennett as to whether we do it (Sorry – it doesn’t depend on Fr. Bennett, it depends on God whether we do it or not!!)

About the Visiting Days – there are four a year, one each term. We can only receive visitors during our free time, so it is a matter of choosing a day in the term with the most free time. On Easter Sunday we are free from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Easter Monday would be better (provided it was fine) because we could have lunch on the lawn. It is also restricted as to who can come – parents & relations living with the parents. So if Sue & Rick & Tony or anyone else (inlaws etc) would like to sleep the night at home… ! I think it would be alright as long as they come in the same car.

There seem to be hundreds of small frogs all over the paddocks – you come across one about every twelve yards. Last night when we went to bed there were four sitting outside the door of the dormitory block. There is one Tongan in the band who can’t stand frogs, so those four frogs sitting outside were soon sitting inside the dormitory block.

Well, I have to go now.

Love from

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