TEOTWAIKI – Holy Souls Hermitage – Closing of another chapter in my life

holy souls hermitage ad orientem 1

It’s late in the evening of 31 August 2016. I just got a phone call saying that the property on which Holy Souls Hermitage was built is now being sold with a rather extreme urgency. That means I have to move definitively everything out of the hermitage and then that’s it.

I confess that I am weak, and very much tend to nostalgia. I think of the purposely oriented to the East ad orientem chapel of the hermitage. Our Lord is good and kind in all seasons, as are the angels and saints. I have so many memories of Spring and Summer and Autumn and Winter…

holy souls hermitage ad orientem 4

holy souls hermitage ad orientem 5

holy souls hermitage ad orientem 3

holy souls hermitage ad orientem 2

I think of the baldacchino lovingly painted by a search and rescue family out East…

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

So many good memories… But no time for memories… I’ll have to move quickly…

TEOTWAIKI feeling I got was fierce and immediate, as if the entire world is right now passing away, and, of course, it is. To be attached to this world is vanity, vacuous, villainous. So, no. If the hermitage was anything at all it was about our Lord and His blessed Mother. I had set out to write something about our Blessed Mother and I was successful in writing some few but important pages about Genesis 3:15 and the Immaculate Conception. I think I might have given her a few flowers at that time as well:

flores hsh

I think of the umpteen times I had defied death while building the hermitage (some heart stopping moments), while curing wounds of some 25 serious brown recluse bites (I recommend the Sawyer’s Extractor for however many times for however many weeks it takes), while being around bears and panthers and wolves, while suffering time and again from serious smoke inhalation deathly far from any hospital, when the draw of the fire was no good what with the shell of the hermitage not yet complete, and me then, woken up by my guardian angel, and then sitting outside, freezing and wet and choking for hours, and loving all of it through the tears and not wanting to change anything for anything if only my guardian angel would be with me. I think of many benefactors for whom I still pray. I think of the gymnastics I accomplished doing somersaults down cliffs with a running chainsaw in trying to get wood for winter, or in flipping into a dumpster at the soup kitchen in town for some treasure to eat, I having slyly manuevered myself into being in charge of the dumpsters.


The good ol’ days! I will miss them, truly. It was all a great experience for me. I think I’m better for it all. But I think I need to stop thinking with such nostalgia. It’s time to clean up and definitively move on to the next chapter of my life. I’ve kind of been hanging on to the hermitage as much as I could. But this is it.


Filed under Father Byers Autobiography

14 responses to “TEOTWAIKI – Holy Souls Hermitage – Closing of another chapter in my life

  1. Monica Harris

    Oh no! I have been going through kind of similar process, detaching from my home of 22 years—but it must be worse, since you built the Hermitage with your bare hands. Father Byers, to grieve and have the nost-algia is human and is part of God’s image….you have irreplaceable memories, and THAT, no one can take away.

  2. sanfelipe007

    Well said, Father!

  3. I too many weak and subject to nostalgia.and sentimentality. It is tough to say good bye to special things – not only that you will be working hard. My mom used to tell me that when God takes something we care about away, He always puts something even more special aside for us in heaven. I think she might have been right!

    I will say an extra prayer for you tonight.

  4. sanfelipe007

    The picture of the flower is awesome! I see a flock of birds fluttering below a blast of trumpets for the Lord.

  5. Nan

    I’m so sorry! One Hermitage closes, another one opens.

  6. Monica Harris

    Yellow-fringed orchid! Finally ID’d it, root may have been used to treat rattlesnake bite. Gorgeous, as are your other photos of the Hermitage during the seasons. Thank you very much for letting us appreciate the beauty of it.

  7. gueydangirl

    Godspeed and bless the homeowner’s family as they start a new chapter in their lives, too. Ah, Father! The Hermitage! That window! Those views! What a blessing. Surely shall be missed.

  8. Dear Fr. George David, what lovely scenes, over the seasons – Our Lord is indeed Lord of, and for, all seasons. Thank you for these lovely pictures, and I hope you are able to get some rest soon. You have been awfully busy lately.

    God bless

  9. pelerin

    I feel your pain Father but do like the comment from Nan of ‘One Hermitage closing and another one opening.’
    Would it be possible for you to put the beautiful seasonal photos of your Altar permanently on your sidebar with a facility for enlarging them? Or perhaps one at a time when you reach each season?

  10. “OH, NO” was my first thought. It’s always hard leaving some loved place behind and all the loved people associated with that place, especially when you have no idea where you are going. There is another place with other people waiting for you, Fr. Byers. That place and those people will become beloved too. God is with you.

  11. Viv

    Will we still be able to follow you? What ever happened to Laudie dog?

  12. Seems like our Father’s lining up his Troops. He’s detaching many of us from our “comfort zone”! (Some of us had them burned down behind us! :) Figuratively at least!

  13. I feel for certain that at least one item or two, from that hermitage, will find its new home in the littlest parish of the USA.

  14. sanfelipe007

    That is a beautiful thought, northernhermit.

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