Work and Prayer
By Br. Clement Holz C.Ss.R.
I came from Singleton, NSW. After leaving school I worked on my parent's dairy farm, growing vegetables and cutting firewood commercially. Later on I worked as a casual worker on various farms.
At 16 I went to a layman's weekend retreat at the Redemptorist Monastery in Mayfield, Newcastle, NSW. I went annually to this Retreat for 6 years. During this time I was attracted to the life of the Redemptorist Brothers. Brother Daniel (Joseph) Desmond, C.Ss.R. encouraged me. I noticed the brothers were cooking, managing and doing house maintenance, gardening, and other tasks. I could see that prayer and the Mass were very important in their daily lives.
I was 22 years old when I joined the Redemptorists as a postulant in 1950. The following year, on August 15, I was professed as a brother in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. I have been stationed at Mayfield, Ballarat and Galong. But most of my life has been in Galong, amidst its country beauty, its quiet surrounds, and the life-giving relationships of the surrounding rural community.
I managed the Galong dairy there for 27 years, was involved in other branches of animal husbandry, especially with cross-bread ewes and prime lambs. There were many years of farming as well. Today I keep my hand in by water divining. I provide this service to farmers for hundreds of kilometers around and have been in demand during these years of drought.
I also assist with managing the retreat house to which thousands of people come each year for a time of quiet and reinvigoration. I love to visit the sick and disabled in the nursing homes and hostels of surrounding towns.
When I look at my life, I realize that having the Eucharist each day, with time for prayer and work, has been God’s will for me. It has been my life as a Redemptorist brother.