Students from St. Xavier High School have been volunteer each month at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Nelson County, Ky., where they do service work and learn about monastic life.
Students assist the head groundskeeper, Trappist Brother Conrad Flachman, with grounds work around the abbey. In November, they dug out rocks to clear a field for planting.
In past gatherings, students and faculty have cleared trails through acres of protected forests; planted trees; tended to gardens; chopped wood, which is given to families in need; mowed the grass; and helped to package fudge and fruitcake made and sold by the Trappists.
After a few hours of work, Brother Conrad talks to the students about his life and work at the abbey and about the lifestyle of the monks at Gethsemani.