Collage of the life of the Little Brothers of Francis
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Work

 

In order to be as self-supporting as possible, the Brothers produce saleable wares as well as tending their own sheep, goats, chickens and rabbits which provide food for the table as well as an extra source of income when some can be sold. The following details some of the work currently undertaken by the Brothers.

Tending the Animals

Animals are kept close to the community centre at night but are released into other paddocks further afield for grazing during the day. The grazing assists in keeping the foliage on the floor of the paddocks low as a fire-prevention measure.

The animals' feed is supplemented by the Brothers, particularly in times of drought.

Brothers tending their animals

See some of the latest additions to the flock!Click here to return to top of this page

Fencing

Typical country at Eremophila
Typical country at
"Eremophila"
Creek - water source and
swimming hole!

The property consists of 330 acres (133.5 hectares) of rock in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range - locally described as "rubbish country". A creek running through the property provides water for bathing etc and makes a lovely swimming hole in the hot weather.

Fencing is important to protect the stock from dingoes. The Brothers have installed some electric fencing run from the solar electricity panels installed on the community building.Click here to return to top of this pageClick here to return to top of this page

BeekeepingClick here to return to top of this page

Bee hives on the property
Bee Hives
Brother Wayne checking the hives
Checking the hives

The Brothers have a small apiary (about 10 hives) and harvest their own honey for bottling and sale.

 

Checking a hiveClick here to return to top of this page

Gathering Wood

The only electricity on the property is that provided by a few solar panels. The main meal each day is cooked on a large wood-burning stove (an excellent heater in the winter!) and water for baths or showers is heated by a wood fire. Each hermitage has its own wood fire for heating during winter. A large stock of wood is therefore necessary and readily available in the paddocks on the property. Some trees die and fall of their own accord, others are struck by lightning. Whatever the cause, the tree trunks are sawn into useable blocks and collected for the wood piles.

Brothers gathering wood on the property

GardeningClick here to return to top of this page

The Brothers attempt to be as self-sufficient as possible and grow whatever vegetables and fruit they are able to. Some of their own fruit is made into jams etc for sale.

Stone fruit, citrus and olive are the main trees in the orchardClick here to return to top of this page
New and improved garden area - covered for protection against birds and wallabies
Garden produce
Bottling of home-made jams for sale

ConstructionClick here to return to top of this page

All buildings on the property have been constructed by the Brothers, particularly Brother Geoffrey who has done some marvellous stonework in the construction of the Brothers' hermitages, the Goat Shed, the Guest Cottage, the pillars on which the Refectory stands and the Bell Tower. All stone used has been gathered on the property.

The Community Building has been completely lined with pine wood and the Refectory, with its beautiful wooden floor, stands out over the cliff looking down to Plumbago Creek.

The floor of the Prayer Room is sandstone which was sourced from the quarry at Helidon which supplies all stone for the building of St John's Cathedral in Brisbane. In the Prayer Room, the prayer book shelves (each Brother has one), the lectern, the cross and the candle holder have been carved by Brother Geoffrey from timber found on the property.

Community Building during construction
Hermitage for Guests during construction

Building the Community Building

Hermitage for Guests under construction

Hermitage for Guests
Hermitage for Guests - inside view

Hermitage for Guests

Hermitage for Guests - inside

Community Building
Bathroom

Community Building (with Prayer Room)

Bathhouse with fire to heat water

Brother's hermitage
Brother's hermitage

Hermitage

Hermitage

Refectory during construction
Refectory
Refectory nearing completion Refectory
Brothers at the entrance to the Preparation Room
Brothers at Morning Prayer

Preparation Room (entrance to Prayer Room)

Prayer Room

   
Hay Rack
Goat Dairy

Hayrack

Goat Dairy

Office - converted from a former chicken house

Telephone connection: a major
accomplishment in 2004

The Library under construction

The Library - completed

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Making Holding Crosses

The making of a Holding Cross is a loving work of art. Every cross is carved individually and is blessed before it is sent to a recipient.

Brother holding a Holding CrossWhat is a Holding Cross?

A Holding Cross fits nearly into the palm of the hand and the fingers wrap comfortably around it. The constant presence of the cross in your hand or where you can touch it is both an invitation to prayer and a reminder of God's continued presence with us wherever we are or whatever situation we are in.

Using a Holding Cross

When sick or faced with difficulties, just touch the cross to be reminded of the cross of Christ and Him crucified. You can use whatever short prayer speaks to your heart and helps you to pray, like the following centring prayers:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.

 

Lord Jesus, your heart burns with love for me: inflame my heart with love for you.

 

Jesus

 
God is love

When words fail or it is difficult to pray, just hold the cross as an act of prayer and of love for God.

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