Elders of the Benedictines:
A Portrait and Interview Project
Father Paul R. Maher, O.S.B., b. 1925
Q: What has given you the most joy in your life?
A: As an abbot my goal was to enable individual monks to best use their gifts and talents; when that worked and I could see it happening in the monk and within the community it was very satisfying. It is rewarding to see a young man come as a novice and get a feel for where he is at that time and then watch him evolve academically, monastically, and spiritually. It may almost be like a married couple watching one of their kids grow up. Our contact comes later in life but there is still so much growth that takes place. While we are now in a period of contraction rather than growth when it comes to numbers in our community, that doesn't mean that there can't be a real vitality in the community.