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FOREWORD

The 2004 ABA Convention Proceedings contain the presentations given at the August 12-15, 2004, Biennial American Benedictine Academy Convention held at St. Benedict's Monastery, St. Joseph, MN. The convention's theme, "Revitalizing the Life of the Mind and the Spirit," was variously reflected in the speakers' presentations which emphasized the importance of ongoing learning and scholarship as essential aspects of Benedictine life which continue to articulate the ideas, motivations, and practices of our Benedictine heritage.

The primary focus of the presentations was both a study of the various ways in which monasticism and culture intersect and the importance of engaging the participants and their communities (whether vowed members, oblates, colleagues and friends) in addressing the interface between basic monastic traditions and contemporary needs and concerns. The presentations challenge us to continue the dialogue and implementation of those ideas and practices crucial to the Benedictine goal of "truly seeking God."

The post-convention evaluations attest to the success of the convention, including: high praise and gratitude for the excellence of the speakers' presentations as well-researched, superb in quality, challenging and practical; the beautiful and engaging banner designed and fashioned by Baulu Kuan, O.S.B.; the engaging beauty of the art exhibit; the enriching liturgies, delicious meals/snacks; well-planned schedule; and the exceptional hospitality of St. Benedict's community members and student helpers which contributed to the well-organized thoroughness of the convention's activities.

We especially thank Sister Ephrem Hollerman for offering to host the 2004 ABA Convention and her part in making it such a success. Special thanks also to Sisters Theresa Schumacher and Anne Marie Biermaier, the local co-chairs, and their committee; and to the St. Benedict's community for its part in contributing to a superb example of well-organized and gracious Benedictine hospitality. Let us hold them in prayer in gratitude for their creative planning and tireless efforts which produced such wonderful memories of a challenging ABA Convention.

Special thanks also to Renée Branigan, O.S.B., for again undertaking the momentous task of editing the Proceedings. May our prayers accompany her as she serves us so willingly and well.

 

Rosesmary Rader, O.S.B., Past-president

St. Paul's Monastery
St. Paul, MN
July 18, 2005

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