The American Monastic Newsletter

Volume 34, Nr. 1, February 2004             Richardton, ND 58652

Inside this issue:

Join the Dialogue

Oblate Survey

History Conference

Monastic Omnibus

Grey Yellow Pages



AMN Online



ABA Index



Issue Contents


Revitalizing Monastic Culture for Today

The American Benedictine Academy invites all readers of the American Monastic Newsletter to attend its biennial convention. “Monastic Culture: Revitalizing the Life of the Mind and Spirit,” will be the theme for the gathering to be held at St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, MN, August 12-15, 2004. Rosemary Rader, OSB, ABA president, has made concern for the ways that monasticism and culture intersect a primary focus of her term of office. It is important, she believes, for monasticism to foster an intellectual environment. In turn, this environment can influence and inspire the broader culture in which it lives.

One way in which monasticism and culture interact is in the area of technology. A popular feature of recent meetings has been the pre-convention computer workshop. At this year’s meeting, on the afternoon of Thursday, August 12, Richard Oliver, OSB, will lead a presentation on “Computer Policies and Customs in Monasteries.” It is open to registered convention participants at no extra charge. Later in the afternoon, there will be section meetings for special interest groups within the ABA. Currently, there are four groups: researchers, artists, information technology and archivists. These meetings are open to anyone interested in sharing news and activities within these fields, or just getting acquainted with others with similar interests.

That evening, there will be a presentation by oblate Kathleen Norris and Benet Tvedten, OSB, in which they will share their “Tales from the Monastery.” Friday morning’s session will be by Shawn Carruth, OSB, and Terrence Kardong, OSB, on “Maintaining the Benedictine Tradition of Scholarship and the Love of Learning.” That afternoon, Rene McGraw, OSB, and Anne McCarthy, OSB, will speak on “The Charism of Benedictine Peace: Past and Present.”

On Saturday, Michael Komechak, OSB, will offer “Five Challenges to Monastic Architecture in the 21st Century,” followed in the afternoon with Irene Nowell, OSB, on “Scripture, the Basis of Benedictine Spirituality.” The Sunday of the convention is also the Feast of the Assumption. Features of that day will include a special liturgy with blessing of the board members, an address by Richard Oliver, OSB, incoming ABA president, and a presentation by Patrick Henry and William Skudlarek, OSB, on “Meeting, Practice, and Memory: What Monastic Interreligious Dialogue Contributes to Monastic Culture.”

Other highlights of the meeting will be tours of nearby Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, an ABA business meeting with election of new board members, and the opportunity to dialogue informally with people interested in monastic spirituality and study from across the nation. This convention has, for over fifty years, been an important gathering point and source of vitality for Benedictine life in North America and continues to grow and prosper. In recent years, more participants have been Cistercians, members of other monastic traditions, oblates and lay scholars.


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The American Monastic Newsletter

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Judith Sutera OSB
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