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The Order of Saint Benedict

What Was New

October, November, and December 2012

Rev. 9 January 2013



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December 2012

Kansas Monks Elect Ninth Abbot

The monks of St. Benedict's Abbey, Atchison, Kansas, elected Prior James Albers OSB, 41, to become ninth abbot, 28 December 2012. Abbot James succeeds Abbot Barnabas Senecal OSB who was elected 30 May 1994 and re-elected 27 December 2002. Besides serving as prior, Abbot James had also served as vocations director. Ad multos annos!

The Benedictines of Mary Top the Chart

USA Today notes in a Special (26 Dec. 2012) by Brian Mansfield that "Advent at Ephesus, a collection of a cappella music sung by Benedictine nuns, has topped Billboard's traditional classical albums chart -- displacing the companion CD of classical themes for E.L. James' novel Fifty Shades of Grey." The album is the first of many to be produced by The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles at Our Lady of Ephesus Priory, Gower, Missouri. The community first began under the aegis of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in 1995, in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, but now, as a Public Association of the Faithful, they answer to Bishop Robert W. Finn

Olivetans in Abu Gosh, Israel

Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am, in "Monks in Zion," profile the Olivetan Benedictine monastery of Abu Gosh and its Church of the Resurrection for the Times of Israel (22 Dec. 2012). YouTube videos illustrate the history of the monastsery and its recently restored 12th century frescoes.

Abbot of Einsiedeln Appeals for Church Reform

Abbot Martin Werlin OSB, Abbot Ordinary of Einsiedeln Abbey, has published a sermon as a brochure, Discovering Together the Embers under the Ashes. Christa Pongratz-Lippitt reports on its reception from Vienna for the National Catholic Reporter (20 Dec. 2012). See also coverage in German from Kipa Agentur.

St. Ottilien Elects New Archabbot

On 17 December 2012 the monks of St. Ottilien Archabbey in Bavaria elected Fr. Wolfgang Öxler OSB seventh archabbot. The office had become vacant after the re-election of former archabbot Jeremias Schröder OSB as new abbot president of the Benedictine Congregation of Sankt Ottilien -- the Missionary Benedictines. Archabbot Wolfgang is 55 years old. Until his election he served as prior of Jakobsberg Priory, a dependent house of the archabbey near Mainz.

New President of the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy

On 15 November 2012, the council of the faculty of liturgy elected Prof. Jordi Agusti Piqué i Collado OSB President of the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy. On 14 December, the rector of Sant'Anselmo, with the consent of the grand chancellor, appointed Dom Jordi as President. Prof. Piqué is a monk of the Abbey of Montserrat where he had served as chapel master and director of the boys' choir from 1997 until 2001. From 2006 until 2011 he served as secretary to the abbot. He earned a doctorate in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2006. He succeeds Prof. Ephrem Carr OSB, who concluded his term as PIL President at the beginning of December 2012.

Anglican Sisters Welcomed to Ordinariate

Eleven members of the Community of St Mary the Virgin, founded 1848 as part of The Oxford Movement in Wantage, Oxon., will take up residence, 1 January 2013, in a Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery. They, with three other former Anglican Sisters, intend to follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. Mark Greaves of The Catholic Herald (12 Dec. 2012) provides details about the uncertain future of the Sisters.

New Superiors for the Brazilian Congregation

On 3 November 2012, the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life named Dom Filipe da Silva OSB as Abbot of the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He succeeds Prior Administrator Dom Henrique de Gouvêa Coelho OSB. Abbot Filipe had been serving as the abbot of São Bento de Olinda.

On 21 November, the monks of the Abbey of São Bento de Olinda elected Dom João Evangelista Kovas OSB as abbot.

November 2012

Benedictine Witness from Mexico

Thomas C. Fox devotes a blog entry (30 Nov. 2012) to a report from Prioress Anne Shepherd OSB (Erie Benedictines) about her visit to Monastery Pan de Vida, Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico, founded from Erie. Fox comments that "The quiet, sometimes horrific witness, of women religious around the world is one of the most underreported stories of our times."

Abbot of Glenstal on Irish Education

Abbot Mark Patrick Hederman OSB has written The Boy in the Bubble (Veritas, 2012), a book that severely critizes Irish secondary education. Subtitled, "Education as Personal Relationship," the book laments the large classes and generous summer holidays that reflect the obsolete needs of a farming economy and 19th century industrialization. An interview in The Independent (28 Nov. 2012) begins with the news that after 80 years existence, Glenstal Abbey School has decided to admit female pupils.

Papal Appointments

On Friday, 23 November 2012, the Holy Father appointed Archbishop James Michael Harvey, 61, prefect of the Pontifical Household, archpriest of the papal basilica, St. Paul Outside the Walls. The Benedictine monks of St. Paul's Abbey, founded near the tomb of the Apostle by Pope Gregory II (715-731), attend to the ministry of Reconciliation and the promotion of special ecumenical events. Archbishop Harvey was one of the six prelates created cardinals at the consistory of 24 November 2012.

On Saturday, 24 November 2012, the Holy Father appointed Fr. Michael John Zielinski OSB Oliv. as bureau chief at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Abbatial Blessing of New Abbess

Madre Maria Leticia da Silva OSB received the abbatial blessing, 27 November 2012, as the new Abbess of the Monastery of Our Lady of Graces, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Strategic Plan for Sant'Anselmo

With the approval of the Congress of Abbots, the Pontifical Athenæum of Saint Anselm has begun to implement a comprehensive strategic plan. The plan supports the international university in Rome of the Benedictine order. The school offers programs of study for the baccalaureate in philosophy and theology and post-graduate courses for diplomas, licenses, and doctorates with specialisations in Monastic Spiritual Theology, Sacred Liturgy, Sacramental Theology, History of Theology, and Philosophy of Religion.

+Father Simeon Daly OSB

Father Simeon Daly OSB, 90, died 10 November 2012. Fr. Simeon had been director of Saint Meinrad Archabbey Library for almost 50 years, from 1951 to 2000. Over the course of his career, he held many positions of trust and responsibility in the world of theological librarianship, including President of the American Theological Library Association, 1979-81. He was a friend and mentor to many. Fr. Simeon wrote Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and Other Musings of an Aged Monk, published in 2005. The monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, 14 November 2012. May he rest in peace.

+ Rev. Martin Thomas Boler OSB

On Wednesday, 7 November 2012, Fr. Martin Boler OSB, 88, the second and longtime Prior of Mount Saviour Monastery, died. Born in 1924, professed in the newly formed community in 1956, and ordained in 1960, Father Martin served as prior from 1969 to 2008. Brother John of Weston Priory wrote A Memoir on Fr. Boler (PDF). The monks and friends of Mount Saviour celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial, Saturday, 10 November 2012.

October 2012

Missionary Benedictines of St. Ottilien

On 13 October 2012, the General Chapter of the Congregation of the Missionary Benedictines in St. Ottilien, Germany, re-elected Abbot President Jeremias Schröder OSB, 47. Since 2000, Archabbot Jeremias had been Archabbot of St. Ottilien and concomitantly President of the Congregation. In 2008 the General Chapter decided that, beginning in 2012, the presidency of the congregation would be separated from the archabbacy of St. Ottililen.

Tutzing Sisters Choose Leaders

The General Chapter of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing re-elected M. Angela Strobel OSB, 70, as Prioress General, 3 October 2012, for a term of six years. Professed in 1966, Mother Angela served from 1969 until 2000 in Brazil when she was elected Vicaress General. In 2006 the chapter delegates chose her as Prioress General.

On 4 October 2012, the delegates chose Sister Lumen Gloria Dungca OSB as Vicaress General. Professed in 1978, S. Lumen Gloria studied at the Gregorian University from 1988 until graduation in 1991. From 2009 until 2012 she served in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as Regional Superior. She returned to Manila Priory after her election as prioress, 9 January 2012. The chapter elected Sr. Caridad Soo-Ja Choi OSB, South Korea; Sr. Maria Salete da Rocha OSB, Brazil; and Sr. Irene Iita OSB, Namibia, to the General Council.

The Year of Faith, 2012-2013

The Holy Father opened the Year of Faith that began "on 11 October 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and it will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on 24 November 2013. The starting date of 11 October 2012 also marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a text promulgated by my predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, with a view to illustrating for all the faithful the power and beauty of the faith" (Apostolic Letter: Porta Fidei).

Benedictine Appointed to Brazilian Diocese

On 10 October 2012, The Holy Father appointed Dom Gregorio (Leozirio) Paixao Neto OSB, auxiliary bishop of São Salvador da Bahia since 7 June 2006, to become the Bishop of Petrópolis, Brazil.


Doctor Hildegard of Bingen

On Sunday, 7 October, the Holy Father proclaims St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) a Doctor of the Church. St. Hildegard OSB was a 12th century German  writer, composer, philosopher, polymath, and mystic, as well as an abbess and founder of several monasteries. 10 May 2012 Pope Benedict formally added her to the Church's roster of saints, extending her liturgical feast throughout the world.

The Holy Father will also proclaim as a Doctor of the Church, Saint John of Avila (1500-1569), Apostle of Andalusia, diocesan priest, reformer, educator, mystic, author, and patron of the early Jesuits.


What's New OSB
What's New (Aktuelles) in the Austrian Congregation. Aktuelle Meldungen (Erbe und Auftrag, Monastische Welt).

What Was New OSB (1995-; archive). July, August, and September 2012.

The monks of Saint John's Abbey welcome comments, questions and suggestions from readers at the Pilgrim's Parlor. Send items for inclusion in "What's New" to the <Webkeeper>.


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