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What Was New

April, May, and June 2013

Rev. 2 July 2013


June 2013

New Abbot for Glastonbury Abbey Thomas O'Connor

On Saturday, 29 June 2013, the monks of Our Lady of Glastonbury Abbey, Hingham, Massachusetts, elected Father Thomas O'Connor OSB, 62, their third abbot. Abbot Thomas had served as Administrator since his appointment 29 August 2010. Abbot President Vincent de Paul Bataille OSB confirmed the election according to the norms of the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation. Glastonbury Abbey was founded in 1954 from Saint Benedict's Abbey, Benet Lake, WI. H.E. Sean Cardinal O'Malley OFM Cap. will confer the abbatial blessing, 11 August 2013. Ad multos annos.

Abbot Denis

Abbot Elected in Tanzania

The Ottilien Missionary Benedictines of Holy Spirit Abbey, Mvimwa (Tanzania), elected Father Denis Ndomba OSB, 50, as their second abbot, 25 June 2013. In the past Abbot Denis served as novice master and as parish priest of Christ the King parish in Sumbawanga. From 2008 to 2013 he studied in the U.S. and graduated as a Master of Theology shortly before his election. The mandate of Mvimwa's first Abbot, Abbot Basil Ngaponda OSB, expired 14 May 2013 after twelve years in office. The new abbot's term is for an unlimited period of time.

Congressus Iuniorum 2013

From 30 June to 8 July 2013, the Congressus Iuniorum 2013 will be held at Sant’Anselmo. This is open to all monks of the Benedictine Confederation who are not in solemn vows. Like its predecessors, the Congress will give participants the opportunity to visit the places of origin of Benedictine monasticism and to reflect on the shared patrimony which unites us beyond our differences. This Congress will also integrate the initiative of the Vatican for the Year of Faith. Specifically, from 4 to 7 July there is a program for seminarians, novices, and those in formation.

Abbot Ordinary of Montecassino Resigns

The Holy Father accepted the resignation of Most Rev. Pietro Vittorelli OSB from the pastoral care of the territorial abbey of Montecassino, Italy, because of serious health problems, 12 June 2013. Dom Augusto Ricci OSB, Prior of the Sacro Speco at Subiaco will serve as Apostolic Administrator until a new Abbot Ordinary is elected and confirmed.

Abbot Neal Roth OSB Re-elected

On 11 June 2013, the monks of St. Martin's Abbey, Lacey, Washington, re-elected Abbot Neal Roth OSB to a third term as abbot.

Fourth Abbot for Meschede

On Saturday, 8 June 2013, the Ottilien monks of Königmünster Abbey, Meschede, Germany, elected P. Aloysius Althaus OSB, 47, as their fourth abbot. Abbot Aloysius had been subprior of the monastery, and as infirmarian he was responsible for the aged and sick monks.

Benedictines of Hawaii

The Benedictine Monastery of Hawaii altered its status last month from being part of the Olivetan Congregation to being an independent diocesan organization. Its mission and work remain unchanged. Bishop Larry Silva established rhe two Benedictine priests and four Benedictine sisters who comprisse the community as a "public association of the Christian faithful" under his authority. Bishop Silva's proclamation also approved the monastery’s new statutes, 20 pages that describe the community’s way of life, values and rules. The document, issued May 13, 2013, calls itself "a contemporary articulation of the Benedictine charism as lived by its members" (Hawaii Catholic Herald).

Ferdinand Benedictines Elect Sister Barbara Lynn Schmitz OSB

The Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana, elected Sister Barbara Lynn Schmitz OSB as their 13th prioress on 8 June 2013. Sister Barbara Lynn will begin a six-year term of office , Saturday, 13 July 2013. She succeeds Sister Kristine Anne Harpenau OSB, who has served as prioress since 2003.

Sister Barbara has been director of mission advancement the past four years. Previously, she sserved as pastoral associate, business/financial consultant for Benedictine communities throughout the U.S., treasurer for the Sisters in Ferdinand, and business manager for Marian Heights Academy in Ferdinand.

May 2013

Trier Monks Re-elect Abbot Ignatius

Wednesday, 5 June 2013, the monks of St Matthias's Abbey, Trier, Germany, re-elected Abbot Ignatius Maaß OSB for a second term of eight years. Abbot Ignatius, who hails from Elm-Sprengen, was born in 1957. Ordained priest for the Diocese of Trier in 1984, he entered St Matthias's Abbey in 1987, making his first vows in 1988. Having served as cellerarius (1989-2000), sub-prior of the then-independent Huysburg Priory and pastor of St Matthias’s Parish, Trier, he succeeded now-Abbot President Ansgar Schmidt OSB as abbot in August 2005. Since 2004, the community in Trier formally includes the monks in residence at Huysburg Priory.

Missio Celebrates 175 Years

On Saturday, 18 May 2013, Abbot Primate Dr. Notker Wolf OSB and Father Eric Englert OSA, president of missio, concelebrated at St. Bonifaz Abbey, Munich, the 175th anniversary of missio. King Ludwig I (1786-1868) established a foundation that became known as "Ludwig Missionverein" and later "missio." The foundation allowed Bavarians to foster the Catholic religion among "heathens and unbellievers" and to support missions and cultural and educational institutions. Above all the early efforts were directed towards North America that drew ever more German immigrants. At the reception after the Mass, Abbot Wolfgang Hagl OSB, Metten Abbey, recalled the great missionary, Archabbot Boniface Wimmer OSB (1809-1887).

Top of the Chart

The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, have claimed the Number One spot on Billboard magazine's Classical Traditional Music Chart for a second week in a row (Christian Today). Originally sponsored in Scranton, PA, by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, in 2006, the Sisters accepted  the invitation  from Bishop Robert W. Finn to transfer to his diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri. The women were established as a Public Association of the Faithful with the new name, "Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles." Daily they sing the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (1962) in accord with Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum.

Honorary Doctorate for P. Georg Braulik OSB

Abbot Primate Dr. Notker Wolf OSB, Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Athenæum Sant'Anselmo, awarded an honary doctorate, 9 May 2013, to Professor Emeritus DDr. Dr. hc. P. Georg Braulik OSB. Father Georg is a monk of Schotten Abbey, Vienna. The award honors Father Georg's academic work as a biblical scholar who specialized in the Book of Deuteronomy. Until 2004 he served as the Ordinary for Old Testament Biblical Studies at the Univesity of Vienna. Father Georg was also passionately involved with the biblical underpinngs of the liturgy. He was co-translator of the widely used Münsterschwarzer Psalter. Father Georg served in his abbey as novicemaster and librarian as well as the founder and patron of a student living group that participates in the life of the monastery. The faculty of the Jesuits' St. Georgen in Frankfurt am Main awarded Father Georg an honorary doctorate in 2006.

April 2013

+ Rev. Kevin Seasoltz OSB

Father Kevin Seasoltz OSB, JCD, died Saturday, 27 April 2013, at Collegeville. Father Kevin was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 29 December 1930. He became a priest of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, 3 June 1956. After earning a licentiate in theology from The Catholic University of America and a licentiate in canon law from the Lateran University, he professed vows as a monk of Saint Anselm's Abbey, Washington, DC, 13 November 1960. For many years Father Kevin served as editor of Worship magazine. Funeral arrangements at Saint John's Abbey, Minnesota, are as follows: The reception of the body will be Wednesday, 1 May 2013, 7 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, 2 May, 3:30 p.m. May he rest in peace.

+ Abbot Charles Massoth OSB

Rt. Rev. Charles Damian Massoth OSB, 89, died peacefully at St. Gregory's Abbey, 21 April 2013. He had completed 67 years as a monk and served for 63 years as a priest. The monks elected him eighth abbot, 3 January 1989. He resigned, 3 January 1994, having reached the age for retirement in the American-Cassinese Congregation. The community celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial in the Abbey Church, Shawnee, Oklahoma, on Friday, 26 April.

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

The Fourth Sunday of Easter, 21 April 2013, is the 50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The Pope Emeritus reflected on the theme of "Vocations as a sign of hope founded in faith."

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, what exactly is God's faithfulness, to which we adhere with unwavering hope? It is his love! He, the Father, pours His love into our innermost self through the Holy Spirit. And this love, fully manifested in Jesus Christ, engages with our existence and demands a response in terms of what each individual wants to do with his or her life, and what he or she is prepared to offer in order to live it to the full" -- Read the full message in English (PDF) or in Spanish (Vatican website).

Pope Francis Visits St. Paul Outside the Walls

Abbot Edmund Power OSB and the Benedictine monks of St. Paul's Abbey eagerly await the visit of Pope Francis, Sunday, 14 April 2013, to one of the seven major basilicas of Rome. Abbot Edmund spoke to Vatican Radio about the special bond between St. Ignatius, Founder of the Jesuits, and the basilica. Paul Zalonski OblSB offers more details about the event in his informative blog, Communio.

Franciscan Named Secretary of CICLSAL

On Saturday, 6 April, the Holy Father appointed Fr. José Rodriguez Carballo OFM, as secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop and assigning him the titular see of Bellicastrum. The archbishop-elect was born in Lodoselo, Spain, in 1953 and was ordained a priest in 1977. Father José is the Minister General of the Franciscan Friars.

Interview with the Abbot Primate

Markus Hinterberger reports on his interview with Abbot Primate Dr. Notker Wolf OSB. "Die Verlockung ist groß" (The Temptation is Great) appeared 5 April 2013 at Börse Online. The report covers four topics: Pope Francis and the religious practice of poverty; the Vatican Bank; what Europe can learn from the Benedictines; and executive salaries.

Collegeville Monastic Institute 2013

The School of Theology · Seminary of Saint John's University hosts the 28th annual Monastic Institue, 30 June - 4 July 2013. Four speakers will address the topic, "The Monastic Imaginary and the Common Life." It is possible to register online at the website. For more information contact Cindy Maile at 320-353-2612 or <>.

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What's New OSB
What's New auf Deutsch: Aktuelle Meldungen (Erbe und Auftrag, Monastische Welt).

What Was New OSB (1995-; archive). January, February, and March 2013.

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


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