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What Was New

July, August, and September 2013


  OSB Headlines

September 2013

Third World Congress of Benedictine Oblates

About 250 Benedictine Oblates will participate in their Third World Congress at the Salesianum, Rome, 4-10 October 2013. Abbot Primate Dr. Notker Wolf OSB will deliver the opening and closing messages. Dom Michael Casey O Cist and Sr. Mary John Mananzan OSB will address the theme of the congress, "Obsculta -- The Oblate Listening in the World." The agenda includes day trips to Subiaco, Saint'Anselmo, and Monte Cassino. Dom Geraldo González y Lima OSB, treasurer of Sant'Anselmo, is coordinating some details of the congress. Registration closed 20 June 2013.

PBS Interviews Sr. Joan Chittister OSB

Judy Valente interviewed Sr. Joan Chittister OSB for Public Broadcasting's popular Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, 30 August 2013. The interview includes mention of the online project of the Erie Benedictines, Monasteries of the Heart. Sister Joan regularly writes "From Where I Stand" for the National Catholic Reporter.

The Monks and the Steelers

Maryann Gognat Eidemiller writes in the Pittsburgh Catholic about the Steelers' football training camp at St. Vincent College that embodies Benedictine hospitality. A related video, "Faith & Football: a Religious Story," produced by Catholic News Service, has been posted at YouTube.

August 2013

New Prioress for Clyde Monastery

The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration elected Sister Rita Clair OSB as their new prioress at Clyde Monastery, 29 August 2013. Sister Rita Clair, who also served as Clyde prioress from 1989 to 1995, credits a simple philosophy in preparing for the leadership role: "Living the life."

Double Jubilee for Münsterschwarzach

The missionary Benedictines of Münsterschwarzach are celebrating two jubilees: 100 years ago monks resettled the monastery; 75 years ago the consecration of the abbey church was accomplished. Today the community comprises 163 monks; 119 live at the abbey or in dependentent houses; 44 monks reside in the missions. The most famous resident is the best selling author, P. Anselm Grün OSB. The abbey employs about 200 secular co-workers and manages a secondary school. The centennial jubilee will be celebrated on 8 September.

The abbey, founded ca. 780, was destroyed or abandoned by the monks several times. Bavaria's laws of secularization finally closed the monastery in 1803. Precisely 110 years later, Benedictines from Sankt Ottilien resettled the property. National Socialism suppressed the monastery from 1941 until the monks returned in 1945.

At the beginning of this millennium, the monks enthusiastically embraced green technology. Within ten years, almost all of the energy consumed by the plant comes from renewable sources (KathWeb).

Bavaria's Oldest Monastery Celebrates Centenary

On 1 September 2013, Weltenburg Monastery on the Danube, celebrates the 100th anniversary of its elevation to abbacy. Itinerant Irish monks from Luxeuil, Burgundy, founded the original monastery ca. 600 A.D. Secularization closed it in 1803. In 1842 King Ludwig I of Bavaria erected a priory with Benedictine monks from Metten Abbey. Prince Regent Ludwig and the Vatican allowed the monastery to become an abbey in 1913. The abbey is famous for its Baroque church with a sculpture of St. George on the high altar. Today, Abbot Thomas Freihart OSB and seven monks are engaged iin pastoral work and monastic hospitality (KathWeb).

The Benedictine Hospital in North Korea

Recently returned from finalilzing a contact with North Korea, Abbot Primate Dr. Notker Wolf OSB told Vatican Radio about the founding several years ago of a hospital in North Korea. Humanitarian help is possible there, but it demands great patience and sensitive diplomacy. In his words, "We can do some things in the humanitarian sector, and the North Korean authorities are ready to accept humanitarian help, but that happens only where there is eye to eye negotiation and not in a condescending, arrogant manner as so often has happened." The archabbot observed the embargo by the US, long in place, harms the population more than the government (KathWeb).

Dilatato Corde

The second volume of Dilatato Corde (2012) has been published by Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. Current (2013) and past issues are available online at the DIM-MID website.

New President for AIM

On 1 September 2013 Abbot Jean-Pierre Longeat OSB, retired abbot of Ligugé, succeeds Fr. Martin Nyet OSB of Clerlande Abbey as the President of Alliance InterMonastères (AIM). S. Stephanie Schmidt OSB continues as Executive Director of AIM-USA.

Allegations Involve Fort Augustus Abbey Schools

Rt. Rev. Dom Richard Yeo OSB, Abbot President of the English Congregation, intends to co-operate fully with a Scottish police investigation into allegations of abuse at two schools administered by Fort Augustus Abbey. Both schools involved are now closed: Carlekemp Priory school closed in the 1970s; Fort Augustus in the 1990s. The abbey closed in 1998.

July 2013

New Prior for Big Sur

The New Camaldoli community announces the election, 18 July 2013, of a new prior, Fr. Cyprian Consiglio OSB Cam. A deeply spiritual monk, a gifted composer and musician, and a published author, Prior Cyprian brings many gifts to his ministry of leadership. The installation occurred at the 11 a.m. Eucharist, Saturday, 20 July; a simple festive lunch followed. Father Robert Hale OSB Cam., 76, resigned before the expiration of his term of office citing health concerns.

Saint Benedict

Benedict ms. illumination

Benedictines and their friends remember Saint Benedict, Patriarch of Western Monasticism and Co-Patron of Europe, on Thursday, 11 July.

Born in 480 A.D., his Rule for Monasteries brought order and creativity to a world of decadence and corruption. The manuscript illustration depicts our Founder as a scribe. What we know of Saint Benedict comes from the Second Book of the Dialogues written by Pope St. Gregory the Great. The office hymn, Gemma caelestis recalls his vision of the death of his twin sister, Scholastica, and the sequence, Laeta quies, poetically recalls incidents of Benedict's life in the light of scriptural precedents.

Many monasteries use this date for the profession of vows. Congratulations to the many Benedictine men and women making first or final commitments or celebrating jubilees of monastic profession.

+ Fr. Ambrose Wathen OSB

Father Ambrose Gerald Wathen OSB, 81, monk of Saint Joseph Abbey, Saint Benedict, Louisiana, died at the abbey, 3 July 2013. He made his monastic profession 21 August 1959, and was ordained a priest 28 August 1965. Father Ambrose's 53 years as a monk were marked with the love of learning and the desire for God. A gifted scholar, Father Ambrose published numerous articles on the Rule of St. Benedict and monasticism. He served as a seminary professor, the formation director of the monastery, a professor of the Monastic Institute at Sant'Anselmo in Rome, and was the fourth President-Rector of Saint Joseph Seminary College. As a talented artisan, he served his brother monks in the kitchen, sacristy, and tailor shop. The monks will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, 10 July 2013, 11:15 a.m., followed by burial in the abbey cemetery. May he rest in peace!

New Partners for St. Gregory's University

After educating generations of young people and adults since 1876, the monks of St. Gregory's Abbey in Shawnee, Oklahoma, have been joined in carrying out their mission by new partners eager to build on their heritage. On Friday, June 28, Most Rev. Paul Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, and Most Rev. Edward Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa, signed an agreement with Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen OSB, and Rev. Don Wolf, Chairman of St. Gregory's University Board of Directors, to take the first step toward becoming cosponsors of the university, thereby broadening and deepening St. Gregory's University's relationship with diocesan and Catholic institutions throughout the region. Once the agreement takes effect, St. Gregory's will be the only Catholic university in the United States with this type of partnership between a religious order and diocesan leadership. Learn more about this novel development.

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. Sean Cardinal O'Malley OFM Cap. conferred the abbatial blessing, 11 August 2013. Ad multos annos.

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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). April, May, and June 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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