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The Order of Saint Benedict

What Was New

July, August, and September 2014

Rev. 2 October 2014


September 2014

+ Sister Christine Vladimiroff OSB

Sister Christine Vladimiroff OSB, 74, died at Mount St. Benedict Monastery, Erie, PA, Thursday, 25 September 2014. She had served as prioress from 1998 to 2010. Her obituary is online.

New Abbot Ordinary for Montevergine

The Holy Father has appointed Prior Riccardo Luca Guariglia OSB, 47, as abbot ordinary of the territorial Abbey of Montevergine, Italy. Fr. Riccardo is currently lecturer in fundamental theology at the "Madonna delle Grazie" Theological Institute in Benevento, Italy; claustral prior; and master of novices of the monastic community of Montevergine. Abbot Riccardo succeeds Abbot Beda Paluzzi OSB, 78, abbot emeritus.


THE RULE (film, 2014)

The Rule is a new documentary film by Emmy-nominated, award winning filmmakers Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno. It shows how the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey, in the heart of one of America's most dangerous cities, are able to achieve amazing success with the most vulnerable population: inner city African American and Latino teenage males. While Newark, with a high poverty rate of 32%, has an abysmal high school graduation rate, the nearly 150-year-old St. Benedict's Prep has a near 100% college acceptance rate. The film details how their "recipe for success" follows the sixth century Rule of Saint Benedict and how this rule can serve as a model for whole cities nationwide.

Exclusive engagements in New York and Los Angeles precede broadcast on PBS, public television. Visit the website for The Rule for more information.

August 2014

Ligugé Elects New Abbot

Monks and abbots of Ligugue

The  monks of Saint-Martin Abbey, Ligugé, France, elected Dom André-Junien Guérit OSB (at center left above), abbot, Saturday, 2 August 2014. He succeeds Abbot Jean-Pierre Longeat OSB. Abbot André-Junien, 60, made first profession, 8 September 1980, and became a priest, 1 July 1990. He served as prior-administrator from August 2013. Abbot Prosper Gueranger OSB founded Saint-Martin, 1853, as the first daughter house of the Abbey of Solesmes.

Leadership Changes in Britain

The Benedictine nuns of Tyburn Convent, London, elected M. Mary Gregory Grace OSB as Mother General, 9 August 2014. Tyburn Convent is the motherhouse of the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmarte. H.E. George Cardinal Pell presided at the election. Besides Ireland and Scotland, the nuns are also found in six countries of Asia, Europe, and South America.

Abbot Aidan Bellenger OSB retired 8 August 2014 at the end of his term as Abbot of Downside. The English Benedictine Congregation announced 13 August 2014 the appointment of Dom Leo Maidlow Davis OSB, Head Master, as Prior Administrator for two years with a possbile extension of two more years. Prior Leo's "special function is to create space and time to enable the community to reflect with greater freedom on its mission and prepare a dynamic vision for the future, then to elect as their Abbot the person who will lead them for the next eight years" (media release).

New Abbot in Ohio

The monks of St. Andrew Abbey, Cleveland, Ohio, elected Rev. Gary Hoover OSB seventh abbot, Wednesday, 6 August 2014. He succeeds Abbot Christopher Schwartz OSB. Abbot Gary, 58, made first profession, 16 July 1977, and became a priest, 29 April 1983. Ad multos annos!

Peace Day - 6 August

The Japanese recall on this day the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is especially poignant for survivors of the bombings (known as hibakusha). The primary ceremony of remembrance is the floating of paper lanterns, Toro-nagashi, on the Motoyasu River, near the A-bomb Dome. Peace activists all over the world participate in spirit, prayer, and symbolic action.

For centuries "PAX" has been the motto of the Benedictines, and the word is frequently inscribed or painted on or near the entrance to the monastery or guest house, as mentioned in this cyclist's report of a visit to Glenstal Abbey, Ireland. Benedictines for Peace (BFP) carries the ancient monastic quest for peace into contemporary times. As the peace and justice outreach of the Erie Benedictine community, BFP members advocate for nonviolence, social change, and justice by direct action, prayer, and bearing witness.

July 2014

UN Special Consultative Status Granted to DIM / MID

21 July 2014, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted the recommendation of the Non-Governmental Organizations Branch of the United Nations to grant special consultative status to Dialogue Interreligieux Monastique / Monastic Interreligous Dialogue. Consultative status for an organization enables it to engage actively with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programs, funds, and agencies in a number of ways.

MS illum, 1025 AD

Solemnity of Saint Benedict, Patriarch

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

Born 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 law-giver. 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. 

Clyde Chapter Elects Prioress General

Thirty-nine members of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration served as official delegates to the 16th General Chapter held in June 2014 at Clyde, Missouri. Toward the conclusion of the two-week assembly, the delegates elected the new general council that will serve the 76 members of the congregation for the next six years. The delegates chose Sister Dawn Annette Mills OSB prioress general. Sister Ruth Elaine Starman OSB, Sister Joan Ridley OSB, and Sister Valerie Stark OSB became general councilors. The Sisters installed the new leaders, Thursday, 19 June 2014.

What's New OSB
What's New auf DeutschAktuelle Meldungen (Erbe und Auftrag, Monastische Welt).
What Was New OSB, April, May, and June 2014, and further back (1995-; archive).

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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