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What Was New

April, May, and June 2017

Rev. 6 July 2017


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June 2017

+ Archabbot Emeritus Paul Maher OSB (1926-2017)

Rt. Rev. Archabbot Paul R. Maher OSB, 91, the tenth Archabbot of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Thursday, 29 June 2017. A native of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, he served as archabbot from 1983 until 1990. "[H]e was an ideal monk: humble, generous, thoughtful of others, and devoted to the Benedictine life of prayer and work" (obituary). Archabbot Douglas Nowicki OSB will preside at the Mass of Christian Burial in the archabbey basilica, 10:30 a.m., Monday, 3 July 2017. May he rest in peace.

President Vincent Bataille OSB Re-elected

Sunday, 25 June 2017, the General Chapter of the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation re-elected Abbot President Vincent DePaul Bataille OSB, 77, to a second six-year term as abbot president.

The American Monastic Newsletter

The American Benedictine Academy announces that the June 2017 issue of The American Monastic Newsletter is available online as a PDF document. The issue features the President's Letter, an interview with Abbot Primate Gregory Polan OSB, Fr. Dan Ward's OSB “Canon Law Column,” a report from the Medieval Congress, news, events, elections, and book reviews.

Ottiliens Elect in Tanzania

7 June 2017, the monks of Mvimwa Abbey, Sumbawanga, Tanzania, elected Fr. Pambo Mkorwe OSB their third abbot. Fr. Pambo had been serving as secretary of the Ottilien Congregation. Abbot Pambo assumed responsibility as major superior, 12 June 2017, when he was confirmed in his new office.

3 June 2017 the community of Peramiho Abbey, Tanzania, elected Fr. Sylvanus Kessy OSB of Ndanda Abbey as prior administrator for a period of three years. Father Sylvanus had served Ndanda as claustral prior and parish priest. The Ottilien Congregation that founded the abbey in 1898 approved the election, 9 June 2017.

+ Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera OSB

The Most Rev. Daniel W. Kucera OSB, retired Archbishop of Dubuque and fifth abbot of St. Procopius Abbey, died in Dubuque, 30 May 2017. The abbot and monks will receive the body on Friday, 9 June 2017, at Vespers, 7 p.m., St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle, IL. The monastic community will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial, 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, 10 June 2017. The date also marks the forty-seventh anniversary of the blessing of the abbey church and monastery that he built. Interment will be at the abbey cemetery on the campus of Benedictine University. The archbishop emeritus died at 94.  May he rest in peace.

May 2017

Summer Programs at Glenstal Abbey

Besides retreats and a number of residential summer camps and courses, Glenstal Abbey, Ireland, hosts the 4th Glenstal History Conference, at the end of June (PDF brochure). The Glenstal Liturgical Conference, celebrating 90 years of monastic life in Glenstal, takes place later in 2017 (PDF brochure).

+ Abbot Brian Wangler OSB

Rt. Rev. Abbot Brian Wangler OSB, Assumption Abbey, Richardton, ND, died early in the morning of Thursday, 25 May 2017.  Abbot Brian, 73, professed first vows on 11 July 1964. He was ordained a priest on 2 August 1969. The monks of Assumption Abbey (American-Cassinese Congregation) elected Abbot Brian as eighth abbot, 28 May 2004. The community will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial, Tuesday, 30 May 2017, 1 p.m. May angels welcome him to Paradise.

IconSaint Pachomius - 15 May

Pachomius the Great (c. 292-346 AD), Egyptian monastic venerated by Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and some Protestant churches. Revered as the Father of Cenobitic Monasticism, his feast day is 15 May.  "Near the end of his life he was granted a... vision: the Lord revealed to him the future of monasticism. The saint learned that future monks would not have such zeal in their struggles as the first generation had, and they would not have experienced guides. The rule of St. Pachomius influenced St. Benedict, the most influential figure in Western monasticism, in preparing his own rule."

Roman Oration: "Let the blessed abbot Pachomius intercede for us, O Lord. May his prayers win us your help, since our own actions cannot merit it."

Religious Brothers Day - 1 May 2017

The Conference of Major Superiors of Men is one of the primary sponsors of Religious Brothers Day, Monday, 1 May 2017, St. Joseph the Worker. More information can be found on a Brothers Day Facebook page, a related posts’ feed, and the CMSM Brothers’ website.

The day was inspired by the long-awaited 2015 document from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church (PDF).

Texts (PDF), photos, and videos from the Brothers Symposium at Notre Dame are online. Bro. John Mark Falkenhain OSB (St. Meinrad) gave the keynote address (PDF), and His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Tobin CSsR offered a thoughtful reflection. About 225 people attended the one day symposium, 25 March 2017.

Bro. John Mark's excellent address, "The Mission and Charism of the Religious Brother: An Uncomplicated Witness," was included in the 13 April 2017 edition of Origins (CNS-USCCB subscription needed).

April 2017

Olivetans Close Holy Trinity Monastery

Abbot General D. Diego M. Rosa OSB Oliv. and the leadership of the Olivetan Congregation in Italy decided to close Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David, Arizona. The Congregation is working with the resident Oblates and lay associates seeking a way to enable them to live on at the site. Our Lady of Guadaloupe Abbey, Pecos, New Mexico, founded Holy Trinity in 1974.

New Appointments in Subiaco Cassinese Congregation

In recent months, Abbot President Guillermo Leon Arboleda Tamayo OSB has nominated the following monks to the Curia Generalizia, Rome: P. Luigi Tiana OSB (Subiaco Abbey, Italy) as Procurator General; P. Christian Leisy OSB (Christ in the Desert Abbey, USA) as Assistant and Secretary; P. Stefano Visintin OSB (Praglia Abbey, Italy) as Assistant; P. Abbot Emeritus Jacques Damestoy OSB (Belloc Abbey, France) as Assistant; and P. Abbot Emeritus Andre Ouedraogo OSB (Koubri, Burkina Faso) as Assistant. 

The abbot president has also confirmed the following elections:  P. Luc-Ange Randrianasolo OSB as Conventual Prior of the Monastery of Mahitsy (Madagascar); P. Eduardo Africa OSB as first abbot of the Priory of the Transfiguration, Malaybalay (Philippines), elevated to the status of abbey by decree of the abbot president, 2 February 2017; P. Prior Pierre Thoi OSB as Visitor of the Vietnamese Province. He has also nominated P. Abbot Joël Chauvelot OSB, Abbot of Tournay, as Abbot Administrator of Belloc (France), until the next canonical visitation; and P. Abbot Jean-Christophe Yameogo OSB as Prior Administrator of Koubri (Burkina Faso), for two years.

Sacred Triduum and Easter Sunday – 13-16 April

Palm Sunday is the start of the holiest week of the year for Western Christians. The Sacred Triduum of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper (Thursday, 13 April). Holy Thursday is the oldest of the celebrations of Holy Week. During the Last Supper, Christ blessed the bread and wine with the very words that Catholic and Orthodox priests use to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass and the Divine Liturgy.

Most Holy Week services from Saint John's Abbey will be broadcast live from the abbey church. The Text This Week offers a rich variety of Web resources for Holy Week.

Friends of Saint Benedict

The Friends of St. Benedict announces the 2017 Benedictine Experience at Bishop's Ranch, Healdsburg, CA, 19-25 June 2017. The theme, Rediscovering Benedictine Wisdom in a Time of Turmoil, will be presented by Brother Bede J. Healey OSB Cam., of Incarnation Monastery in Berkeley, CA. Mr. John Renke will return as music director. Father David Caffrey will lead chapter meetings. Registration information is available on the website, <>. This year, registration will be by mail only; please download and print the registration form from the website and mail it in to register.

Monastic Institute 2017

This year's 32nd Monastic Institute will explore Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home. The institute, "A Monastic Response to Caring for Our Common Home," runs from 2 to 6 July 2017, Collegeville, Minnesota.

Benedictine Development Symposium

Online registration is now possible for the 2017 Benedictine Development Symposium, Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, Nebraska – 24-28 July 2017. The symposium is comprised of religious and lay men and women who work in the area of development. It connects people with one another to provide resources and networking among the participants. The early bird special rate expires 30 April 2017.


What's New OSB
What's New auf Deutsch: Aktuelle Meldungen (Erbe und Auftrag, Monastische Welt).
What Was New OSB, January, February, and March 2017, and previous quarters (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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