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The Order of Saint Benedict

What Was New

April, May, and June 2010

Rev. 26 May 2018

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June 2010

Sylvestrine Monks Elect Prior in Michigan

Friday, 11 June 2010, the Conventual Chapter of St. Benedict Monastery, Oxford, Michigan, the North American priory of the Sylvestrine Congregation, elected Father Michael Green OSB Silv. as their new prior. To aid him, the monks elected two counselors, Brother Antony Maldonado OSB Silv. and Father Damien Gjonaj OSB Silv. The prior will choose two other members to complete the council of four monks. Abbot General Michael Kelly OSB Silv. came from Rome to preside at the election chapter.

Photo of Abbot John B.

Monks of Marmion Elect New Abbot

The monastic chapter of Marmion Abbey, Aurora, Illinois, elected Father John Brahill OSB, 61, as the fifth abbot on Friday, 25 June 2010. After his election and acceptance, Abbot President Peter Eberle OSB, Swiss-American Congregation, immediately confirmed his election.  Abbot John’s tenure as abbot is for an indefinite term.  He succeeds Abbot Vincent Bataille OSB. who resigned after eighteen years in office. Ad multos annos!

Abbot Austin

Saint Procopius Abbey's New Abbot

On Thursday, 24 June 2010, the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist, the monks of St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle, Illinois, elected Fr. Austin Murphy OSB, 36, as their tenth abbot. He succeeds Abbot Dismas Kalcic OSB. Born in Huntington, New York, Abbot Austin professed first vows in 1997 and became a priest in 2004. Ad multos annos!

Valyermo Elects an Abbot


On June 22nd, the monastic chapter of St. Andrew's Abbey, California, elected Fr. Damien Toilolo OSB as abbot of the community. Until the election, Abbot Damien had been serving a two-year term (2008-2010) as Prior Administrator. In his twelve years as a member of the community, Abbot Damien also served as subprior, novice master, and vocation director. Ad multos annos!

Abbot Primate Wolf

Abbot Primate Celebrates 70th Birthday

Monday, 21 June 2010, Abbot Primate Notker Wolf OSB marks his 70th birthday. Archabbot Jeremias Schroeder OSB has arranged a modest celebration for the Primate at Abbot Notker's home abbey, Saint-Ottilen, Bavaria.  The Congress of Abbots elected Abbot Notker, 7 September 2000; the congress re-elected him, 25 September 2008. Aldo Parmeggiani interviewed Abbot Notker for Radio Vatikan. Es lebe hoch!

General Chapter Elects President

On Thursday, 17 June, the delegates to the General Chapter elected Abbot Hugh Richard Anderson OSB to a six-year term as the fifteenth President of the American-Cassinese Congregation. The fiftieth general chapter convened at St. Bernard Abbey, Cullman, Alabama, 13-18 June 2010. Abbot Hugh succeeds Abbot Timothy Kelly OSB whose resignation for reasons of health, midway through his second term as president, became effective 16 June.

The election was confirmed by Archabbot Douglas Nowicki OSB, the Second Councilor. In the abbey church, Abbot Hugh celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at 4 p.m. that concluded with the singing of the Te Deum. Abbot Hugh, First Councilor of the Congregation before his election, had served as the eighth abbot of Saint Procopius Abbey, Lisle, Illinois.

American Benedictine Academy

The June 2010 issue of The American Monastic Newsletter links to the registration form for the biennial convention of the ABA.  Saint Benedict's Abbey and Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas, will host the gathering, 5-8 August 2010. The theme is "Benedictines and Evangelization."

Sister Ephrem Hollerman OSB makes the latest issue of the ABA Monastic Researchers' Newsletter available online.

Erie Benedictines Elect Prioress

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania, elected Sister Anne Wambach, OSB, 57, to become their twenty-first prioress on Monday, 31 May 2010, for a term of five years. Sister Anne had been executive director of the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House. The community will installs Sister Ann as prioress on Sunday, 11 July 2010. Sister Annette Marshall OSB has been appointed to succeed Prioress Anne at the Art House that provides classes in the visual, performing, and literary arts to children.

New Prioress for Holy Name Monastery

ST. LEO, FLORIDA. --The Benedictine Sisters of Florida elected Sister Roberta Bailey OSB on 6 May 2010 to serve as prioress of Holy Name Monastery for the next six years. She will leave the head office of St. Anthony Interparochial Catholic School, where she has served as principal for 11 years. Sister Roberta, a golden jubilarian, has served as an elected member of the Benedictine Sisters Council since 2006. She has been elected three times as a delegate to the General Chapter of the Federation of St. Scholastica. The installation of Sister Bailey as prioress is scheduled for 30 June 2010.

May 2010

Biblical and Patristic Resource

The BIBLindex project is managed by the "Institut des Sources Chretiennes." The first stage of the project is completed. An index of approximately 400,000 biblical quotations and references from Greek and Latin patristic texts of the first five centuries is now available online. The index is based primarily on published volumes of Biblia Patristica (CNRS Editions, 1975-2000); archives of the "Centre d'Analyse et de Documentation Patristique" (CADP) concerning Athanasius of Alexandria, Cyril of Alexandria, John Chrysostom, Theodoret of Cyrus, Procopius of Gaza, and Jerome. Opening a free user account is necessary to access the database.

Archabbot Re-elected

The monks of Saint Vincent Archabbey re-elected Archabbot Douglas Nowicki OSB on Tuesday, 11 May 2010. According to the rules in effect at the time of his election as eleventh abbot, 8 January 1991, the archabbot tendered his resignation for he reached the age of 65, 8 May 2010. The current legislation (D 20.2. 1) in the American-Cassinese Congregation places the age of compulsory retirement for abbots at 75.

Archabbot Douglas serves as the spiritual leader of the first monastery established in the United States and one of the largest monasteries in the world. He is also the chancellor of Saint Vincent College and Saint Vincent Seminary. The Benedictines operate the Benedictine Military School in Savannah, Georgia, and the Penn State Campus Ministry Program at State College, Pennsylvania. In addition to his responsibilities in this country, the archabbot is also the spiritual leader of monasteries in Brazil and Taiwan.

Ad multos annos!

April 2010

+ Paul Augustin Mayer OSB (1911-2010)

Paul Augustin Card. Mayer OSB

Born at Altötting (Passau), 23 May 1911, Paul Augustin Mayer professed first monastic vows in the Abbey of Metten, 17 May 1931. Ordained a priest, 25 August 1935, the monks of Metten Abbey elected him abbot, 3 November 1966. He began service as Secretary of the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes, 8 September 1971. Named Titular Archbishop of Satriano, 6 January 1972, His Holiness Pope Paul VI, consecrated him, 13 February 1972, in Saint Peter's Basilica, assisted by Bernard Jan Cardinal Alfrink, Archbishop of Utrecht, and William Cardinal Conway, Archbishop of Armagh.

The Archbishop became Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for the Sacraments and of the Congregation for Divine Worship, 8 April 1984; Cardinal Deacon of Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino, 25 May 1985; and Prefect of the Congregation for the Sacraments and of the Congregation for Divine Worship, 27 May 1985. At 77, Cardinal Mayer resigned as Prefect of both Congregations, 1 July 1988, and served as President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei from 2 July 1988 to 1 July 1991. Elevated to Cardinal Priest of the Title of Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino, 29 January 1996; he died at Rome, 30 April 2010. He was the only Benedictine in the College of Cardinals. May he rest in peace.

The funeral for Cardinal Mayer will be in St. Peter's Basilica on Monday, 3 May 2010, 11:30 a.m. Collegio Sant'Anselmo will provide 12 acolytes and 10 priests for distribution of Holy Communion. The cardinal will be buried at Metten Abbey, Wednesday, 12 May. There will be a Memorial Mass that same day at Sant'Anselmo, 11:30 a.m., followed by a reception for invited guests.

Gute Menschen gleichen Sternen, sie leuchten noch lange nach ihrem Erlöschen.

Portsmouth Institute

Portsmouth Abbey School, Rhode Island, announces its second annual Portsmouth Institute. "Newman and the Intellectual Tradition," 10-13 June 2010, will be held just months prior to Cardinal Newman's beatification by Pope Benedict XVI during his official visit to England, September 2010. The Portsmouth Institute is a conference, study, recreation, and retreat center for all those interested in Catholic life, leadership, and service in the 21st Century.

+John F. Murtha OSB

Rev. John F. Murtha OSB, who was president of Saint Vincent College during a decade in which it rose rapidly in national rankings, died Tuesday, 13 April 2010, at age 79.

Maria Laach Exonerated

Although a TV film coproduced by WDR and SWR was quick to blame Maria Laach Abbey for fouling lake water, independent research by the Technical University of Kaiserslautern found neighboring landholders using traditional methods of agriculture primarily responsible for the decline in water quality. Somewhat reluctantly the state entity, Aufsichtsbehörde SGD Nord (Koblenz), responsible for water purity, declared the scientific findings as "plausibel."

The Holy Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Christ, was secretly hidden in the Benedictine abbey of Montevergine in southern Italy during World War II because the Vatican became convinced that Adolf Hitler wanted to steal it. Father Andrea Cardin OSB, director of the abbey's library, said the reason behind the move was because Hitler was "obsessed" with the sacred relic (Daily Telegraph, UK).

Gethsemani III Published

Lantern Books published in March 2010 Green Monasticism the third volume in its series devoted to the Gethsemani Encounters sponsored by the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. Green Monasticism is a collection of articles and talks from the May 2008 encounter. The theme was Buddhist and Catholic responses to the environmental crisis.

Living in Community

The latest offering from The Benedictine Institute at Saint John's University is available online. It is a video recording of a team presentation, "Living in Community," by Prioress Nancy Bauer OSB, Saint Benedict's Monastery, and Abbot John Klassen OSB, Saint John's Abbey. Their brother-sister monasteries are near each other in central Minnesota.

Abbot Christopher's Interview

Peter Stanford interviewed Dom Christopher Jamison OSB, Abbot of Worth Abbey, for the Easter Sunday edition of Britain's The Independent newspaper. "Abbot Christopher made a strong impression on the national consciousness as the sympathetic cleric in the reality TV series The Monastery."

Green Monastery

The Benedictine Women of Holy Wisdom Monastery, Madison, Wisconsin, have received the nation's highest ranking for a green building, earning a LEED Platinum rating with 64 out of 69 possible points from the U.S. Green Building Council for new construction. The two-level, 34,380-square-foot building opened in August. It contains space for worship, retreats, concerts, and conferences. News release (PDF).

Monasteries Merge

The Benedictine Sisters of St. Bede Monastery, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, have decided to merge with their founding community, St. Benedict's Monastery, St. Joseph, Minnesota. On 27 March the Sisters in St. Joseph agreed to accept all 29 members. The date of the transfer is not yet fixed. The members of St. Bede Monastery decided to transfer their membership as a community in part because of a lack of new members. "From the beginning, the response of our sisters has been overwhelmingly positive," said Sister Nancy Bauer, prioress of St. Benedict's Monastery, which currently includes 267 sisters.

Fifteen Years

1 April marks the fifteenth anniversary of the OSB Website. Abbot Primate Jerome Theisen OSB reviewed and approved the website during a visit to Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, not long before his death at Rome in September 1995. Subsequent Abbots Primate have graciously continued that confidence and encouragement.

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

What Was New OSB (1995-; archive).  January, February, and March 2010.

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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