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The Order of Saint Benedict

What Was New

July, August, and September 2010

Rev. 8 October 2010

September 2010

100 Years in North Dakota

The Benedictine Sisters of Richardton celebrated 100 years in North Dakota on Sept. 27. On that day in 1910, four Sisters from St. Marys’, Pennsylvania, arrived in North Dakota at the Fort Berthold Reservation in response to a request from Abbot Vincent Wehrle, OSB, the first bishop of the new diocese of Bismarck.

The Sisters celebrated the occasion by inviting the monks of Assumption Abbey in Richardton and the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck to join them for Mass with the Bishop and the blessing of their recently completed renovation project. The Richardton Sisters are the youngest daughterhouse of the monastery at St. Marys, the home of the first Benedictine women in North America.

Abbot Kevin Blessed at Worth Abbey

More than 750 well-wishers, including a representative of the Papal Nuncio, Mgr. Vincent Brady, a Cardinal, abbots of other monasteries, Bishop John Hind of Chichester and dozens of clergy, flocked to Worth Abbey last Saturday [September 11] to witness Dom Kevin Taggart’s OSB formal installation as the monastery’s fifth abbot.

The 25-strong Worth monastic community elected Abbot Kevin, 79, on 2 June 2010. In English Benedictine monasteries the Abbot is elected for a term of eight years during which time he leads the Community as father of the monastic family (ICN).

Cistercians Elect New Abbot General

On Thursday, 2 September 2010, the General Chapter of Cistercian abbots, abbesses, and delegates, who gathered in Rocca di Papa, near Rome, elected Father Mauro Giuseppe Lepori OCist, abbot general of the Cistercian Order (Common Observance).

Father Lepori succeeds Abbot Maur Esteva Alsina OCist, elected in 1995. Abbot Maur resigned for reasons of age.

Abbot Mauro, 51, was born in Canobbio, Switzerland. He entered the Abbey of Hauterive in 1984. He made first monastic vows in 1986 and solemn profession in 1989. Ordained a priest on June 10, 1990, Father Lepori served as master of novices until his election as abbot of Hauterive on May 16, 1994. He has published several articles and books translated into several languages, such as Simon Called Peter. Father Mauro also gives conferences, preaches retreats, and creates watercolor paintings.

As abbot general, Abbot Mauro will have to work towards the reunification of the two Cistercian branches, that of the "Common Observance," to which the abbey of Hauterive belongs, and that of "Strict Observance" (Trappists). In 1998, on the occasion of the 900th anniversary of the installation of Abbot Robert of Molesmes in Citeaux, Pope John Paul II appealed for the reunification of the two Cistercian branches. On 4 September, Abbot General Dom Eamon Fitzgerald OCSO was an invited guest at the General Chapter.

Abbot Mauro took office immediately after his election. He will now reside in Rome (Zenit).

Biography of Dom Henri Le Saux OSB

Father William Skudlarek OSB edited God's Harp String: The Life and Legacy of the Benedictine Monk Swami Abhishiktananda (Lantern Books, 2010). Abhishiktananda, also know as Dom Henri Le Saux OSB (1910-1973), was one of the first practitioners of Hindu-Christian dialogue. Father William is a monk of Saint John's Abbey and lives and works in Rome as General Secretary of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue. The Australian Commission of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue has created a Swami Abhishiktananda page on FACEBOOK to promote Swamiji's teachings and to encourage discussion of his teachings internationally.

August 2010

+ Bischof DDr. Richard Josef Weberberger OSB

On Wednesday, 25 August 2010, H.E. Christopher Cardinal Schönborn presides at the Mass of Christian Burial for Most Rev. Richard Joseph Weberberger OSB, Bishop of Barreiras, Brazil, at Kremsmünster Abbey, Austria. Bishop Weberberger died on Tuesday, 17 August. Born at Leonfelde (Linz), 5 September 1939, he professed vows in the Abbey of Kremsmünster in 1959. Ordained a priest, 15 August 1964, Pope John Paul II named him first Bishop of Barreiras, 21 May 1979. Paul Augustin Cardinal Mayer OSB consecrated him, 11 July 1979, at Kremsmünster, in the abbey church.

Despite undergoing intensive medical treatment, he delivered an impressive lecture, 15 July 2010,  during Kremsmünster's ecumenical summer academy, on land reform in his diocese. This lecture, the topic of which lay very close to his heart, is, to a certain extent, part of his legacy. His untiring employment for fair structures and for the poor empowered him. The bishop never complained during his final illness, and he thought first always of others.

The Republic of Austria awarded him the commander's large golden decoration with star for service, and Upper Austria honored him with its Human Rights Prize. Herr, gib ihm die ewige Ruhe.

CMSM Chooses Abbot Giles Hayes OSB

The major superiors of the United States, assembled for their annual meeting in Long Beach, California, voted Abbot Giles P. Hayes OSB (Morristown, NJ) to become President-elect of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), Friday, 6 August 2010.  American Benedictine monks had been instrumental in founding and shaping the Conference in 1956.

Abbot Giles served as headmaster of Delbarton School for two five-year terms. He was novice master at St. Mary's Abbey and was elected abbot of the Benedictine community in 2006. Active in the local community, Abbot Giles has served as a trustee of a New Jersey Urban League chapter and has established and helps guide a number of community service activities for New Jersey youth and adults. Annually he spends time working among the poor in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. He has written four scholarly articles and one book about American Church History. Before his election, Abbot Giles, 70, served as At-Large Member of the CMSM National Board of Directors. He will assume office as President during the CMSM assembly in Orlando, Florida, August 2011.

Redemptorist Named Curial Archbishop

Pope Benedict XVI has named an American, Joseph William Tobin CSsR, to oversee Catholic religious orders, the Vatican said 2 August 2010. As Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Archbishop Tobin, 58, will oversee the more than 300 Catholic orders around the world. Archbishop-designate Tobin, from Detroit, headed the 5,300-strong Redemptorist order based in Rome from 1991 to 2009 (The Tablet). In late May, Pope Benedict named Father Tobin to the nine-member team scheduled to conduct an apostolic visitation of the Catholic Church in Ireland in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse crisis there (Catholic News Service).

+ Sister Véronique Dupont OSB

On 3 August 2010 Sister Véronique Dupont OSB died in her 65th year. Born 22 August 1945, S. Véronique received a scientific formation, doing research on molecular biology at CNRS/Institute Pasteur. She has practiced in this field for 9 years. She became a Benedictine nun of the Our Lady of Venière Abbey in the Subiaco Congregation and made final profession on 25 March 1981. Her community sent her for theological studies at the Catholic Institute of Paris, and later she wrote a dissertation on the mystagogy of St. Maximus the Confessor. From 1985, she taught at the novitiate of her monastery. Since 1990, she taught courses in patristics, monasticism, and methodology in France, Europe, Jerusalem, and francophone regions of Africa. She authored about 30 publications and served the Alliance for International Monasticism (AIM) from 1991. She became a member of the AIM International Team in 1997.

Benedictine Sisters Decry Politicization

The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia denounced the notion that the death of one of their own had become a political rallying cry. Sister Denise Mosier OSB was killed Sunday, 1 August, in a car crash on Bristow Road, when, police said, 23-year-old Carlos A. Martinelly Montano slammed into the car in which she was riding. Two others, Sisters Charlotte Lange OSB and Connie Ruth Lupton OSB, also in the car, were flown to a local hospital where they remained in critical condition (WTVR, Richmond, VA).

Carlos Montano, who police say is illegally in the country, is charged with drunken driving, involuntary manslaughter and felony driving on a revoked license after the accident in Prince William County (WTOP, DC/MD).

The Department of Homeland Security and local politicians expressed outrage that Montano has been allowed to stay in this country ( "The Benedictine Sisters are dismayed and saddened that this tragedy has been politicized and become an apparent forum for the illegal immigration agenda," said Benedictine Sister Glenna Smith OSB. "While grieving and dealing with the death and severe injuries of our sisters, we would like to re-focus attention on the consequences of drinking and driving, and on Christ's command to forgive" (Statement, August 3, 2010).

July 2010

Abbot and Prior of Ettal Rehabilitated

As a result of an investigation by the Holy See, H.E. Franc Cardinal Rodé, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, stated that nothing stands in the way of the re-election of Abbot Barnabas Bögle OSB and the installation of Prior Maurus Krauß OSB to his former position at Ettal Abbey. Contrary to claims by Archbishop Reinhard Marx and his general vicar, Msgr. Peter Beer, that the monks had neglected to reveal accusations of sexual misconduct, the Vatican commission found that they had acted properly and done all that was necessary in 2005. Under pressure from the archdiocesan authorities in Munich, both officials had resigned their offices in February 2010. An abbatial election must take place before 31 July.

Saint Benedict

Benedict ms. illumination

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

In the universal calendar for 2010, the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time supersedes the Feast of Saint Benedict.

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

What Was New OSB (1995-; archive). April, May, and June 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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