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Rev. 20 October 2017


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October 2017

Five Monastic Podcasts from BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 has produced five “slow radio” soundscapes, featuring themes from monastic life. In the first in the series, 23 October 2017, monks from Downside, Belmont, and Pluscarden Abbeys meditate on the subject of silence, against a background of chant and sounds evocative of the peace and serenity of the monastery. The programs allow the listener to appreciate life at a monk's pace, reflecting the gentleness and calm of monastic life. Listeners will hear musings from the monks themselves, interspersed with their singing and sounds from the natural world. The series is available for download as a podcast. It accompanies the BBC 4 television series, Retreat: Meditations from a Monastery, which visits the monasteries in search of inner peace, presenting an alternative to the hectic pace of modern daily life.

New Prior for the Philippines

The monks of the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat, Manila, (Subiaco-Cassinese Congregation) installed Very Rev. Fr. Austin Cadiz OSB as the new prior-administrator, 7 October 2017.

News from Puerto Rico

Three weeks after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, making landfall as a category four only a few kilometers from Monasterio San Antonio Abad, Humacao, the monks have finally been able to send a message. Father Robert Medina OSB wrote that they still have no electricity, that there was great devastation in their area -- there are literally no leaves on the trees. The monks, however, are all safe, as are the Benedictine Sisters at Santa Escolástica monastery in town. The Sisters' school (on a hill outside of town), on the other hand, suffered severe damage. Abbot President Elias Lorenzo OSB is coordinating contributions of aid from American-Cassinese monasteries. Please keep the Benedictines of Puerto Rico in your prayers.

Good Sams Elect New Leadership 

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict completed their 26th Gathering in Chapter, 24 September to 2  October 2017. At the gathering in Sydney the Sisters elected Sister Patty Fawkner SGS to the position of superior and Sisters Meg Kahler SGS, Veronica McCluskie SGS, Catherine McCahill SGS, and Marella Rebgetzc SGS to the council. Further details can be accessed via the Good Samaritan website.

Abbot Primate Gregory Appoints New Officials

Abbot Primate and Grand Chancellor Gregory J. Polan OSB has appointed new officers of Sant'Anselmo Collegio and Ateneo: Reverend Paolo de Souza Silva OSB, Rector of the Church of Sant'Anselmo; Reverend Padre Jordi-Agustí Piqué OSB, Vice Rector of Sant'Anselmo Pontifical Ateneo; Brother Victor Ugbeide OSB, Assistant Gardener and Assistant Guestmaster of the Collegio Sant'Anselmo; Sister Anna Eichhorn OSB, Secretary to the Abbot Primate; and Reverend Olivier-Marie Sarr OSB, Vice Prior of the Collegio Sant'Anselmo, 6 October 2017.

The Abbot Primate wrote: “I wish everyone a fruitful performance of their duties for the future good of the Benedictine Confederation, the Badia Primaziale, the Ateneo, and the Collegio of Sant'Anselmo.”

Renovation of

Jeremias, Elias, and Richard
Jeremias OSB, Elias OSB, and Richard OSB
Responding to a request from Abbot Primate Gregory J. Polan OSB, Abbots President Jeremias Schröder OSB (Ottilien) and Elias Lorenzo OSB (American-Cassinese), Bro. Richard Oliver OSB (webweaver), and Prior Mauritius Wilde OSB (via Skype from Sant'Anselmo) met, 23-24 September 2017, at St. Mary's Abbey, Morristown, NJ, to discuss renovation of this website: <>. Bro. Richard created the not for profit, Saint John's website in 1995, and it has served as a stable, reliable source of general information about the Order of Saint Benedict.

The two-day discussions concluded with the proposal that a renovated <> serve in future as the official website of the Benedictine Confederation of monastic congregations. "Six Steps for Planning a Successful Website Redesign" served as a guide for the preliminary conversations. It is to be hoped that the new website will express the diversity and multi-faceted reality of Benedictine life, directing visitors whenever possible to other, independent Benedictine websites of whatever primary language. The committee invites visitors and users of the present website to email your comments or suggestions <> about the nature and content of the proposed renovation before the next committee meeting in Rome, late November 2017. The Web team at <> is coordinating separately the assembly of a curial website. The Benedictine women will continue to maintain independently their CIB website.

What's New OSB
What's New auf Deutsch: Aktuelle Meldungen (Erbe und Auftrag, Monastische Welt).
What Was New OSB, July, August, and September 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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