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The Order of Saint Benedict

What's New

January, February, and March 2018

Rev. 16 February 2018


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February 2018

New Archabbot Ordinary

The Holy Father has accepted, 16 February 2018, the resignation from the office of Archabbot Ordinary of Pannonhalma, Hungary, tendered by Most Rev. Imre Asztrik Várszegi OSB. Pope Francis has named Prior Cirill Tamas Horgobagyi OSB, 57, as the new archabbot ordinary. The abbatial blessing will take place 21 March 2018. Archabbot Cyril also serves as the Abbot President of the Hungarian Benedictine Congregation.

Prinknash Elects

The Subiaco-Cassinese monks of Prinknash Abbey, England, announce the election of Dom Martin McLaughlin OSB, 53, as sixth Abbot of Prinknash, installed 10 February 2018. Ad multos annos! For the last 17 years Abbot Martin has been the bursar of the community, and he is a well known retreat- and conference-giver.

Election in Inkama

The monks of Sacred Heart Abbey, Inkama, South Africa, have elected, 9 February 2018, Fr. John Paul Mwaniki OSB, the third abbot of the community, for an indefinite period. Abbot John Paul is 50 years old and hails from Kenya. Since 2015 he served as prior administrator of the community. Inkamana was established in 1922 and at the time of this election numbers 28 capitulars.

Solemnity of Saint Scholastica

Reliquary bust, ca. 1500
Reliquary bust, ca. 1500

Saturday, 10 February, Benedictines celebrate the devout life and peaceful death of Saint Scholastica of Nursia (480-547). Pope St. Gregory the Great writes about the spiritual friendship between Saint Benedict and his twin sister in chapters 33 and 34 of the Second Book of Dialogues. He uses a story to teach a lesson in the efficacy of prayer.

The visit Benedict made to his sister suggests that their monasteries were not far distant. Such has remained the pattern, and many Brother/Sister monasteries are geographically close. Through collaboration in the apostolate and in prayer, men and women Benedictines support each other in fidelity to the Holy Rule.

In the next chapter of the Dialogues, Gregory recounts how three days later Benedict, "lifting up his eyes to heaven, beheld the soul of his sister that had departed her body ascend into heaven in the likeness of a dove." He gave orders that they both should be buried at Monte Cassino. Saint Benedict was soon thereafter laid to rest beside her in the crypt of Monte Cassino Abbey. "As their souls had always been one in God while they lived, so their bodies continued together after their deaths."

January 2018

+ Archbishop Emeritus Daniel Buechlein OSB

Bishop Buechlein OSB, 79, died Thursday, 25 January 2018, Saint Meinrad, Indiana. He had served as Archbishop of Indianapolis from 1992 to 2011, when he retired to Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Information on visitation and services may be found at the archdiocesan website. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord!

Trappist Monks of Tibhirine in Algeria

On Friday, 26 January 2018, Pope Francis received in audience Angelo Cardinal Amato SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the meeting, the pope authorized the congregation to promulgate the decrees concerning the martyrdom of the Servants of God Peter Claverie, Bishop of Oran, and 18 companions, men and women religious; killed, in hatred of the Faith, in Algeria from 1994 to 1996. The martyrs include the seven Trappist Monks of Tibhirine in Algeria.

Michael Casey OCSO Honored

Good Sam Sister Carmel Posa edits the Cistercian Publications book, A Not-So-Unexciting Life: Essays on Benedictine History and Spirituality in Honor of Fr. Michael Casey OCSO. It is now available in a variety of formats.

S. Carmel SGS presents essays by 18 Benedictine women, men, and lay scholars, including Columba Stewart OSB, recognizing Michael Casey's contribution to Benedictine and Cistercian life for the past 40 years. Casey is surely the most influential Cistercian writer since Fr. Louis Thomas Merton OCSO. Order now.

Prior Re-confirmed at Big Sur

On Wednesday, 24 January 2018, the monks of New Camaldoli Hermitage acclaimed Fr. Cyprian Consiglio OSB Cam on his re-confirmation as prior for another six years. The monastic chapter included all the monks of the various Camaldolese houses in California: New Camaldoli at Big Sur; the dependent houses of Incarnation Monastery, Berkeley, and the Monastery of the Risen Christ, San Luis Obispo; and Fr. Michael Fish OSB Cam who lives separately in a designated Hermitage of St. Romuald.

Benedictine Appointed to Roman Congregation

Pope Francis has appointed, 13 January 2018, Rev. Roberto Fornaciari OSB Cam., 53, as one of the consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Dom Roberto is a professor at the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of Arezzo.

New Abbot for Guatapé Monastery

Friday, 5 January 2018, the monks of Santa María de la Epifanía (Guatapé, Colombia) elected Fr. Humberto Rincón-Fernández OSB as their second abbot. This election coincided with the 50th anniversary of the monastery's foundation that took place, 5 January 1968, solemn First Vespers of Epiphany. The blessing of the new abbot will be on Saturday, 10 February 2018, Feast of Saint Scholastica. Abbot Humberto succeeds Abbot Guillermo Arboleda-Tamayo OSB, currently serving as abbot-president of the Subiaco-Cassinese Congregation.

+ Abbot Cipriano Carini OSB

Abbot Cipriano Carini OSB, from 1983 to 2003, was the abbot of the monastery of Saint John the Evangelist in Parma, where he has never been forgotten. The ducal city remained bound to him with ties of great affection. Parma mourns the Benedictine monk who died, 3 January 2018, at the age of 81 years in his new position as prior at the monastery of San Pietro in Assisi. Dom Cipriano had arrived in January 2007 to lead that Benedictine monastic community.

Born in Piacenza, Dom Cipriano studied philosophy in Rome at Sant'Anselmo and theology at the monastery of Praglia, Padua. From 1955 he led with great commitment the Italian Commission of DIM (Monastic Interreligious Dialog) that encouraged dialog among monastics of every faith.

In Parma, too, Abbot Cipriano is also remembered for the strong impulse he gave to interreligious dialog with all denominations. He began publishing books and articles while in Piacenza, among them were those dedicated to Saint Frances of Rome and Saint Benedict of Nursia. May he rest in peace.

+ Bishop Herbert Hermes OSB

Most Rev. Dom Herbert Hermes OSB, 84, Bishop Emeritus of the Prelacy of Cristalândia, Brazil, died 3 January 2018 at the General Hospital of Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil. He professed vows as a monk of St. Benedict's Abbey, Atchison, Kansas, 11 July 1954. The territorial prelature buried its former bishop, 1990-2009, in the crypt of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Cristalândia, Tocantins, Brazil.

World Day of Peace

Pope Francis used his message for the 51st World Day of Peace 2018 to highlight the plight of migrants and refugees. Quoting Benedict XVI about the one human family, the Holy Father  said, "The wisdom of faith fosters a contemplative gaze that recognizes that all of us 'belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth, whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded.'"


What's New OSB
What's New auf Deutsch: Aktuelle Meldungen (Erbe und Auftrag, Monastische Welt).
What Was New OSB, October, November, and December 2017, and previous quarters (1995-; archive).

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