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The Order of Saint Benedict

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April, May, and June 2016

Rev. 25 April 2016


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April 2016

Benedictine Study-Retreat

From 10 to 17 June 2016, Paraclete Press, the publishing arm of the Community of Jesus and the Mount Tabor Centre  co-sponsor an ecumenical study-retreat about St. Benedict. Starting at the mission house for art and spirituality in the Tuscan hills, and ending in Subiaco, participants will learn of St. Benedict's life through art, through scripture, and through his rule. The leaders of the retreat are Msgr. Timothy Verdon, art historian and museum director; Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author; and, at Subiaco, Abbot Primate Dr. Notker Wolf OSB.

There are still some spaces open for the trip. For more information visit the website: St. Benedict Retreat.

Cistercian Publications

This year Cistercian Publications announces that all of St. Bernard of Clairvaux's works will finally be available in English. Also featured in the latest catalog is Gert Melville's comprehensive survey, The World of Medieval Monasticism: Its History and Forms of Life, "the best of guides to the world of medieval monasticism." Additionally the website offers three pages of items on sale.

Benedictine Educators' Network

Group photoThe International Commission on Benedictine Education (ICBE) hosted its seventh triennial international congress of the Benedictine Educators' Network (BENET) in Rome from April 4 to 8, 2016. 170 educators from 21 countries representing 71 schools were in attendance.  The keynote presenters were Prof. Günther Müller-Stewens from St. Gallen University, Switzerland and Prof. Luigi Gioia OSB from the Pontifical Athenaeum, Rome. The theme of their presentations was leadership and management in the Rule of St. Benedict as a primer for our schools.  The educators prayed together each day lauds, noonday Mass, and vespers in English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese as prepared by various schools in the Benedictine Educators' Network. 

In addition, there were fourteen workshops at the Collegio Sant'Anselmo on the Aventine hill on various themes such as Young People and Benedict's Rule Today, Formation of Staff, Faculty and Board, School Discipline  based on the Rule, Benedictine Identity and Mission Experiences, Rule of Benedict as Foundation for Strategic Planning, Scaffolding Change for Innovative Education, and Formation of Leaders for a More Just and Tolerant Society, to name a few.  These workshops were offered by the educators themselves for their peers. 

Throughout the congress educators met in deaneries for group discussions and for lectio divina.  The congress concluded with a pilgrimage to Montecassino where the educators had guided tours, prayed lectio divina at the tombs of St. Benedict and St. Scholastic, and celebrated the assembly's final Eucharist together.  At the conclusion of the congress, ICBE president, Fr. Elias Lorenzo OSB announced the next triennial international congress will be hosted by Good Samaritan Education in Australia, 2019.  

Ealing Abbey Conference on Benedictine Lay Movements

The monastic spirituality forum -- Community of Nazareth -- will be hosting a conference on contemporary Benedictine lay movements and communities at Ealing Abbey, 11 June 2016. The conference will explore the values, mission, and outreach of Benedictine movements. A number of groups will be participating in the event: Manquehue Movement, Lay Community of St Benedict, Community of St Aelred, Subiaco Walsingham, Monos, and NazarethW5.

The day will commence with Ealing Abbey's conventual mass at 9:15 a.m. The conference will continue with each group explaining its particular mission and how it transmits monastic values to others. There will be discussion about the nature of those groups: residential communities, dispersed communities, e-communities, and social media groups. There will also be talks examining Benedictine witness, looking at the lives of Bl. Gabriella of Unity and the Tibhirine Trappist martyrs. The day will conclude by joining the monastic community for vespers. Talks and papers will be available via the website ( SoundCloud (Community of Nazareth) and twitter (@NazarethW5). 

The Passing of Saint BenedictWindow at Yankton, SD

Benedictines commemorate the passing of Saint Benedict on Tuesday, 5 April 2016. Like the great Saint Joseph, devotion to whom was fostered at Monte Cassino, Saint Benedict is a fitting patron at the time of death. On the margin of the medal of St. Benedict, encircling the figure of Benedict, are the Latin words: Eius in obitu nostro præsentia muniamur (May we be strengthened by his presence in the hour of our death). An additional prayer to Saint Benedict for a happy death is available online.

Pope St. Gregory's account below of St. Benedict's serene death ca. 543 A.D, is enhanced by testimony of Benedict's ability to forecast the day of it and his ability to communicate the news of it remotely by signs.

Six days before he died, he gave orders for his tomb to be opened. Almost immediately he was seized with a violent fever that rapidly wasted his remaining energy. Each day his condition grew worse until finally, on the sixth day, he had his disciples carry him into the chapel where he received the Body and Blood of our Lord to gain strength for his approaching end. Then, supporting his weakened body on the arms of his brethren, he stood with his hands raised to heaven and, as he prayed, breathed his last. --Gregory the Great, Dialogues, Book 2, c. 37.

Jubilee of Mercy


8 December 2015 began the Jubilee of Mercy. Opening of the Holy Door in the Vatican Basilica is the official act of the Holy Father inaugurating the jubilee that concludes on the Feast of Christ the King, 20 November 2016. In the words of Pope Francis, "On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope."

What's New OSB
What's New auf Deutsch: Aktuelle Meldungen (Erbe und Auftrag, Monastische Welt).
What Was New OSB, January, February, and March 2016, 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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