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January, February, and March 2015

Rev. 26 January 2015

 


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January 2015

Pope Francis at Saint Paul Outside the Walls

Sunday, 25 January 2015, the Holy Father presided at Second Vespers of Sunday at the Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura. The service concluded the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity as well as the Ecumenical Colloquium of religious men and women organized by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL). The colloquium was dedicated to consecrated life in four Christian traditions: Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and Protestant. Three days ended with the celebration of Vespers at three different churches: the Chiesa del Gesù (22 January), the Russian Orthodox Church of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria (January 23) and the Anglican Church "All Saints Church" (January 24).

Philippa Hitchen of Vatican Radio spoke with Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, about how the theme for the Week of Christian Unity highlights the role of women in churches. The Holy Father met with the participants of the ecumenical colloquium stressing the role of consecrated religious in the search for Christian unity.

New Book by Abbot Primate Notker Wolf OSB

Book cover

Spiritus loci – the spirit of the place. A spiritual travel book.

From the rich personal experience of Abbot Primate Dr. Notker Wolf OSB in cooperation with journalist Alfons Kifmann, an exceptional illustrated travel book has been created. Thirty-one spiritual places in Austria (4), the Czech Republik (2), France (5), Germany (13), Italy (3), Israel (1), and Switzerland (3), are not only described in their historical significance, but also in their special meaning as "spiritual locations" brought to life in words and pictures. Because it is designed for travelers, the book appears in a compact and convenient size.

Abbot Notker describes the concept of the book as follows: "We need and look for places where we can live and die, places to be happy and mourn. We want to celebrate and to rest, to play sports and games, to enjoy entertainment and recreation. We are looking for places of unique, unsullied nature and places of highly developed culture, the fine arts, and distinctive architecture. Targets popular with tourtists draw us as much as places where we can savor solitude."

Is there a "spirit of the place," and how can we find it? Spiritus loci - the spirit of the place, is intended as a help in the search to find and to feel the spirit, the magic of places. Proceeds from sales of the book benefit the fund for the physical renovation of Sant’Anselmo, Rome.

Spiritus loci – the spirit of the place (Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner), 272 pages, softcover, 129 colored pictures, € 19.95, ISBN 978-3-7954-2905-8. Amazon, $16.62.

Renovated Websites

The venerable Abbey of Montecassino has redesigned its website with the new address: <www.abbaziamontecassino.org/abbey/>.

The Missionary Benedictines of St. Ottilien have also launched a new website at <www.ottilien.org/>. It is also available in an English version.

Maurus rescues Placid

Saints Maur and Placid - 15 January

Pope St. Gregory the Great tells the story of Benedict's young disciples, Maur and Placid, in Chapter 7 of the 2nd book of his Dialogues. Responding in perfect obedience, Maur was able to rescue little Placid from drowning. Follow the link to read the chapter and see a charming watercolor of the event by Jeanne Kerremans from L'Admirable Légende de Saint Benoît (1948).
 

The Charisms of Religious Congregations

Sister Joan L. Roccasalvo CSJ began 7 January a series of essays on religious life. The first informative and insightful installment is published by Catholic News Agency. In tune with Pope Francis, Sr. Joan reminds us that a charism "is given not for the glory or satisfaction of the recipient but as a responsibility to benefit others." Part two (14 January) discusses academics and aesthetics as significant elements of consecrated life.
 

Diploma in Group Facilitation, Conflict Resolution, Community Building, and Leadership Skills

Ealing Abbey, London, and NAOS-Institute are working together to offer formation programmes at the Centre for Integral Humanism, Ealing.

Applications are now being received for the 2015-2016 Diploma in Group Facilitation, Conflict Resolution, Community Building, and Leadership Skills. The Diploma will run on ten weekends from Saturday/Sunday, 28-29 March 2015, to Saturday/Sunday, 13-14 February 2016, plus one four-day intensive, 8/9, 10/11 October 2015.

The essence of this course is to improve the quality of relationships between people and to optimize the interaction between personal awareness and a role in collective change. The focus is on people who work in health and education, social movements, NGOs, and faith communities. Some bursaries are available to communities that would find it difficult to meet the costs.

Benedictine Founds Prison Nursery

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports on 3 January about the nursery that Fr. Peter Meienberg OSB of Uznach Abbey has set up in Nairobi’s biggest prison for women. Fr Peter has been working as a missionary in East Africa since 1961. He is the founder of Faraja Trust that maintains several charitable institutions in and near the Kenyan capital.

Flying the Friendly Skies

David Segal, "The Haggler" at the New York Times, documents the case of a Benedictine monk from the Monastery of Christ in the Desert and his frustration with United Airlines.


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