Saint Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Alabama (USA) hosted the quadrennial meeting of Benedictine Abbots and Prioresses from 22-26 February 2019. More than 75 monastic superiors representing more than 2,700 Benedictine men and women in the Americas attended the meeting. The Benedictine Prioresses stayed with the Sisters at Sacred Heart Monastery, also in Cullman, and the Benedictine Abbots stayed at the Saint Bernard Abbey Retreat House.
The keynote speakers included Abbot Primate Gregory Polan OSB (Sant’Anselmo, Rome ITALY) and Sister Susan Hutchens OSB (Rock Island, Illinois USA). The topic of their presentations was on the virtue and practice of hope, entitled, “As We Wait in Joyful Hope.” On Saturday evening, the visiting Abbots and Prioresses joined the monks of Saint Bernard Abbey for Vespers and a festive supper. On Sunday evening, the Abbots and Prioresses joined the Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery for Vespers and a celebratory meal.
In addition, the superiors received reports on the Alliance for International Monasticism (AIM), American Benedictine Review, (ABR), Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum (CIB), the International Commission on Benedictine Education (ICBE), and Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (DIMMID), as well as the biennial Benedictine Development Forum and the annual Monastic Worship Forum. At the business meeting of the Abbots, the Abbot Primate presented the new schema from Sant’Anselmo on the subsidium and solidarity funds.