Benedictines: April 2009 Archives
This past week I spent it visiting friends at Portsmouth Abbey. Savoring the graces of Easter was an important part of my desire to be away from that which is "normal" plus visiting friends who I haven't seen in a while was refreshing. There are 13 monks resident.
Portsmouth is a monastery of Benedictine monks under the patronage of Saint Gregory the Great. The abbey has been in Portsmouth, Rhode Island since 1926 located 7 miles north of Newport and 20 minutes south of Fall River on Narragansett Bay. The location is beautiful and for me, quintessentially "New England." Among many things the abbey is famous for historically being populated by monks who converted to Catholicism and for the school the monks run, Portsmouth Abbey School.
Dom Elias R. Lorenzo, a monk of the Abbey of Saint Mary, has been appointed the new Prior of Sant'Anselmo in Rome, the international house of studies for Benedictines. As prior Dom Elias will be working with the Abbot Primate, Notker Wolf, as the man in charge of the daily running of the monastic community, the superior of the monks and he'll work on special canonical projects for the Benedictine Confederation, especially with the Holy See. His competence, insight and humor will be well-received in Rome as it has been at his home abbey (as I can attest) and in his other ministries.
Dom Elias succeeds Dom Michael Naughton, a monk of Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, MN.
May God abundantly bless Dom Elias!
The Right Reverend Dom Alban Boultwood OSB, 97, first abbot of St. Anselm's Abbey,
Henry Boultwood was born in Stamford, CT, on August 17, 1911 and educated in England and Scotland. When he entered the monastery he took the name Alban and professed vows as a monk of Fort Augustus Abbey,
He was appointed prior in 1947 and the monks of Saint Anselm's then elected him abbot in 1961. In retirement (1975), he held the title of Titular Abbot of the Royal Abbey of Dunfermline,
Abbot Alban was the author of three books: Alive to God (1964), Into His Splendid Light (1968) and Christ in Us (1982).
He was widely recognized as "a charming man, friendly, warm, witty, and a gifted homilist." The monks of the abbey received his body on Friday, April 3rd and the Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday the 4th. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.
Time magazine's article on Dom Alban
An interview with Dom Alban
Although the life of a monk ought to have about it at all times the character of a Lenten observance, yet since few have the virtue for that, we therefore urge that during the actual days of Lent the brethren keep their lives most pure and at the same time wash away during these holy days all the negligences of other times.
During these days, therefore, let us increase somewhat the usual burden of our service, as by private prayers and by abstinence in food and drink. Thus everyone of his own will may offer God "with joy of the Holy Spirit" (1 Thess. 1:6)
something above the measure required of him.
From his body, that is he may withhold some food, drink, sleep, talking and jesting; and with the joy of spiritual desire he may look forward to holy Easter. Let each one, however, suggest to his Abbot what it is that he wants to offer, and let it be done with his blessing and approval.
For anything done without the permission of the spiritual father will be imputed to presumption and vainglory and will merit no reward.
Therefore let everything be done with the Abbot's approval.
Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 49