Benedictines: April 2009 Archives

Fr Theodore Heck.jpgRemember not the sins of my youth and all my follies, O Lord.

Early this morning the Lord called home the Reverend Father Theodore Heck, OSB. Father Theodore was the oldest Benedictine monk and priest in the world at the time of his death at 108.

Father Theodore was a priest and monk of the Archabbey of Saint Meinrad.

A slideshow of Father's life and ministry can be seen here.

O God, Who didst raise Thy servant Theodore to the dignity of priest in the apostolic priesthood, grant, we beseech Thee, that he may be joined in fellowship with Thine Apostles forevermore.

May Father Theodore rest in peace.

Visiting Portsmouth Abbey

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Abbey church & lawn.JPGThis 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.jpgDom 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!

Alban Boultwood OSB, RIP

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The Alban Boultwood.jpgRight Reverend Dom Alban Boultwood OSB, 97, first abbot of St. Anselm's Abbey, Washington, DC, died on 25 March 2009.


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, Scotland, 1929. He graduated the University of Edinburgh with the MA in 1933. His abbot sent him prepare for priestly ordination at Sant'Anselmo's in Rome and he was ordained in 1939. At the time of his death, Dom Alban was in his 80th year as a monk and 70th year as a priest.


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, Scotland.


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

My friend Father Michael's monastery was recently featured in the Canadian secular press in an article titled, "Cannon Street's spiritual haven." In most people's experience monasteries are unusual, never mind a monastery using the Rule of Saint Benedict and following the Orthodox Church. May God grant them many years! Have a read and don't mind the boo boos in the article...

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.

And this will be worthily done Monk3.JPGif we restrain ourselves from all vices and give ourselves up to prayer with tears, to reading, to compunction of heart and to abstinence.


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

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Benedictines category from April 2009.

Benedictines: March 2009 is the previous archive.

Benedictines: May 2009 is the next archive.

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