Benedictines: December 2009 Archives

On the solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, a few hours after the Midnight Mass (in which he participated from his room), Father Charles Dumont was born into eternal life. Born in Ixelles (Brussels) on 26 September 1918, he entered Scourmont Abbey on 11 June 1941, he professed solemn vows on 16 July 1946, and was ordained priest on 15 May 1950. He served several times as chaplain at the abbey of Notre Dame de la Paix (Chimay), as well as at Soleilmont. For several years he assisted at Caldey and he filled the office of Novice Master at Scourmont from 1993 to 1996.

He introduced many people, especially within the Order, to the knowledge and the love of the Cistercian Fathers, in particular St Bernard. He was the editor of Collectanea Cistercienia, later Cisterciensia (1963-71) and assisted in the editing of Cistercian Studies Quarterly. Two of his recent works are Pathways to Peace: Cistercian Wisdom According to St. Bernard and Praying the Word of God. Cistercian Sister Elizabeth Connor wrote a book on Father Charles entitled, Charles Dumont Monk-Poet: A Spiritual Biography. His funeral took place at Scourmont on 28 December. May God grant Father Charles eternal light, peace and happiness.
Abbey Church, Library, dorm 2009.jpgI spent a few hours today at Saint Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA, and then later in the day had lunch with a friend, Msgr. Robert Johnson in Worcester. It was beautifully sunny but incredibly cold.

Spencer's abbey has always held a special place in my heart because of the beauty of the location --on top of a hill with rolling fields and lakes-- and because of friendship I share with some of the monks and the sacred Liturgy.

Saint Joseph's Abbey is a monastic house of monks of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (OCSO), the Trappists. 

Spencer Abbey, sanctuary 2009.jpg
I even stopped by the Holy Rood Guild and purchased an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and a linen amice.

See the monks' blog that's periodically update, here.
Br Stephen's Obedience.jpgOne the subtle joys in life that I relish is the fact that some people respond to the Lord's call to follow and serve Lord and His Church. Among the various ways to respond to the Lord is the monastic way of life under the Rule of Saint Benedict, living side-by-side others doing the same. Some may follow the monastic way as a Benedictine monk (nun) or perhaps as Cistercian monk (nun); AND just for the record, Cistercians are an 11th century reform of Benedictine monasticism. In this country there are few monasteries of Cistercian monks (only 4) but there are 12 houses of the reform of the reform called Cistercians of the Strict Observance (AKA Trappists).

Just the other day Brother Stephen from the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank (Sparta, WI) professed his temporary vows for a period of three years. He came into full communion with the Catholic Church, left a good job and put himself under obedience (friendship as Luigi Giussani would say) unto his salvation. Many God give him the grace of perseverance.

See what I am talking about by going to Brother Stephen's blog, Sub Tuum.

The monks of Our Lady of Spring support themselves by their industry, Laser Monks. Perhaps you can patronize their good work! I have bought things from them and so has my mom.
Abbot Marian.jpg

Abbot Dr. Marian Eleganti, 54, until now the Abbot of the Abbey of Saint Otmasberg (Abtei St. Otmarsberg), has been nominated by the Holy Father to be an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Chur, Switzerland. He was elected abbot of his monastery on 15 July 1999 and in 2003 defended a doctoral dissertation on Romano Guardini at the University of Salzburg. Abbot Marian speaks seven languages and is a published author.

The Abbey of Saint Otmasberg belongs to the Congregation of Saint Ottilien, a grouping of missionary Benedictine monks who take vows to a particular monastery as other monks do, but since mission work is their common apostolate, monks are assigned from various monasteries for this mission work in monasteries in other parts of the world. This congregation of monks have a slightly different understanding of the monastic of stability but no less vital for monasticism and for the Church. There are two monasteries of the Congregation of Saint Ottilien in the USA: Saint Paul's Abbey (Newton, NJ) and Christ the King Priory (Schuyler, NE).

Bishop-elect Marian is one of 32 Benedictine monks ordained to the episcopacy worldwide.

May God grant many years to Bishop-elect Marian and may Saint Ambrose sustain the bishop with his prayers. So, we pray for Abbot Marian and for his Benedictine community who will now prepare to elect a new abbot.

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]



Humanities Blog Directory

About this Archive

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

Benedictines: November 2009 is the previous archive.

Benedictines: January 2010 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.