Benedictines: June 2012 Archives

pi-2011-logo.jpgThe Portsmouth Institute is set to begin its third year of work from June 22-24, 2012, with the theme of "Modern Science, Ancient Faith." The Institute is located at Portsmouth Abbey and School (Portsmouth, RI).

The speakers include Rt. Rev. Dom James Wiseman (St. Anselm's Abbey, Washington, DC), R. Dom Paschal Scotti (Portsmouth Abbey), William Dembski, John Haught, Kenneth Miller, B. Joseph Semmes, Michael Ruse, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP.

Prayer, fraternity and time to think are hallmarks of the Portsmouth Institute. Situated at the beautiful Portsmouth Abbey on the Narrangansett Bay, who could not love expanding one's thinking on faith and science.

Visit the website noted above for more information of the conference, the Abbey and School.

Previous Institutes:

2009 The Catholic William F. Buckley, Jr.
2010 Newman & the Intellectual Tradition
2011 The Catholic Shakespeare?

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Trust in the Lord and do good, and you will dwell in the land and be secure.
Find your delight in the Lord, and he will grant your heart's desire.
(Ps 37; Introit for Mass for Religious)

These days there are celebrations of profession of vows and recognition of 50 years of monastic profession. The vocation to the monastic life is the search for God (cf. Rule of St Benedict) by the serious living of the gospel and one's baptism. It is a glorious vocation, one that entering the narrow gate is not easy but eloquent for its witness.

Three friends are living their vocation with fresh eyes. Each called by the Lord to follow and to be see-ers of the Kingdom (cf. Ratzinger) in this manner is sacrificial oriented to life eternal (cf. Spe Salvi, 12).

Br Pietro Berretta OSB.jpg
Benedictine Brother Pietro, a monk of the Monastery of Saint Peter and Paul (outside Milan, Italy) professed his first vows (temporary profession), Father Hilary of the Abbey of Saint Mary (Morristown, NJ) celebrated his 50th annviersary, and Benedictine Sister Marie Rita celebrated her 50th anniversary of profession of monastic vows. There are several others I could mention but let me satisfy this desire to recognize the sign of profession for service of the Kingdom and one's salvation.

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Remembering Cyril

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Cyril Crawford OSB.jpgMy friend Father Cyril Crawford died unexpectedly a short time ago, on 15 May 2012. He died in his sleep in Leuven (Louvain), Belgium, at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, where he was working on a doctorate in Philosophy so that he could teach at his monastery's college.

Dom Cyril, 46, was a monk and a priest of the Abbey of Saint Joseph of Covington, LA. 

A photo tribute to Cyril can be seen here.

Over at The Substance of Things Hoped For, Benedictine Father Denis Robinson (Rector of Saint Meinrad Seminary) wrote a remembrance of Dom Cyril. Father Denis' words are very true and capture Cyril well. I met Cyril at Saint Meinrad's, in the library, and found him to be a friend.

My heart is saddened, deeply so. Cyril as a good monk, priest with an honest search for God and keen sense of humor and intellect.

More info including Abbot Justin Brown's homily at the Mass of Christian Burial of Cyril can be found here.

Saint Benedict and Saint Cyril of Alexandria, pray for Father Cyril, and for us.
Fr Mark Cooper.jpgThe monks of Saint Anselm's Abbey (Manchester, New Hampshire) have elected Father Mark Cooper as their 5th abbot. 25 of the 28 monks were eligible to vote.

Abbot Mark Cooper succeeds Abbot Matthew Leavy who as served the Abbey, the College and the Church since 1986. Abbot Mark just retired after serving for 33 years as the VP for Finance of the College. He's an alum of 1971. More on Abbot Mark can be read here.

Abbot Mark is graduated Saint Anselm's College in 1971 with a BA in Political Science, and later studied at the University of Notre Dame, Saint John's Seminary, Brighton, MA, Saint Albert's House of Studies (operated by the Dominicans). He was ordained in 1976. In the course of time he taught at Woodside Priory and helped out pastorally as a priest.

As spiritual father of the monastic community the Abbot is also the Chancellor of the College; he is also the superior of Woodside Priory just outside of San Francisco, CA.

Upon election this morning the new abbot has taken the Oath of Fidelity and received the obedience of the monks and made the Te Deum for this gift of service. The election was presided over and confirmed by the Abbot President of the American Cassinese Congregation, The Right Reverend Hugh Anderson.
M. Basil Pennington.jpegToday marks the 7th anniversary of death of M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, monk, priest, abbot, writer. In 2005 he died on the feast of the Sacred Heart.

Abbot Basil died as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident at the age of 73.

He was described aptly as a "great, loving bear of a man" with a terrific sense of humor and laugh. He was energetic and an impressive leader with a very large capacity for friendship. His openness and keen intellect allowed him to publish 57 books and more than a 1000 articles.

Father Charles Cummings' obit of Dom Basil can be read here. If you've not known about Basil, then I would make the humble suggestion to read this piece and find the book, As We Knew Him, to introduce yourself.

Rest in peace, Dom Basil.

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 June 2012.

Benedictines: May 2012 is the previous archive.

Benedictines: August 2012 is the next archive.

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