Permanent commitment is an awesome gesture. It is, however, becoming a thing of the past these days. I remember a few years ago
when my parents were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and one of my
mother’s clients said to her: “I can’t believe you’ve been married to the same
man for this long.” I was taken aback by the statement. In my mind what else would you do but be faithful to your vows. Of course this woman is on her second marriage and from all
reports pretty self-absorbed. There was a time when you entered into a “life
commitment” by vows and you did what they indicated: live them forever, unto death is there parting. Times have changed: prenuptials are “in” and convenience has replaced permanency. Have we become too fickle? Just
recently an event in Rome gave me hope: Father Angelo’s 80 years as a Trappist
monk of the Abbey of Tre Fontane. Imagine 80 years do anything! Imagine living your monastic profession in the place where Saint Paul was martyred! Saint Paul’s head bounced three times. Hence three fountains of water sprung up.


Tre fontane di S. Paolo.jpg

Father Angelo (Archangelo Buccitti in
history), just celebrated his 94th birthday on March 3. Bishop Paolo
Schiavon, a long-time friend of the community offered Mass for Father Angelo’s
intentions. 

Father Angelo’s monastic journey included entry at Frattochie abbey at 14 years of age, his journey to solemn profession, ordination to the
priesthood, time as chaplain for the Trappistine nuns at Vitorchiano, his election
as abbot of Tre Fontane and his ten years in that capacity. All of Father
Angelo’s life can be seen as a homage, a testament to grace and grace’s living through his deep humanity known through fraternal
charity, humility and faithfulness to God’s call. 

Father Angelo said: “The
Lord does not count the number of one’s years, but weighs their quality” and “A
man is never taller than when he is on his knees before his Lord.”