Badia Primaziale arms.jpgThe Office of the Abbot Primate announces…

Almost 300 monastics will gather in Rome, 17-25
September 2012, for the international Congress of Benedictine Abbots and
Conventual Priors at the Primatial
Abbey of St. Anselm
on the Aventine Hill. Preceding the Congress,
new monastic superiors will participate, 15-16 September 2012, in an
orientation program. 25 representatives from Communio Internationalis
(CIB), an association of Benedictine sisters and
nuns, will also attend the Congress. The Abbot Primate has invited ecumenical
guests from the Orthodox and Reformed traditions.

The two keynote speakers are
Prof. Michael Hochschild presenting his research on the viability of
Benedictine monasteries, and Fr. Michael Casey
offering a paper on autonomy in Benedictine life. In addition,
a wide range of workshops will address current topics in monastic life; such
as, Benedictine identity, stress and burnout, associate membership programs,
management of monasteries, individualism in the monastery, relationship with
Benedictine women, new forms of Benedictine presence in society, ecumenism, the
paschal mystery in the sacred liturgy, new directions for inter-monastic
dialogue, new structures for AIM, the changing role of the Athenæum S. Anselmo,
the sexual abuse crisis, the role of the abbot, communio in the confederation,
and the formation of “traditionalist” candidates.

The assembled
abbots and conventual priors will have the opportunity to visit in pilgrimage
the monasteries of Subiaco,
Montecassino, Norcia, and Camaldoli, which is
celebrating its 1000th anniversary this year. Nearly half of the 250 abbots and
conventual priors will reside in the Collegio S.
, with the others, including CIB representatives and
ecumenical guests, housed in area religious houses and hotels.

An important
item on the agenda is the election of the abbot primate of the Benedictine
Confederation. According to the Lex Propria of the Benedictine
, the abbot primate is elected for an eight-year term,
and renewable thereafter every four years. There is no term limit to the office
of abbot primate. The current abbot primate, Dr. Notker Wolf OSB, a monk of St.
Ottilien Archabbey in Bavaria, is completing 12 years of service, having been
re-elected in 2008. 

Your prayers for the success of the Congress are greatly