Category Archives: Benedictines

Monks beat Taylor Swift

Norcia monks chantingIf you can imagine the headline that “Monks beat Taylor Swift” in record sales, then you know Church tradition is right. Music sales of chant always seem to do well. The chant has a transcendent quality which makes the music quite attractive. I know non-Christian people listen to chant because it puts them in a peaceful “zone”.
Here is a very brief, but yet another article on the Benedictine monks in Norica (the article is old) and their CD: “Benedicta: Marian Chant.”
The monks also make a beer which I find to be better than the beer made by the Trappist monks in Spencer, MA.
The Benedictine monks of the St. Benedict Monastery in Norcia, Italy are the real deal and living their vocation!

Dom Xavier Perrin as Abbot of Quarr

Abbot Xavier

Great news from Quarr Abbey! A new abbot has been elected. The Abbey is part of the Solesmes Congregation.

Dom Xavier Perrin has been elected as Abbot of Quarr Abbey, the Benedictine Abbey on the Isle of Wight. The election took place on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

Fr Xavier Perrin, born in Tours in 1958, first studied French Literature in Rennes, and then History of Art at the Sorbonne. In 1980, he entered the Abbey of Sainte Anne de Kergonan, a monastery founded by Solesmes in South Brittany in 1897. He studied theology first at Solesmes, then at Fribourg in Switzerland, and finally in Munich. After his ordination in 1989, he took charge of the guesthouse, while teaching dogmatic theology and playing the organ. He was novice master from 1993 to 2010, choir master from 1996 to 2013, and prior from 2002 to 2013. He has written books and articles about the history of the Solesmes Congregation, liturgy, and spirituality. He has been involved in the promotion of Gregorian Chant through several week-ends, concerts and CDs. He was appointed Prior Administrator of Quarr Abbey (Isle of Wight) in April 2013.

He said, “I entrust my abbatial ministry to Our Lady of Quarr. I hope and pray that Quarr can continue to give its unique contribution to the Catholic Church in Britain, and be a beacon of light for the many visitors to the Isle of Wight.”

The picture: Abbot Xavier (on the right) standing next to Abbot Philippe Dupont, Abbot President of the Solesmes Congregation.

Camaldolese nuns in Korea

Korean Cardinal and CamaldoleseThe Benedictines of the Camaldolese Congregation are establishing a monastery of nuns in Korea. In fact, April 27, 2016, the Prior General of the Camaldolese Congregation, Father Alessandro Barban met with  Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul, and Bishop Peter Chung Soon-taek, the episcopal vicar for religious orders in the archdiocese, to express his gratitude for his support on the foundation of the first Camaldolese community in Korea. Father Barban also mentioned that he has great expectations to the new Camaldolese community in Korea, hoping to bring “both direct and indirect effect to the Korean people with the Camaldolese spirituality.”

This first Camaldolese monastery (nuns) in Korea is being constructed in Namyangju City and will be finished, it is hoped, 2019.

The Camaldolese Congregation follows the 6th century Rule of Saint Benedict and the manner life establish by Saint Romuald at the beginning of the 11th century. The Camaldolese is an order of hermits and cenobites with many laity living in relation to the the Camaldolese as Oblates.

What is striking is that in a period of Church history that know Western monastic life is clearly in diminishment (and death), and the Camaldolese are not exception to the trends, this an exceptional grace given by God to found monastic life according to the charisms of Saint Benedict and Saint Romuald anew.

Through the intercession Mary, the Mother of Monks and Nuns, and of all Benedictine saints, may this monastery thrive!

Image from the Archdiocese of Seoul

Patrick Barry OSB RIP

Abbot PatrickYesterday morning at Ampleforth Abbey, Abbot Patrick Barry made his transitus to the Lord of Life. Liturgically, it was a perfect day: it was the Transfiguration of the Lord and the feast of Saint Peter Damian. Two great poles of a monk in love with Christ. Abbot Patrick was 99, 81 years a monk, and 71 years a priest.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

Father Patrick Barry served as Abbot of Ampleforth from 1984 to 1997. He was re-elected by the monastic community to be abbot in 1992 for a period of eight years. I first met in 1997 when he went to St Louis to assist the Benedictine Abbey there in the teaching of our monks in formation.

Patrick Barry OSBThe holy Abbot once wrote of the Holy Rule of Benedict: “The Rule Saint Benedict wrote is not well understood unless its end and purpose are seen to rest in Christ himself, whose gift is eternal life and whose love must be counted as more important than anything else in the life of a monk.” I am convinced that Abbot Patrick’s life coalesced around this central fact of the Faith: the journey to meet the Trinity in Eternal Life. Everything seemed to orbit Saint Benedict’s call to us in our longing, our hungering, for eternal life. Abbot Patrick lived this experience with great spiritual intensity.

Two special gifts I cherish: knowing and learning from Abbot Patrick the years I lived in St Louis and following when I would visit St Louis Abbey. The second gift, is a copy of his translation of the Rule of St Benedict.

May we meet again in the love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

UPDATE: The Telegraph (of the UK) published this obit of Abbot Patrick Barry, OSB.

Manuel Nin, OSB named Exarch for the Catholics of the Greek Byzantine

Manuel Nin OSBToday, Pope Francis nominated as the new Apostolic Exarch for the Catholics of the Greek Byzantine Church, Reverend Archimandrite Manuel Nin, OSB. This local church has approximately 6000 faithful. Bishop-elect Nin, 59, has served the Church until now as the Rector of the Pontifical Greek College (Rome) and teacher at Pontifical Atheneum of Sant’Anselmo (Rome).

The new exarch is the titular bishop of Carcabia, a professed monk of the Abbey of Montserrat, and has been a priest for 18 years. He is currently a consultor in the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, a member of the Liturgical Commission of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and first assistant to the president of the Subiaco-Cassinese Congregation. May God grant Bishop Manuel many years!

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]yahoo.com.
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