Category Archives: Benedictines

Congress of Abbots 2012 statistics

anselmo arms.jpglYou’re likely going to say big deal… there’s already been too much info on the 2012 Congress of Abbots on the Communio blog. Well, you’re correct. But a few statistics set a context.

Meeting at the Primatial Abbey of Saint Anselm in Rome for the September 2012 Congress of Abbots, there were:
  • 250 abbots
  • 380 monasteries represented: 205 abbeys, 45 independent priories, 130 dependent priories
  • 21 Benedictine Congregations of monks
  • 7,358 monks represented
  • 62 Benedictine Congregations of women
  • 13,650 Benedictine nuns and sisters represented.
Father Luke MacNamara OSB, a monk of Glenstal Abbey (Ireland) oversaw the simultaneous translation work of 5 languages.

Benedictine All Souls

May the memory of the deceased monks, nuns, sisters, and oblates be eternal.

AK abbot.JPG

Historically [supposing that your view of history goes back before 1900], today is the traditional date for the liturgical memorial of All Benedictine Souls. You are not going to find many American Benedictine monasteries observing this commemoration. Sad, I think. They will offer the argument that the Church’s November 2nd commemoration of All Souls (and for that matter, All Saints) to include the monks and nuns of the Order.
As a monk noted, monasteries who hold this idea are employing “the same argument that was used at the time of the Reformation to eliminate the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, since we are all ‘saints.’ Whatever the theological merits of this position, even the Episcopal Church has recognized its psychological deficit and has restored All Souls on November 2.”
Old fashioned or not, there is a good value in retaining the observances of All Saints and All Souls of Monks and Nuns. Informed opinion indicates that when monasteries remember the nuns and monks who have gone before us in faith and perseverance, remembers not only persons but also puts eschatological hope that eternal life is possible and indeed ought to be sought.
We pray for graces of light, peace and mercy for our departed monks and nuns, sisters and oblates ask for their prayers for us.

Martin Boler, OSB RIP

Fr Martin Boler.jpgThe second and longtime Prior of Mount Saviour Monastery, Father Martin Thomas Boler will be laid to rest today.

Father Martin was born in 1924. After his medical education he entered the newly formed  (1951) Benedictine monastery of Mount Saviour in Elmira, New York.
At a certain point in 1969 Father Damasus decided a younger man ought to lead the monastery and so he resigned. Father Martin was elected the Father Prior of the community, a diakonia he held from 1969-2008. He’d been in declining health for the last few years and reposed in the Lord on November 7.
Father Martin’s life was beautifully captured by Br John of Weston Priory in A Memoir on Fr Boler by Br John.pdf
May God be merciful to Father Martin, and may his memory be eternal.

6 monks get their groove

bph CD2012.jpgLast week (17 October 2012) six monks from two monasteries, The Abbey of Christ in the Desert (NM) and and Mount Saviour Monastery(NY) met in NYC to have their 3 minutes of fame on the Today Show.

The monks  sang “Alleluia Iustus Germinabit” from their new album produced by Sony Masterworks, “Monks in the Desert: Blessings, Peace and Harmony.” The CD will make a great Christmas gift…
It’s exciting to see Benedictine monks, including a friend, Abbot Philip, signing the Church’s chant in such a public way! You come to realize that the sacred music tradition is not dead. Several monasteries in the USA continue to sing the chant for Divine Worship. 
The NBC people titled the segment, “6 monks get their groove on“…
Congrats to Abbot Philip and the monks…
If you want to see a little about the monastic life as it is at Mount Saviour, see their DVD, “The Everyday: Benedictine Life at Mount Saviour” (available at the Mount Saviour website).

Portsmouth monks talk about their Lourdes Grotto

Portsmouth CofA.jpegThe month of October is devoted to the theme of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. The Rosary is the official prayer for the Year of Faith. As Pope Benedict recently said, “I would like to suggest to everyone to renew the prayer of the Rosary in the upcoming Year of Faith. With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ.”

On May 4, 2012, Abbot Caedmon, the religious superior and chancellor of Portsmouth Abbey and Portsmouth Abbey School dedicated the new shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. I wrote a post on it, “Portsmouth Abbey Monks Dedicate Lourdes Grotto.”
The Portsmouth Abbey folks have finally produced a beautiful background video on the meaning of the Grotto for the monastic community, the school and the greater Catholic community. “The Grotto at Portsmouth Abbey” may be watched here. The video is the fruit of Jamie Macguire with the assistance of several monks. It’s well done, and informative.
This is the first of many good things to come from Portsmouth Abbey and School in light of the Year of Faith.
May Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of the Rosary, pray for Portsmouth Abbey and for us.

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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