Category Archives: Benedictines

Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori –new Abbot General of the Cistercian Order

Generalabt Maurus Lepori von Hauterive .jpgThe General Chapter of the Order of Cistercians elected Dom Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori, 52, as their new Abbot General, succeeding Abbot Mauro Estevez. It is reported that Lepori received 109 of 134 votes. His work as abbot general will last for the next 10 years with about 1700 monks and nuns of the Order of Cistercians throughout the world.

Abbot Mauro-Giuseppi, until now has been a monk and the abbot of the Abbey of Hauterive. He entered the abbey in 1984 and was elected abbot on May 16, 1994 when he was 35 years old. The Cistercian of Hauterive is outside of Fribourg, Switzerland. Abbot Mauro earned a licentiate in philosophy and theology from the Catholic University of Fribourg. The new abbot general is a Swiss-Italian born (from Lugano) monk who, before his entrance into the cloister was an active follower of the ecclesial movement of Communion and Liberation (but entrance into the monastery only meant that he didn’t attend all the meetings of CL but he kept up with work of the Movement!).

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Abbot Mauro-Giuseppi is the author of Simon, Called Peter: In the Company of a Man in Search of God. The Forward to the book was written by Angelo Cardinal Scola, Patriarch of Venice, a close friend of the late Monsignor Luigi Giussani and who continues to be active in following Communion and Liberation.

A 2003 interview with Abbot Mauro at the CL Rimini Meeting can be read here and a brief article in Traces by the abbot can be read here.

Saints Robert, Alberic, & Stephen, pray for us.

Saint Bernard, pray for us.
Saint Aelred, pray for us.
Saint Alice, pray for us.
Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac, pray for us.
The English Cistercian Martyrs, pray for us.

Some pictures today

I went to Mass this morning at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, CT and then spent the morning meeting with Mother Lucia. We had a wonderful conversation about life, God, Church, monastic life. My father brought home the finished replica of the 1910 Flying Merkel. Some pictures follow…

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Dad & Mom with Merkel Sept 2 2010.JPG
more Merkel-f.JPG

Cistercians and Dominicans meet in General Chapter

Generalkapitel.jpgPrayers are requested for the members of the General Chapters of the Cistercian monks and the Dominican Friars who begin their meetings today in Rome. In the coming days both Chapters will deal the Order’s business and hold an election for new leadership: the Cistercians will elect a new Father General and the Dominicans a Master General.

You can follow the Cistercians here and here.
You can follow the Dominicans here.

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Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Saints Robert, Alberic, Stephen and Dominic, pray for us.

Abbot Thomas Confroy, RIP

Abbot Thomas Confroy.jpgA week ago today the monastic community of St Mary’s Abbey (Morristown, NJ), indeed the Church, lost a faithful monk, priest, abbot and friend. Abbot Thomas Confroy made his final passover to the Lord, his Destiny at the abbey on August 23. News of Abbot Thomas’ death can be read here.

When I lived with Abbot Thomas I knew him to be dedicated in praying the holy Rosary and his various oblations on behalf of others. But I didn’t make all the extent of his prayer life and how much it was spent interceding for others, especially his prayer for me, for those who struggle, for those who just needed prayer. How blessed we were that he lived his sacred priesthood! Striking to me was the cursus he followed:
  • Sundays: St Mary’s Abbey, especially those in most need of strength;
  • Mondays: those in religious life;
  • Tuesdays: the faithful departed and the poor souls in purgatory;
  • Wednesdays: his natural family and special requests made to him;
  • Thursdays: the pope, cardinals, bishops, suffering priests, deacons, pastoral ministers, seminarians and vocations to the priesthood;
  • Fridays: for missionaries
  • Saturdays: for himself, for forgiveness if any of his actions harmed others spiritually or emotionally.
Plus, his quite example of suffering patiently and quietly from depression since his retirement and relying upon the Way of the Cross written by Saint Alphonse Liguori.
What can we learn from Abbot Thomas? I believe his witness to Christ as a merciful good shepherd who cares intensely for the sheep, near and far, whole and broken, happy and miserable. Perhaps we ought to take his daily intentions?!?!

Benedictine Oblate and friend Lynn Gordon Latchford wrote a fine panegyric to Abbot Thomas, “God Family Country: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Monk, that can be read here: Abbot Thomas Confroy 2010.pdf.
May Abbot Thomas rest in the arms of the Good Shepherd.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, husband of Mary, pray for us.
Saint Benedict of Nursia, pray for us.
Saint Thomas the Apostle, pray for us.

Nuns land record deal

Benedictine in France.jpgThe Benedictine nuns of the French abbey of Our Lady of the Annunciation of Le Barroux (near the famed Avignon) landed a music contract with Universal Music. This is the same label as Lady Gaga and Elton John.

I doubt Lady Abbess will be consulting with Lady Gaga on the record details. BUT do you think they might take a clue from the Erie Benedictines performing “kum bay ya” on the Ed Sullivan Show?

Congrats to the nuns!!!

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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