Category Archives: Benedictines

Father Charles Dumont, Cistercian monk, priest, poet: RIP

On the solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, a few
hours after the Midnight Mass (in which he participated from his room), Father
Charles Dumont was born into eternal life. Born in Ixelles (Brussels) on 26
September 1918, he entered Scourmont Abbey on 11 June 1941, he professed solemn
vows on 16 July 1946, and was ordained priest on 15 May 1950. He served
several times as chaplain at the abbey of Notre Dame de la Paix (Chimay), as
well as at Soleilmont. For several years he assisted at Caldey and he filled the
office of Novice Master at Scourmont from 1993 to 1996.

He introduced many
people, especially within the Order, to the knowledge and the love of the
Cistercian Fathers, in particular St Bernard. He was the editor of Collectanea
later Cisterciensia (1963-71) and assisted in the editing of Cistercian Studies Quarterly. Two of his
recent works are Pathways to Peace: Cistercian Wisdom According to St. Bernard
and Praying the Word of God. Cistercian Sister Elizabeth Connor wrote a book on
Father Charles entitled, Charles Dumont Monk-Poet: A Spiritual Biography. His
funeral took place at Scourmont on 28 December. May God grant Father Charles eternal light, peace and happiness.

Spencer Abbey & Lunch: a personal pilgrimage at Christmas

Abbey Church, Library, dorm 2009.jpgI spent a few hours today at Saint Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, MA, and then later in the day had lunch with a friend, Msgr. Robert Johnson in Worcester. It was beautifully sunny but incredibly cold.

Spencer’s abbey has always held a special place in my heart because of the beauty of the location –on top of a hill with rolling fields and lakes– and because of friendship I share with some of the monks and the sacred Liturgy.
Saint Joseph’s Abbey is a monastic house of monks of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (OCSO), the Trappists.

Spencer Abbey, sanctuary 2009.jpg

I even stopped by the Holy Rood Guild and purchased an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and a linen amice.
See the monks’ blog that’s periodically update, here.

Benedictine named bishop in Chur, Switzerland: Abbot Dr. Marian Eleganti

Abbot Marian.jpg

Abbot Dr. Marian Eleganti, 54, until now the Abbot of the Abbey of Saint Otmasberg (Abtei St. Otmarsberg), has been nominated by the Holy Father to be an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Chur, Switzerland. He was elected abbot of his monastery on 15 July 1999 and in 2003 defended a doctoral dissertation on Romano Guardini at the University of Salzburg. Abbot Marian speaks seven languages and is a published author.

The Abbey of Saint Otmasberg belongs to the Congregation of Saint Ottilien, a grouping of missionary Benedictine monks who take vows to a particular monastery as other monks do, but since mission work is their common apostolate, monks are assigned from various monasteries for this mission work in monasteries in other parts of the world. This congregation of monks have a slightly different understanding of the monastic of stability but no less vital for monasticism and for the Church. There are two monasteries of the Congregation of Saint Ottilien in the USA: Saint Paul’s Abbey (Newton, NJ) and Christ the King Priory (Schuyler, NE).

Bishop-elect Marian is one of 32 Benedictine monks ordained to the episcopacy worldwide.

May God grant many years to Bishop-elect Marian and may Saint Ambrose sustain the bishop with his prayers. So, we pray for Abbot Marian and for his Benedictine community who will now prepare to elect a new abbot.

Rule of Saint Benedict

St Benedict giving the Rule.jpgThe monks of Saint Benedict’s Abbey have put on their
website Father Boniface Verheyen’s translation of the Rule of Saint Benedict. The monks at this Abbey have a terrific college and get a steady stream of vocations. This year they have 7 novices: three for Kansas and four for Brazil.

I would recommend reading a chapter a day or a portion of it since some chapters are longer than others. My recommendation echoes to significant voices:

Christ present!
The Christian announcement is that God became one of us and is present here,
and gathers us together into one body, and through this unity, His presence is
made perceivable. This is the heart of the Benedictine message of the
earliest times. Well, this also defines the entire message of our Movement,
and this is why we feel Benedictine history to be the history to which we
are closest
~Monsignor Luigi Giussani, Founder of  Communion and

Familiarity with the Word, which the Benedictine Rule guarantees by
reserving much time for it in the daily schedule, will not fail to instill
serene trust, to cast aside false security and to root in the soul a vivid
sense of the total lordship of God. The monk is thus protected from convenient
or utilitarian interpretations of Scripture and brought to an ever deeper
awareness of human weakness, in which God’s power shines brightly.
~Pope John
Paul II

Blessing of Water in Honor of Saint Willibrord

St Willibrord3.jpgA tradition on the day which the liturgical memorial of Saint Willibrord is celebrated is the blessing of water. As we know, Catholics use the natural world to “hook” on to the supernatural world. That is, the Incarnation of the Word came into human history to hallow creation and for the redemption of the world. The Church sensing this, has organically developed blessings of things and people to lead us into the deeper reality of our faith looking toward salvation. The opening prayer for the Mass of Saint Willibrord may be found here, and ritual for the blessing of water follows.

Saint Willibrord (d. 738) freed a home haunted by an evil spirit through the use of water blessed by him.

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.

Thou creature water, I purge thee of evil by the living + God, by the holy + God, that thou mayest become a saving remedy for body and soul, through Him Who shall come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

Let us pray.

Bless, + O Lord, this water as a remedy for repulsing the foe of mankind, and send down on it they Holy Spirit, so empowered by heaven it may drive out both sickness and the worst enemy of all, and be a source of health to all who drink thereof. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray.

O Lord Almighty! Bless + this water which thou has granted for mankind’s use in washing away all guilt of sin, so that, through invoking upon it thy holy name, it may prove an unfailing and divine remedy whatever it is sprinkled or used for drink. Let this water serve to wash away every impurity, and to bestow by thy beneficence health of body and soul upon all who use it, through Him Who shall come to judge the living and the dead and world of fire. Amen.

Let us pray.

O Lord, the Father Almighty! Bless + this creature of water that it become a saving means for humankind in removing all evil of body and soul and in expelling all harmful influence of the enemy. And grant that, through invoking thy holy name, we may possess in it a safeguard for our corporal and spiritual well-being. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, Who has appointed illustrious promoters of the true faith for the various nations; grant, we beseech thee, that all who come seeking the intercession of our holy teacher, Saint Willibrord, may experience the joy of good health here on earth and prosperity and the glory of beatitude in the life to come. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forevermore. Amen.

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son + and Holy Spirit come upon this water and remain for all time. Amen.

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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