Category Archives: Benedictines

Organic Vinegar –monastic style

brother-victorOutside Poughkeepsie, NY there is a Benedictine Hermit, Brother Victor-Antione d’Avila Latourrette who lives his vocation with intensity. His residence is called Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery.
You may know Brother Victor from his various books, including “Twelve Months of Monastery Soups”, “From a Monastery Kitchen: The Classic Natural Foods Cookbook” and “Sacred Feasts: From a Monastery Kitchen” among others.
He is quite the monk and son of St Benedict.
Here is a nice write-up in yesterday’s Poughkeepsie Journal:

Dorothy Day and the Benedictines

I found the following file on my computer this morning by accident –I wasn’t looking for it, but I was happy to find it. I’ve been harping on the Benedictine influence upon Dorothy Day and the importance the Rule of Benedict and the influence various monks had Day. For example, we have a good example of Dom Virgil Michel working with Dorothy Day at the Catholic Worker. Another is Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila Latourrette. Day’s sainthood cause is being studied at the moment and these things matter, in my opinion.

Virgil Michel, O.S.B., and the Benedictine Influence on the CW Movement:

Virgil Michel, Fellow Worker in Christ
by Dorothy Day

To us at the Catholic Worker, Father Virgil was a dear friend and adviser, bringing to us his tremendous strength and knowledge. He first came to visit us at our beginnings on East Fifteenth Street. He was like Peter Maurin in the friendly simple way he would come in and sit down, starting right in on the thought that was uppermost in his mind, telling us of the work he was engaged in at that particular moment and what he was planning for the future. He was at home with everyone, anywhere. He could sit down at a table in a tenement house kitchen, or under an apple tree at the farm, and talk of St. Thomas and today with whoever was at hand. He had such faith in people, faith in their intelligence and spiritual capacities, that he always gave the very best he had generously and openheartedly.

He was interested in everything we were trying to do, and made us feel, at all the Catholic Worker groups, that we were working with him. When he came in it was as though we had seen him just a few weeks before. He was at home at once, he remembered everybody, he listened to everybody.

Orate Frates, January, 1939

St Scholastic Priory Come and See

Come and See

A Come and See is prepared for 17-19 June at St. Scholastica Priory, Petersham, MA.

Benedict Option is misunderstood

The Benedict Option is, in my opinion, is misunderstood. Here is another perspective to consider.
There is a dizzy-ing amount of thinking now in the public. My first inclination is to say that not all of it is worth one’s time. It is, however, true to say that an educated person is going to want to deeply think about the issues raised in the Option. Whether you believe the line written by Alasdair MacIntyre “We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another—doubtless very different—St. Benedict,” should have ever been written, or that the author regrets writing it is now in the public form and people need to digest it appropriately and reasonably.
Rod Dreher is opening the door to deeper understanding of the Christian life and our engagement in it. Of course, we nee to be docile (to have some discernment with) to the Holy Spirit –this is required. What I see are knee jerk reactions and romanticisms. There is no doubt that an “option” needs to be interrogated, verified, and subjected even to ecclesial review and insight.
As Dom Gérard once said, “Monks built Europe unintentionally. Their adventure is primarily, if not exclusively, interior. They are moved by thirst for the absolute, thrust for another world. Thus monasteries, pointing silently to heaven, are an obstinate reminder that there is another world of which this world is but the image, the herald, and the prefiguration.”
One way to deepen your thinking on the Benedict Option is to read St. John Paul’s work on the vocation of Christians, Christifidelis laici and the Benedict Option material together. Then look at the way we worship, then come together to speak about the Dreher proposal.

Kurt Stasiak elected 10th abbot of St Meinrad Archabbey

Abbot KurtFather Kurt Stasiak, 63, was elected the 10th abbot and seventh archabbot of Saint Meinrad Archabbey today by the capitulars. Until now, Father Kurt has been the Prior of the Community.

Abbot Kurt professed monastic vows in 1975, ordained priest in 1980. He was trained as a sacramental-liturgical theologian –he earned a licentiate (1986) and a doctorate (1993) in sacramental theology from Pontifical Anthenaeum of Sant′Anselmo, Rome. Over the years he has served the community as secretary to the archabbot, provost-vice rector of the School of Theology, vocation director for Saint Meinrad Archabbey, assistant novice-junior master at Saint Meinrad Archabbey and professor (1986-2016).

Father Abbot is the author of several books,  A Confessor’s Handbook (a revised and expanded edition was published in 2010); Sacramental Theology: Means of Grace, Ways of Life; Return to Grace: A Theology for Infant Baptism and recently, From Sinners to Saints: A Guide to Understanding the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Saint Meinrad Archabbey press release is here.

The monastic community under the patronage of Saint Meinrad was founded by Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland, on March 21, 1854; it was raised to an abbey on September 30, 1870. The Church bestowed the title of “archabbey” on March 21, 1954.

Archabbot Justin Duvall was elected the elected 9th abbot on December 31, 2004. His resignation was accepted by the community and it elected a new abbot.

St Meinrad ArchabbeyMonks of this community prepare men for service in the Catholic Church as priests, deacons and lay ministers; several priests have also been called to serve as bishops. The monks have a thriving retreat house and many monks serve the Church away from the abbey, for example in parishes, at Sant’Anselmo (Rome) or at Conception Seminary.

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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