Category Archives: Benedictines

Visiting Portsmouth Abbey

Abbey church & lawn.JPGThis past week I spent it visiting friends at Portsmouth Abbey. Savoring the graces of Easter was an important part of my desire to be away from that which is “normal”  plus visiting friends who I haven’t seen in a while was refreshing. There are 13 monks resident.

Portsmouth is a monastery of Benedictine monks under the patronage of Saint Gregory the Great. The abbey has been in Portsmouth, Rhode Island since 1926 located 7 miles north of Newport and 20 minutes south of Fall River on Narragansett Bay. The location is beautiful and for me, quintessentially “New England.” Among many things the abbey is famous for historically being populated by monks who converted to Catholicism and for the school the monks run, Portsmouth Abbey School.

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Sant’Anselmo gets new Prior

Dom Elias.jpg

Dom Elias R. Lorenzo, a monk of the Abbey of Saint Mary, has been appointed the new Prior of Sant’Anselmo in Rome, the international house of studies for Benedictines. As prior Dom Elias will be working with the Abbot Primate, Notker Wolf, as the man in charge of the daily running of the monastic community, the superior of the monks and he’ll work on special canonical projects for the Benedictine Confederation, especially with the Holy See. His competence, insight and humor will be well-received in Rome as it has been at his home abbey (as I can attest) and in his other ministries.

Dom Elias succeeds Dom Michael Naughton, a monk of Saint John’s Abbey, Collegeville, MN.

May God abundantly bless Dom Elias!

Belmont Abbey & College host Eucharistic gathering

Procession.JPGOn the 5th Sunday of Lent (March 29) the Charlotte diocese co-sponsored with Belmont Abbey & College the 3rd annual Eucharistic Congress for Youth. The gathering included a procession with the Eucharist around the campus, inspirational and formative talks, the sacrament of Confession, Vespers and Benediction. Bishop Peter Jugis, Abbot Placid, Dom Kieran and Dom Edward, among other monks and religious, including 2 Capuchin friars, assisted in giving a witness to the exceptional and powerful Presence of the Lord with more than 450 students from the college and across the diocese.

Bp Jugis.JPGThis terrific Eucharistic event strengthened and gave hope to the many participants. Plus, it was a spectacular sunny day. It was a keen reminder that all of life is viewed through the lens of the Eucharist.

The gaze of the Eucharistic Lord on us and us on Him is a beautiful gesture of mercy.

Read the story here.

Alban Boultwood OSB, RIP

The Alban Boultwood.jpgRight Reverend Dom Alban Boultwood OSB, 97, first abbot of St. Anselm’s Abbey, Washington, DC, died on 25 March 2009.


Henry Boultwood was born in Stamford, CT, on August 17, 1911 and educated in England and Scotland. When he entered the monastery he took the name Alban and professed vows as a monk of Fort Augustus Abbey, Scotland, 1929. He graduated the University of Edinburgh with the MA in 1933. His abbot sent him prepare for priestly ordination at Sant’Anselmo’s in Rome and he was ordained in 1939. At the time of his death, Dom Alban was in his 80th year as a monk and 70th year as a priest.


He was appointed prior in 1947 and the monks of Saint Anselm’s then elected him abbot in 1961. In retirement (1975), he held the title of Titular Abbot of the Royal Abbey of Dunfermline, Scotland.


Abbot Alban was the author of three books: Alive to God (1964), Into His Splendid Light (1968) and Christ in Us (1982).


He was widely recognized as “a charming man, friendly, warm, witty, and a gifted homilist.” The monks of the abbey received his body on Friday, April 3rd and the Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday the 4th. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.


Time magazine’s article on Dom Alban

An interview with Dom Alban

A spiritual haven in Hamilton, Ontario: a Benedictine monastery in the Orthodox Church

My friend Father Michael’s monastery was recently featured in the Canadian secular press in an article titled, “Cannon Street’s spiritual haven.” In most people’s experience monasteries are unusual, never mind a monastery using the Rule of Saint Benedict and following the Orthodox Church. May God grant them many years! Have a read and don’t mind the boo boos in the article…

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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