Category Archives: Benedictines

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.

Conference on Benedictine Lay Movements and Communities in the UK

Sts Benedict, Maurus and PlacidEaling Abbey AND the Tyburn Monastery to host conference on Benedictine Lay Movements and Communities

The monastic spirituality forum – Community of Nazareth – will be hosting a conference on contemporary Benedictine lay movements and communities at Ealing Abbey on the 11th of June 2016. The conference will explore the values, mission and outreach of Benedictine movements. A number of groups will be participating in the event: Manquehue Movement, Lay Community of St Benedict, Community of St Aelred, Subiaco Walsingham, Monos and NazarethW5. 

The day will commence by joining the monastic community at their conventual mass at 9.15. The conference will begin at 10.15 with each group explaining its particular mission and how its transmits monastic values to others. There will be discussion about the nature of those groups and movements: residential communities, dispersed communities, e-communities and social media. There will also be talks examining Benedictine witness, in particular looking at the lives of Bl Gabriella of Unity and the Tibhirine martyrs. The day will conclude by joining the monastic community for vespers at 5.30.

Talks and papers will be available via the website ( SoundCloud (Community of Nazareth) and twitter (@NazarethW5).

Monks beat Taylor Swift

Norcia monks chantingIf you can imagine the headline that “Monks beat Taylor Swift” in record sales, then you know Church tradition is right. Music sales of chant always seem to do well. The chant has a transcendent quality which makes the music quite attractive. I know non-Christian people listen to chant because it puts them in a peaceful “zone”.
Here is a very brief, but yet another article on the Benedictine monks in Norica (the article is old) and their CD: “Benedicta: Marian Chant.”
The monks also make a beer which I find to be better than the beer made by the Trappist monks in Spencer, MA.
The Benedictine monks of the St. Benedict Monastery in Norcia, Italy are the real deal and living their vocation!

Dom Xavier Perrin as Abbot of Quarr

Abbot Xavier

Great news from Quarr Abbey! A new abbot has been elected. The Abbey is part of the Solesmes Congregation.

Dom Xavier Perrin has been elected as Abbot of Quarr Abbey, the Benedictine Abbey on the Isle of Wight. The election took place on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

Fr Xavier Perrin, born in Tours in 1958, first studied French Literature in Rennes, and then History of Art at the Sorbonne. In 1980, he entered the Abbey of Sainte Anne de Kergonan, a monastery founded by Solesmes in South Brittany in 1897. He studied theology first at Solesmes, then at Fribourg in Switzerland, and finally in Munich. After his ordination in 1989, he took charge of the guesthouse, while teaching dogmatic theology and playing the organ. He was novice master from 1993 to 2010, choir master from 1996 to 2013, and prior from 2002 to 2013. He has written books and articles about the history of the Solesmes Congregation, liturgy, and spirituality. He has been involved in the promotion of Gregorian Chant through several week-ends, concerts and CDs. He was appointed Prior Administrator of Quarr Abbey (Isle of Wight) in April 2013.

He said, “I entrust my abbatial ministry to Our Lady of Quarr. I hope and pray that Quarr can continue to give its unique contribution to the Catholic Church in Britain, and be a beacon of light for the many visitors to the Isle of Wight.”

The picture: Abbot Xavier (on the right) standing next to Abbot Philippe Dupont, Abbot President of the Solesmes Congregation.

Camaldolese nuns in Korea

Korean Cardinal and CamaldoleseThe Benedictines of the Camaldolese Congregation are establishing a monastery of nuns in Korea. In fact, April 27, 2016, the Prior General of the Camaldolese Congregation, Father Alessandro Barban met with  Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul, and Bishop Peter Chung Soon-taek, the episcopal vicar for religious orders in the archdiocese, to express his gratitude for his support on the foundation of the first Camaldolese community in Korea. Father Barban also mentioned that he has great expectations to the new Camaldolese community in Korea, hoping to bring “both direct and indirect effect to the Korean people with the Camaldolese spirituality.”

This first Camaldolese monastery (nuns) in Korea is being constructed in Namyangju City and will be finished, it is hoped, 2019.

The Camaldolese Congregation follows the 6th century Rule of Saint Benedict and the manner life establish by Saint Romuald at the beginning of the 11th century. The Camaldolese is an order of hermits and cenobites with many laity living in relation to the the Camaldolese as Oblates.

What is striking is that in a period of Church history that know Western monastic life is clearly in diminishment (and death), and the Camaldolese are not exception to the trends, this an exceptional grace given by God to found monastic life according to the charisms of Saint Benedict and Saint Romuald anew.

Through the intercession Mary, the Mother of Monks and Nuns, and of all Benedictine saints, may this monastery thrive!

Image from the Archdiocese of Seoul

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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