Tag Archives: abbot

Congress of Abbots 2012 statistics

anselmo arms.jpglYou’re likely going to say big deal… there’s already been too much info on the 2012 Congress of Abbots on the Communio blog. Well, you’re correct. But a few statistics set a context.

Meeting at the Primatial Abbey of Saint Anselm in Rome for the September 2012 Congress of Abbots, there were:
  • 250 abbots
  • 380 monasteries represented: 205 abbeys, 45 independent priories, 130 dependent priories
  • 21 Benedictine Congregations of monks
  • 7,358 monks represented
  • 62 Benedictine Congregations of women
  • 13,650 Benedictine nuns and sisters represented.
Father Luke MacNamara OSB, a monk of Glenstal Abbey (Ireland) oversaw the simultaneous translation work of 5 languages.

New Norbertine abbot blessed

new abbot of Santa Maria de la Vid.jpgThe Nortbertine Order is not that well known in the USA, though it is a venerable way of living one’s vocation: canons praying the Divine Office, living together in community, and being apostolically engaged in the local Church. 

In the USA we have St Norbert’s Abbey (WI), Daylesford Abbey (PA), St Michael’s (CA) and now Santa Maria de la Vid (NM). There are several other priories of Norbertine canons but I want to highlight the recent abbatial blessing of Joel Garner as the first abbot of Santa Maria.
May the Blessed Virgin and Saint Norbert to continue to richly bless Abbot Joel and his community through their intercession before the Throne of Grace.
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Young Catholic monks maintain tradition, respond to needs in faith


St Benedict french illumination2.jpgThe Benedictine Abbots are going home now. They’ve
been meeting in Rome since the 17th. Their work was not deliberative
in any meaningful way as much as they gathered for the reason to elect an abbot primate, to gain perspective, to meet new and old monastic superiors, to hear how the worldwide Benedictines can assist one another in living the life more effectively and intensely according to the Holy Rule and the mind of the Church. Time was spent in prayer, study, and pilgrimage. How could one not spend time in prayer before the holy places of the martyrs in Rome as well as some of the central points of interest to Benedictines. 
Cindy Wooden from CNS published this
article today as a sort of synopsis of one aspect of Benedictine life–the
attraction of new members. Father Michael Casey, a Trappist monk, priest, author and speaker, addressed the assembly. He, by the way, is one of my favorite contemporary monastic thinkers. If only the abbots and other monastic superiors would listen to Father Michael. Alas, they’re too timid and many can’t (won’t?) do the hard work necessary to figure out what they ought to do so as to not live in diminishment mode. One often gets the feeling that some monasteries would rather die than alter their Benedictine observance and the adherence to Christ and the Church. But, I will say that despite a lack of clear and intense thinking, praying and living, there are significant points of like for Benedictine monasticism in the USA.


What follows is an extract of what was published (read the text in full here):

PMCasey OCSO.jpg

One of the main speakers at the Benedictine abbots’
congress was Cistercian Father Michael Casey, an expert on monastic
spirituality from Tarrawarra Abbey in Australia.

Maintaining tradition while
responding to changing needs is an inescapable part of life, both for
individuals and for religious communities, he said. “The fact that we are
alive means that we are continually influenced by our past, continually
interacting with our present, and looking forward to the future. It’s really
just a matter of personal integrity, personal vitality that we do respect and
allow our past to continue speaking to us
.”


Read more ...

Mark Cooper elected 5th abbot of Saint Anselm’s Abbey, Manchester, NH

Fr Mark Cooper.jpgThe monks of Saint Anselm’s Abbey (Manchester, New Hampshire) have elected Father Mark Cooper as their 5th abbot. 25 of the 28 monks were eligible to vote.

Abbot Mark Cooper succeeds Abbot Matthew Leavy who as served the Abbey, the College and the Church since 1986. Abbot Mark just retired after serving for 33 years as the VP for Finance of the College. He’s an alum of 1971. More on Abbot Mark can be read here.
Abbot Mark is graduated Saint Anselm’s College in 1971 with a BA in Political Science, and later studied at the University of Notre Dame, Saint John’s Seminary, Brighton, MA, Saint Albert’s House of Studies (operated by the Dominicans). He was ordained in 1976. In the course of time he taught at Woodside Priory and helped out pastorally as a priest.
As spiritual father of the monastic community the Abbot is also the Chancellor of the College; he is also the superior of Woodside Priory just outside of San Francisco, CA.
Upon election this morning the new abbot has taken the Oath of Fidelity and received the obedience of the monks and made the Te Deum for this gift of service. The election was presided over and confirmed by the Abbot President of the American Cassinese Congregation, The Right Reverend Hugh Anderson.

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Father Anselm Atkinson, OSB New Abbot of Pluscarden

Anselm Atkinson.jpgThe Rt. Rev. Anselm Atkinson, OSB until now the
Superior of St. Mary’s Monastery, Petersham, MA (for the last 21 years) and Abbot-Visitor for the
English speaking province of the Subiaco Congregation of the Order of St.
Benedict has been elected as the third Abbot of Petersham’s motherhouse and the
monastery of his profession (1976) and priest in 1982, Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland. Pluscarden was refounded in 1948.


Abbot Anselm succeeds Abbot
Hugh Gilbert, OSB who will be ordained and installed on August 15 as the Bishop
of Aberdeen. 

Congratulations to Abbot Anselm!

Ad Multos Annos!

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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