Tag Archives: abbot

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!

Vincent Bataille elected new abbot president of the Swiss American Congregation of Monks


Vincent de Paul Bataille.jpgAbbot Vincent de Paul Bataille, emeritus abbot of
Marmion Abbey, was elected for six-year term by the capitulars of the 44th General Congregation 
Swiss American Congregationon Monday, August 8, 2011. As the new Abbot President he’ll over see certain parts of the monastic life of little more than a dozen monasteries (see a previous blog post).


Abbot Vincent saw to the
renovation of Marmion Abbey, the building of the abbey church, and attracting
new vocations to the abbey, plus several additions to the academy. He earned the MA (Music) University of Notre Dame,
MEd from DePaul University,
Chicago. He taught Math and Language at Marmion Academy, and held the position
of Dean of Students at the Academy. 

For a period of time he was appointed the Prior
of Priory of San José, Guatemala before being elected the 4th Abbot of Marmion Abbey
and President of Marmion Academy, Aurora, Illinois, in 1991. Until now he’s been the Vocation
Director for Marmion Abbey, and a member of the Abbot President’s Council,
Swiss-American Congregation.


May God grant Abbot Vincent the graces needed for certain and clear leadership.

Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica, pray for us.
Blessed Columba Marmion, pray for us.

Thomas Frerking, Abbot, re-elected at St Louis Abbey

Thomas Frerking and Cardinal Burke.jpgToday, the monks of Saint Louis Abbey elected for the third time, Abbot Thomas Frerking. 

Abbot Thomas, 69, was first elected in 1995; he will serve for an 8-year term. The abbots of the English Benedictine Congregation have term limits: you can be elected indefinitely for 8 years each terms.
Abbot Thomas is a St Louis native. Harvard and Oxford University educated, Frerking studied Philosophy; he’s also a Rhodes Scholar. The Abbot is a noted Thomist.
Saint Louis Abbey operates the Priory School, Saint Anselm Church and the Oratory of Saints Gregory and Augustine. Abbot Thomas is the father of a monastic community which numbers 30 monks.
May God grant, through the intercession of Saints Benedict, Scholastica and all the Benedictine saints and blesseds, the graces needed to lead the monastic community of Saint Louis Abbey.

James Wiseman elected abbot of Saint Anselm Abbey, Washington, DC

James Wiseman.jpgFather James Wiseman, 66, was elected the new and fifth abbot of Saint Anselm’s Abbey, Washington, DC Thursday. Dom James will serve for an eight year term as abbot. He replaces the Prior Administrator Simon McGurk, a monk of Belmont Abbey in the UK.

The new abbot’s been called to serve his community in a variety of ways since his profession in 1966: priesthood (1970),  abbot (1975-1983), novice master (1983-1994) and prior (1990-2006). In fact, Dom James has been elected as abbot for the second time; the first time around he was the second abbot.
Abbot James teaches theology at Catholic University of America, and has done so since 1985, and at the abbey’s school since 1969. Since 2007, he’s held the rank of ordinary professor at Catholic University.
He has served twice as chair of CUA’s theology department, and for a period of time as an associate dean. James Wiseman has written or edited six books and more than 30 published articles. He’s also chaired the Monastic Interreligious Dialogue, a collection of monks and nuns interested in questions of interfaith relations. For 12 years Dom James edited the Bulletin of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue.
Saint Anselm Abbey is one of three Benedictine abbeys in the USA of the English Benedictine Congregation, there are a total of 13 EBC houses of monks. The others being Saint Gregory the Great (Portsmouth, RI) and Saint Louis (St Louis, MO). The Benedictine monastic community was founded in 1923 Father Thomas Verner Moore and some companions. In 1961, Blessed Pope John XXIII gave the Benedictine community the rank of an abbey. Today, there are 15 monks at Saint Anselm’s.
Through the intercession of Saints Benedict, Scholastica and Anselm, and Father Luigi Giussani, may the Blessed Trinity give Abbot James the wisdom and love to serve well and prudence. Especially offer your prayers for the monastic community as it continues the work of deepening their faith and giving clear witness to monastic witness of the Gospel. There’s is an unique vocation in the Nation’s heart.

Hugh Gilbert: Benedictine abbot elected bishop of Aberdeen

Hugh Gilbert.jpgPope Benedict XVI nominated as the new bishop of Aberdeen (Scotland) the Right Reverend Dom Hugh Gilbert, OSB, 59. This appointment was made public today.

Until now, Dom Hugh has been the abbot of the Pluscarden Abbey, a position he’s held since 1992. He’s been a Benedictine for 37 years. In the monastery he’s held several positions of service as well as serving as a member of the Union of Monastic Superiors and on the Abbot Visitor’s Council for the Subiaco Congregation of monasteries.
Pluscarden Abbey is the under the patronage of Our Lady and Saints John the Baptist and Andrew. It was founded in 1230 by King Alexander II; the monks were under Carthusian rule of life at the time of the colonization and later adopted the Rule of St Benedict while following Cistercian customs. By 1599, the abbey closed due to the Reformation. Providence saw to it that property was purchased for the monks in 1897 and the community formally was re-founded in 1948; it became a conventual priory in 1966 and an abbey in 1974. The community numbers 16 with a couple novices.
The Diocese of Aberdeen dates to the 6th century and was organized in 1063; it has 70 parishes. Due to the Reformation the Catholic diocese ceased until 1878 when it was restored. Today, the overall population of the Diocese of Aberdeen is 718,000 of that 18,600 are Catholics. There are 49 priests, 11 permanent deacons, and 45 religious.
Dom Hugh is the author of Unfolding The Mystery: Monastic Conferences on the Liturgical Year (2007).
The news article from BBC online can be read here.
May the Lord bless Dom Hugh as he assumes his new ministry as bishop.

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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