Tag Archives: American Cassinese Congregation

Monks meet in 51st Chapter

American Cassinese Congregation coat of arms.jpg

On Sunday the American Cassinese Congregation Benedictines will meet for its 51st General Chapter at St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, PA. The capitulars, the sitting abbots and priors plus one delegate meets every three years to work on matters common to the monasteries of the Congregation. Abbot Hugh Anderson serves the body as it President.

The Congregation has 768 (2012 numbers) in 20 autonomous monasteries with 8 dependent priories in the USA, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia and Mexico. But with these monasteries there remains to be seen how many can survive as some are in a fragile situation given demographics and economics.

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Guardian Angels

Angles LBicci.jpg

Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Give heed to him and hearken to his voice, do no rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression; for my name is in him. (Exodus 23:20)
We pray:
O leaders of the heavenly armies, although we are always unworthy, we beseech you that with your prayers you may encircle us with the protection of the wings of your angelic glory. Watch over us as we bow low and earnestly cry out to you: Deliver us from trouble, O princes of the heavenly armies.
Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day (night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
See last year’s post on this feast of the Guardian Angels for a prayer and a brief catechesis.

Let’s remember Abbot Hugh Anderson, abbot-president and the Benedictine monks of the American Cassinese Congregation who observe today as a patronal feast of their congregation.

Abbot Hugh Anderson: new abbot president for the American Cassinese Congregation

Hugh Anderson.jpgYesterday, Thursday, 17 June, the delegates to the General
Chapter elected Abbot Hugh Richard Anderson OSB to a six-year term as the
fifteenth President of the American-Cassinese
. The fiftieth general chapter was convened at St. Bernard Abbey, Cullman, Alabama, 13-18
June 2010. 

Abbot Hugh succeeds Abbot Timothy Kelly OSB offered his resignation for
reasons of health, midway through his second term as president which became
effective 16 June.

Abbot Hugh, 72, was First Councilor of the Congregation at
the time of his election, had served as the eighth abbot of Saint Procopius Abbey, Lisle, Illinois,
having served from 1985-2002. The Benedictine community of monks of Saint
Procopius was founded in Chicago in 1885, became a conventual priory in 1887, an
abbey in 1894; the abbey transferred to its present location in Lisle, IL in 1914.

According to process, Abbot
Hugh’s election was confirmed by Archabbot Douglas Nowicki OSB, the Second
Councilor. In St Bernard’s abbey church Abbot Hugh celebrated a Mass of
Thanksgiving and concluded the Mass with the singing of the Te Deum.

Holy Guardian Angels: Let us praise the Lord, Whom the Angels are praising, Whom the Cherubim and Seraphim proclaim: Holy, holy, holy


Angel1.jpgO God, Who in Thine ineffable providence hast deigned to send Thy holy Angels to watch over us, grant Thy suppliants always to find safety in their protection and in eternity to share their happiness.


Today we honor the guardian angels and the Church has had this feast on the universal calendar since 1670 as a way of proclaiming God’s protection for all of us, believer and non-believer alike; the guardian angels are not given only to helpless humanity. Today’s memorial also reminds us that there is a spirit world and that there are beings without bodies in our midst, who are of good and evil.

In your prayers today, kindly remember the monks of the American-Cassinese Congregation who are under the patronage of the Guardian Angels. Pray for vocations to the monastic way of life and holiness of life.

This feast may be confusing to some people so I thought presenting some of the Church’s teaching on angels would be good.


The Angels in Relation to God


Holy Writ adjures the angels to praise God and attests that they glorify God by their praise. (Cf. Ps 102, 148, Dn 3:58, Is 6:3, Rev 4:8, Heb 1:6)


The Angels in Relation to Man


De fide


Since the 16th century the Church celebrates a feast of in honor of the guardian angels. The Roman Catechism (IV.9.4) teaches: “By God’s Providence the task is given of protecting the human race and individual human beings, so that they may not suffer any serious harm whatever.”


Holy Writ testifies that all the angels are in the service of mankind. Hebrews 1:14: “Are they not all ministering angels, sent to minister for them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?” Psalm 90:11ff describes the care of the angels for the just.


According to Origen (De princ. I Praed. 10) it is “a constituent part of the doctrinal promulgation of the Church that there are angels of God and benevolent powers, which serve Him, in order to complete the salvation of mankind.” (Cf. Origen, contra Celsum, VIII 34.)

Sent. certa. 

Angel2.jpgAccording to the general teaching of the theologians, however, not only every baptized person, but every human being, including unbelievers, has his own special guardian angel from his birth. This view is biblically founded on the words of Our Lord. Matthew 18:10: “See that you do not dispise one of these little ones. For I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”


St. Basil with reference to Matthew 18, teaches: “Every one of the faithful has an angel standing at his side as educator and guide, directing his life” (Adv. Eumonium III.1) According to the testimony of St. Gregory the Wonder-worker and of St. Jerome, every person has from his birth his own special guardian angel. St. Jerome comments on Matthew 18:10: “How great is the value of the (human) soul that every single person has from birth (ab ortu navitatis) received an angel for his protection” (cf. St Gregory the Wonder-worker’s thanksgiving speech on Origen. C.4.S.th.I.113, 1-8).


The Veneration of Angels


The veneration by men of the good angels is justified both by their glorification by God and their relation to men. That which the Council of Trent teaches as to the invocation and veneration of the saints (D 984ff), may also be applied to the angels. The rejection of the veneration of the angels by St. Paul (Col. 2:18) refers to a false, exaggerated veneration of Gnostic false teachers. St. Justin Martyr is an early witness to the Church’s veneration of the angels. (L. Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 1960)

When I was a little boy my grandmothers taught me this prayer by saying it with me every night before bed when I spent the night at their homes. It brought me comfort then, and it brings me confort today. Each time I pray the prayer I am reminded of my grandmothers. Teach your children this prayer and say it yourself.

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
to Whom His love,
commits me here,
ever this day,
be at my side,
to light and guard,
to rule and guide. Amen.

Finally, there are some in the Church who undoubtedly will be singing this hymn for a communion meditation. Enjoy!!!

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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