Tag Archives: Benedictines

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.

Martin Boler, OSB RIP

Fr Martin Boler.jpgThe second and longtime Prior of Mount Saviour Monastery, Father Martin Thomas Boler will be laid to rest today.

Father Martin was born in 1924. After his medical education he entered the newly formed  (1951) Benedictine monastery of Mount Saviour in Elmira, New York.
At a certain point in 1969 Father Damasus decided a younger man ought to lead the monastery and so he resigned. Father Martin was elected the Father Prior of the community, a diakonia he held from 1969-2008. He’d been in declining health for the last few years and reposed in the Lord on November 7.
Father Martin’s life was beautifully captured by Br John of Weston Priory in A Memoir on Fr Boler by Br John.pdf
May God be merciful to Father Martin, and may his memory be eternal.

Mother Placid Dempsey, OSB, RIP

Just about a week ago did Mother Placid Dempsey, nun of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, make her way to the Lord. Her final act of earthly love to the One whom she committed herself to in this life, and lived in communio with for 85 years, accepted the invitation of the Lord for life eternal. Mother Placid was the first Benedictine nun of Regina Laudis that I met; we were introduced by a mutual friend, Palma. And boy was she helpful in a time of my life that needed reassurance.

It’s amazing to read all the things one does in life when one dies; her obit shines but a little light on a person many only aspire to be. Mother Placid was a unique woman of faith. I am grateful for the times we’ve met in her lucid years. Her diminishment was hard to watch. The last time I saw her in person a few years ago following Mass it was as though we met for the first time. The illness bore her mind away but her smile was all I needed. I think it was she behind the grill at the abbey church that walked with help in and out choir. I offered my prayer for Mother. 

Someone characterized Mother Placid perfectly: “Wise, impish, witty, given to sharp spiritual insights and equally pointed….” All of which was true to my experience and for which I am grateful.

With the Church, let us pray,

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the soul of your servant Mother Placid, who for love of Christ walked the way of perfect charity, may rejoice in the coming of your glory and together with her sisters may delight in the everlasting happiness of your Kingdom.

The obit posted by the Abbey follows.

Mother Placid.jpg

Reverend Mother Placid
(Patricia Ann) Dempsey, 85, consecrated nun of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, died
September 27, 2012 at the Abbey after a long illness. Described as a tiny
giant, Mother Placid–artist, poet, and guest mistress for over 50 years–touched
the lives of thousands of people.

Patricia Ann Dempsey was the youngest of four
children of William Ambrose Dempsey, New York City trial lawyer, and Kathleen
Costello Dempsey, teacher and housewife. The Dempseys migrated to America at
the time of the great famine in Ireland and settled in Pennsylvania where
Mother Placid’s grandmother ran a saloon in the mountain mining town of White
Haven. The Costellos were metal craftsmen for centuries in Ireland. Her
maternal grandfather was instrumental in bringing the Knights of Columbus to

Patricia grew up in Brooklyn, and described the atmosphere of her
home as “…warm and intellectually stimulating with discussions of
cultural matters, philosophical questions, and legal matters”. After
graduating from St. Angela Hall Academy High School, she received her
Bachelor’s Degree in Art from Marymount College (Tarrytown NY) in 1949. In both
high school and college she was awarded honors for her art. She was active in
all aspects of drama, especially scenery design and construction. She also
participated in many cultural and charitable activities, including social
activities for the blind, infirm and pre-school children.

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Pietro Vittorelli, abbot of Monte Cassino needs prayers

RD Pietro Vittorelli.jpgThe 191st abbot of Monte Cassino Pietro Vittorelli, 50, needs our prayers for his recovery from a stroke he suffered recently. He’s recovering and doing therapy at a clinic in Switzerland.

Born in Rome, Abbot Pietro graduated in 1989 from La Sapienza (Rome) and later that year he entered the Archabbey of Monte Cassino. He was ordained a priest in 1994 following studies at Sant’Anselmo; Dom Pietro served as novice master, a consulter in bioethics as well as authoring articles in the area of Church’s Social Doctrine.
With the move of the Abbot-bishop Bernardo D’Onorio to the Archdiocese of Gaeta, Dom Pietro was elected abbot in 2007.
Members of Communion and Liberation ought to make Dom Pietro’s intention for good health particular in the daily prayer since the founding of the Movement has its spiritual paternity with a prior abbot-bishop of Monte Cassino, Dom Martino Matronola (+1994). We in CL are still inspired by the Rule and charism of Saint Benedict.
Saint Benedict and all Benedictine saints and blesseds, pray for Dom Pietro and us.
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St Joseph Abbey Seminary College damaged by fire

Saint Joseph Seminary College located at Saint Joseph Abbey (Covington, LA) suffered a fire overnight. the fire apparently started in the computer server room. Everyone –64 students displaced– is reported well.

The local news is noted here.
Prayers and fraternal support for the monastic community, faculty, staff and students.

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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