Tag Archives: Benedictine

Basilica of St. Benedict has collapsed

norcia-basilicaThis morning, at approximately 7:40 a.m.  (Rome time) another earthquake struck central Italy. The Media is reporting that it was 6.6. From the pictures you can see the aftermath: the destruction Norcia Basilica. Indeed, the Basilica of St. Benedict has collapsed.

Please pray for Father Cassian and the monks of Norcia and all this affected by these earthquakes.

Recent earthquakes have been felt in Rome and while no great damage to buildings there, there is damage appearing to places like St. Paul Outside the Walls, cracks showing at the top part of the colonnade.

From Prime Minister to Benedictine Abbot

lou-tseng-tsiangThe last pre-communist prime ministers of China, Lou Tseng-Tsiang (12 June 1871 – 15 January 1949) a robust thinker, diplomat, spiritual and religious man converted to the Catholic faith from Protestantism and became a Benedictine monk, and lived with the hope of bringing a robust Catholic life to China.

The early life of Lou Tseng-Tsiang was spent as a domestic and international diplomat having achieved proficiency in French and Russian. Following the death of his wife, Berthe Bovy, he retired; in 1927 became a postulant at the Benedictine Abbey of Sant Andre (Bruges, Belgium) taking the name Dom Pierre-Célestin; he was ordained priest in 1935.

Pope Pius XII honored Dom Pierre-Célestin in August of 1946 by bestowing on him the honor of being the titular abbot of the Abbey of St. Peter, Ghent. In 1945, Abbot Pierre-Célestin published his memoirs, Souvenirs et pensées.

A fine introduction by Frank Weathers can be found here.

Dom Pierre-Célestin himself wrote about his faith journey in these words: “My conversion is a vocation. God led me, and He called upon me. My task for myself has, then, been extremely simple. It was enough for me to recognize what I saw, what events and circumstances, and the grace of God plainly showed me, and, to this constant and clear vocation, to respond by fulfilling the first duty of conscience, which is to obey God.”

New Prior of Sant’Anselmo appointed

Fr. Mauritius Wilde, OSB Prior, Benedictine Retreat Center and Monastery.

Fr. Mauritius Wilde, OSB
until now Prior, Benedictine Retreat Center and Monastery assuming a new mission in Rome as the Prior at Sant’Anselmo.

The Prior of Christ the King Priory, Schuyler, Nebraska, Father Mauritius Wilde, has been appointed the next Prior at Sant’Anselmo in Rome. He will work with the recently elected Abbot Primate Gregory Polan.

Father Joel Macul is the new Prior of Schuyler community. His previous ministry saw him elected Abbot of St. Paul’s Abbey in Newton, NJ, a monastery also part of the Missionary Benedictine Congregation of St. Ottilien.

Visit this link to attain more info on Nebraska’s Christ the King Priory.

Father Mauritius succeeds Abbot Elias Lorenzo as Prior of Sant’Anselmo who is a monk of St Mary’s Abbey, Morristown, NJ. Lorenzo was recently elected the Abbot President of the American Cassinese Congregation.

Blessings upon Fr. Mauritius and the Community in Rome!

Meet the Monk Who Makes NY’s Best Vinegar

Watch this terrific video on the work of a Benedictine monk, Brother Victor Antoine d’Avila Latourrette, and the vinegars made at Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery in Langrangeville, NY. What Brother Victor has is a very lovely ministry –a definite way of life–connected at the matrix of the spiritual life, the land and the work of human hands.

Gregory Polan elected 10th Abbot Primate of the Benedictines

abbot-gregory-polanFather Gregory Polan, 66, until now, Abbot of Conception Abbey, has been elected the 10th Abbot Primate, succeeding Abbot Notker Wolf who has served in the position of Abbot Primate since being elected by the Congress of Abbots on 7 September 2000.

Abbot Gregory has been the 9th Abbot of Conception since November 6, 1996. He was professed in 1971 and ordained in 1977. He is a native of Berwyn, Illinois.

Abbot Gregory is the second abbot of Conception Abbey to be elected Abbot Primate. Abbot Marcel Rooney was the 8th Primate having been elected on September 18, 1996 and resigned on 3 September 2000.

Abbot Gregory is the fourth American to be elected to the Office of Abbot Primate. The others were Dom Rembert Weakland (now retired archbishop of Milwaukee); the late Abbot Jerome Theisen, and Abbot Marcel Rooney.

According to the Proper Law which governs the Confederation of Congregations of Monasteries of the Order of Saint Benedict, the ministry of the Primas is described as “the office of the Abbot Primate whose function it is to represent the Confederation and to do all he can to foster co-operation between the confederated monasteries.”

Abbot Notker was born on 21 June 1940, professed a monk of the Archabbey of St. Ottlien in 1962, ordained in 1968, elected Archabbot of his community in 1977, elected Abbas primas and Abbot of Sant’Anselmo 7 September 2000. He served three terms.

In the decree Inæstimabilis unitatis (16 September 1894) of Pope Leo XIII, gave the office of abbot primate to the Benedictines. The Primate has no direct authority the vast number of Benedictine houses (but there are Benedictine monasteries he is responsible for). There are approximately 7000 Benedictine monks. Polan becomes the abbot of the monastery Sant’ Anselmo. As THE Benedictine leader, he is the point of communio for the worldwide Benedictine Confederation and he who works as the primary liaison with the Holy See. Abbot Gregory is recognized as being a pastoral abbot and spiritual leader and well regarded across various sectors. Professionally, he is a scholar of Sacred Scripture and has the skills of a musician. Under his leadership a new English translation of the Book of Psalms that has been adopted by the US Catholic Bishops and Rome as the translation that’s used in the Liturgy.

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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