Today was Fr. Columba’s feast day.
The BBC profiled 3 Benedictine monasteries in the Great Britain: Pluscarden Abbey (Scotland), Downside and Belmont Abbey. The video is modeled on the way the Carthusians were portrayed in the documentary “Into Great Silence” no interviews or telling of the narrative, just observing the daily routine and some insight into life of a Benedictine monk. Quirky, yes, but worth the view even if videos are long and a bit tedious at points.
The whole point is to follow the Rule of Saint Benedict with as much faithfulness and reasonableness for today’s era.
The description of one of the three documentaries, in part reads,
Filmed with an eye to the beauty and peace of the ancient surroundings, the film has a painterly quality that creates a feeling of restfulness and quiet contemplation. And by focusing on the natural sounds of nature and the peace of the abbey we have created a meditative soundtrack that adds to this unique experience.
TODAY, February 16, the Holy Father has accepted the election and appointed Abbot Cirill as Archabbot of the Territorial Abbey of Pannonhalma, Hungary.
He succeeds Bishop Imre Asztrik Várszegi, O.S.B. as Ordinary Archabbot of Pannonhalma.
Archabbot Cirill was born on 22 February 1959. He entered the abbey taking the habit on 21 August 1977. Having made his first profession on 6 August 1981 and then ordained priest on 15 August 1985. He has served the community in a variety of positions.
The abbatial blessing will take place 21 March 2018. Archabbot Cyril also serves as the Abbot President of the Hungarian Benedictine Congregation.
The word “rescue” doesn’t always connect in people’s monks with the life and work of a Benedictine monk, but when you read a recent article in The Atlantic, you will have a new appreciation of the connection. It is a fact that Father Columba Stewart, monk of St. John’s Abbey (Collegeville, MN) spends a great deal of time rescuing some of the world’s precious manuscripts from possible human destruction –think of ISIS– and natural decay in a project sponsored by Saint John’s Abbey and University —Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML). The HMML project puts on microfilm and in digital format manuscripts the world has a rarely seen.
This is human project with Divine blessing; a true ecumenical and inter-faith project that reaches into the deep for the sake of something greater: Truth. What else could you expect a monk to do as a fruit of his contemplation? This, for me, is crucial consequence of the Incarnation of the Lord.
This afternoon the capitulars of Conception Abbey elected Father Benedict Neenan, 67, as their 10th abbot, succeeding Abbot Gregory Polan who was elected abbot primate in September. Until today, Neenan has served as Business Manager of Conception Abbey and Development Director. As abbot of the 143 year old community, Benedict will follow the Rule of St Benedict where it is written that “He is believed to hold the place of Christ in the monastery, since he is addressed by a title of Christ, as the Apostle indicates: You have received the spirit of adoption of sons by which we exclaim, abba, father (Rom 8:15).” The abbot of a Benedictine community holds the place of Jesus Christ in the community. As a theological statement we accept this fact by faith.
The new Abbot is 28 years ordained priest and a former President/Rector of Conception Seminary (1996-2008). Among the obediences he has served count: a seminary professor of theology and Church history; Prior of Conception Abbey (1990-1993); spiritual director for seminarians and lay people, monastic Vocations Director, and a retreat master in the Abbey Guest Center. He was born in Kansas City, MO.
Abbot Benedict is the author of Thomas Verner Moore: Psychiatrist, Educator and Monk.
Conception Abbey is a daughter house of the Swiss abbey, Engelberg Abbey, founded in 1873.
May Saint Benedict and all Benedictine saints and blesseds richly bless Abbot Benedict and the abbatial community.