Tag Archives: Benedictine

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.

Francis to the Abbots

pope-francis-with-abbots-8-sept-2016[Zenit] Pope Francis today received in audience some 250 participants in the congress of Benedictine abbots and abbesses gathered in Rome to reflect on the monastic charism received from St. Benedict and their faithfulness to it in a changing world.

This theme acquires special meaning in the context of the Jubilee of Mercy since, as Francis affirmed, “if it is only in the contemplation of Jesus Christ that we perceive the merciful face of the Father, monastic life constitutes a privileged route to achieve this contemplative experience and to translate it into personal and community witness”.

Today’s world clearly demonstrates the need for a mercy that is the heart of Christian life and “which definitively manifests the authenticity and credibility of the message of which the Church is the depository, and which she proclaims. And in this time and in this Church, called to focus increasingly on the essential, monks and nuns safeguard by vocation a peculiar gift and a special responsibility: that of keeping alive the oases of the spirit, where pastors and faithful can draw from the wellsprings of divine mercy.”

With the grace of God and seeking to live mercifully in their communities, monks and nuns “announce evangelical fraternity from all their monasteries spread out in every corner of the globe, and they do so with that purposeful and eloquent silence that lets God speak out in the deafening and distracted life of the world”.

Therefore, although they live separated from the world, their cloistered life “is not barren: on the contrary, an enrichment and not an obstacle to communion”.

Their work, in harmony with prayer, enables them to participate in God’s creative work and shows their “solidarity with the poor who cannot live without work”.

Their hospitality allows them to encounter the hearts of the “most lost and distant, of those who are in a condition of grave human and spiritual poverty”, and their commitment to the formation of the young is highly appreciated. “Students in your schools, through study and your witness of life, can too become experts in that humanity that emanates from the Benedictine Rule. Your contemplative life is also a privileged channel for nurturing communion with the brothers of the Oriental Churches”.

Your service to the Church is very valuable”, he concluded, expressing his hope that the Congress may strengthen the Federation so that it is increasingly at the service of communion and cooperation between monasteries and urging the Benedictines not to be discouraged if their members age or diminish in number. “On the contrary”, he emphasised, “conserve the zeal of your witness, even in those countries that are most difficult today, with faithfulness to your charism and the courage to found new communities”.

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.
coat of arms

Categories

Archives

Humanities Blog Directory