Tag Archives: Benedictine

Camaldolese nuns in Korea

Korean Cardinal and CamaldoleseThe Benedictines of the Camaldolese Congregation are establishing a monastery of nuns in Korea. In fact, April 27, 2016, the Prior General of the Camaldolese Congregation, Father Alessandro Barban met with  Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul, and Bishop Peter Chung Soon-taek, the episcopal vicar for religious orders in the archdiocese, to express his gratitude for his support on the foundation of the first Camaldolese community in Korea. Father Barban also mentioned that he has great expectations to the new Camaldolese community in Korea, hoping to bring “both direct and indirect effect to the Korean people with the Camaldolese spirituality.”

This first Camaldolese monastery (nuns) in Korea is being constructed in Namyangju City and will be finished, it is hoped, 2019.

The Camaldolese Congregation follows the 6th century Rule of Saint Benedict and the manner life establish by Saint Romuald at the beginning of the 11th century. The Camaldolese is an order of hermits and cenobites with many laity living in relation to the the Camaldolese as Oblates.

What is striking is that in a period of Church history that know Western monastic life is clearly in diminishment (and death), and the Camaldolese are not exception to the trends, this an exceptional grace given by God to found monastic life according to the charisms of Saint Benedict and Saint Romuald anew.

Through the intercession Mary, the Mother of Monks and Nuns, and of all Benedictine saints, may this monastery thrive!

Image from the Archdiocese of Seoul

Patrick Barry OSB RIP

Abbot PatrickYesterday morning at Ampleforth Abbey, Abbot Patrick Barry made his transitus to the Lord of Life. Liturgically, it was a perfect day: it was the Transfiguration of the Lord and the feast of Saint Peter Damian. Two great poles of a monk in love with Christ. Abbot Patrick was 99, 81 years a monk, and 71 years a priest.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

Father Patrick Barry served as Abbot of Ampleforth from 1984 to 1997. He was re-elected by the monastic community to be abbot in 1992 for a period of eight years. I first met in 1997 when he went to St Louis to assist the Benedictine Abbey there in the teaching of our monks in formation.

Patrick Barry OSBThe holy Abbot once wrote of the Holy Rule of Benedict: “The Rule Saint Benedict wrote is not well understood unless its end and purpose are seen to rest in Christ himself, whose gift is eternal life and whose love must be counted as more important than anything else in the life of a monk.” I am convinced that Abbot Patrick’s life coalesced around this central fact of the Faith: the journey to meet the Trinity in Eternal Life. Everything seemed to orbit Saint Benedict’s call to us in our longing, our hungering, for eternal life. Abbot Patrick lived this experience with great spiritual intensity.

Two special gifts I cherish: knowing and learning from Abbot Patrick the years I lived in St Louis and following when I would visit St Louis Abbey. The second gift, is a copy of his translation of the Rule of St Benedict.

May we meet again in the love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

UPDATE: The Telegraph (of the UK) published this obit of Abbot Patrick Barry, OSB.

Our Lady of Monte Vergine

OL of Monte VergineOn these U.S. shores a devotion to the Mother of God under the title of Our Lady of Monte Vergine is unknown by most people. There are, however, those of us who know Italy and the presence of the Benedictine abbey on Monte Vergine that inspires us to use this title to Mary. From the image herewith it is difficult to grasp that the icon is quite large, with a height of over 12 feet and width of over 6 feet; it shows the Mary seated on a throne with the Infant Jesus seated on her lap. Historians call icon of the Mother and Child, “of Constantinople” (because it is said to have been brought to Italy by King Baldwin of Jerusalem) given to the Benedictine monks in 1310. King Baldwin. The image is dark, so the icon is often referred to as one of the “Black Madonnas”; a title given to several images of the Holy Virgin Mother.

The famous Benedictine sanctuary located in the village of Montevergine (of Campanian region of Italy); the “Monte Vergine” comes from the religious history going back to the pre-Christian era when there was a temple of Cybele existed. A chapel of the Blessed Virgin was built in the seventh century. In 1119, Saint William of Vercelli founded the monastery that still exists. Saint William was a hermit who came back to his native Italy after making a pilgrimage to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela (Spain).

Saint William had the reputation for sanctity inspiring many to live in cells on the mountain. Monasticism still is present there. The first true church was constructed in 1126, and was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.

Today, it is reported that over one-and-one-half million pilgrims yearly pay homage to Our Lady of Montevergine. The most popular day is Pentecost. There have been numerous miracles attributed to this portrait of the Mother of God and her Divine Son.

Abbot Primate celebrates 75 years

Notker imposes incense 2015The Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation celebrates his 75th birthday. Abbot Notker Wolf presides in charity over the worldwide communion of Benedictines from the Aventine Hill in Rome. He was the archabbot of the St Ottilien Abbey and Congregation before his election as Primas.


New Abbess of Regina Laudis

Today, began a new transition in the life of the Benedictine community of the Abbey of Regina Laudis with the election of Reverend Mother Lucia Kuppens as the Third Abbess. The new abbess succeeds Mother Abbess David Serna. An announcement is made here.

The Most Reverend Leonard Paul Blair, STD,  Archbishop of Hartford, offered Mass and presided over the election.

Mother Lucia, a Boston native, is a 1973 graduate of Connecticut College and she earned a PhD from Yale in English Literature having written a dissertation on Shakespeare’s portrayal of male and female relationships in a process of dis-integration. she entered the Abbey in 1979. Of recent time, Mother Lucia has been the community’s cellarer and the project manager of the abbey’s renovation and expansion project.

Mother Hildegard (formerly of Regina Laudis and now at the daughter house, Our Lady of the Rock Monastery on Shaw Island, WA) relates something Mother Lucia once said:  “Regina Laudis had something solid and deep. Its members radiated a joy that was increasingly hard to come by as the experiments of the ´60s began to fade, and idealism turned to cynicism.”

Blessings to Mother Lucia and the Benedictine nuns.

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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