Tag Archives: Benedictine

Portsmouth Abbey Monks face future with internet help

Portsmouth Monks 2011.jpgBenedictine monasticism has a beautiful way of adapting, in a sensitive and intelligent way, to the times. Being contemporaneous doesn’t mean trendy. It means, in my mind, taking seriously the fact of the Incarnation: that in all things God may be glorified. Pope Benedict has been advocating the prudent use of social media, a point for this blog!

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James Martin reviews “Of Gods and Men”

The culture editor at America Magazine Jesuit Father James Martin, reviews the stunning movie “Of Gods and Men” on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. His comments are worth hearing.

Here is a previous post on “Of Gods and Men” with a few links to other pages including Prior Christian de Cherge’s testament.

80 years of monastic profession: the witness of a lifetime

Permanent commitment is an awesome gesture. It is, however, becoming a thing of the past these days. I remember a few years ago
when my parents were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and one of my
mother’s clients said to her: “I can’t believe you’ve been married to the same
man for this long.” I was taken aback by the statement. In my mind what else would you do but be faithful to your vows. Of course this woman is on her second marriage and from all
reports pretty self-absorbed. There was a time when you entered into a “life
commitment” by vows and you did what they indicated: live them forever, unto death is there parting. Times have changed: prenuptials are “in” and convenience has replaced permanency. Have we become too fickle? Just
recently an event in Rome gave me hope: Father Angelo’s 80 years as a Trappist
monk of the Abbey of Tre Fontane. Imagine 80 years do anything! Imagine living your monastic profession in the place where Saint Paul was martyred! Saint Paul’s head bounced three times. Hence three fountains of water sprung up.

Tre fontane di S. Paolo.jpg

Father Angelo (Archangelo Buccitti in
history), just celebrated his 94th birthday on March 3. Bishop Paolo
Schiavon, a long-time friend of the community offered Mass for Father Angelo’s

Father Angelo’s monastic journey included entry at Frattochie abbey at 14 years of age, his journey to solemn profession, ordination to the
priesthood, time as chaplain for the Trappistine nuns at Vitorchiano, his election
as abbot of Tre Fontane and his ten years in that capacity. All of Father
Angelo’s life can be seen as a homage, a testament to grace and grace’s living through his deep humanity known through fraternal
charity, humility and faithfulness to God’s call. 

Father Angelo said: “The
Lord does not count the number of one’s years, but weighs their quality” and “A
man is never taller than when he is on his knees before his Lord.”

Benedictine nuns & monks in Japan

The Benedictine news service provided the following news piece on the recent problems in Japan. We should pray to the Japanese martyrs for their assistance before the Throne of Grace:

Father Don
Talafous OSB, in one of his Daily Reflections, speaks about how
difficult it is to comprehend the enormity of the multiple disasters that have
befallen the people of Japan. Communications are still sparse from the
afflicted Diocese of Sendai, with 11,000 Catholics, that
includes the areas hardest-hit in the disaster. Several monks of Trinity Benedictine
, Fujimi, Japan, shared reports with the monks of Saint John’s
, the founding community. The
mention little damage at Fujimi, some disruption at the
Trappistine monastery, Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, and the death of a
Redemptorist priest whose car was swept away.

Oscars 2011 and a nun

Dolores Hart OSB.jpgNot surprising that many people are interested in sensational stories like “Mother Dolores Hart: The Nun Who Kissed Elvis Presley.” I guess kissing Elvis is akin to winning the jackpot. Each to his or her own! Thom Geier’s story is exactly titled such on EW.com. I have to admit, however, I am fascinated –to a degree– by this woman’s gesture of following a vocation that had in mind her eternal destiny and not just money, fame and power. Hart’s life and enduring witness to Christ at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, Bethlehem, CT, is inspiring. Who wouldn’t be inspired by a beautiful woman giving her life to God through monastic consecration!

The following gives a flavor of Geier’s article: “Over the course of nearly half a century as a Roman
Catholic nun, Mother Dolores has had many jobs: choir member, baker, and coffin
maker. She’s served as prioress, the convent’s second in command, for nine
years. But for the past two decades, she has spent a good deal of time each
winter on another assignment that harks back to her earlier, pre-monastic life:
Oscar voter.”

Mother Dolores’ autobiography ought to be out soon.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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