Tag Archives: Benedictine

Monks and MBAs mix

This morning in my inbox I found a fine human interest story on a relationship being built between a colony of Benedictine monks and academics and students of business from a Jesuit university. The key to this whole story is mutual understanding and respect for the other and lived culture, that is genuine friendship. In this case, the monks of Conception Abbey and Rockhurst University School of Management’s professors and students. Read the story… Pray for each group.

Father Charles Dumont, Cistercian monk, priest, poet: RIP

On the solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, a few
hours after the Midnight Mass (in which he participated from his room), Father
Charles Dumont was born into eternal life. Born in Ixelles (Brussels) on 26
September 1918, he entered Scourmont Abbey on 11 June 1941, he professed solemn
vows on 16 July 1946, and was ordained priest on 15 May 1950. He served
several times as chaplain at the abbey of Notre Dame de la Paix (Chimay), as
well as at Soleilmont. For several years he assisted at Caldey and he filled the
office of Novice Master at Scourmont from 1993 to 1996.


He introduced many
people, especially within the Order, to the knowledge and the love of the
Cistercian Fathers, in particular St Bernard. He was the editor of Collectanea
Cistercienia,
later Cisterciensia (1963-71) and assisted in the editing of Cistercian Studies Quarterly. Two of his
recent works are Pathways to Peace: Cistercian Wisdom According to St. Bernard
and Praying the Word of God. Cistercian Sister Elizabeth Connor wrote a book on
Father Charles entitled, Charles Dumont Monk-Poet: A Spiritual Biography. His
funeral took place at Scourmont on 28 December. May God grant Father Charles eternal light, peace and happiness.

Benedictine named bishop in Chur, Switzerland: Abbot Dr. Marian Eleganti

Abbot Marian.jpg

Abbot Dr. Marian Eleganti, 54, until now the Abbot of the Abbey of Saint Otmasberg (Abtei St. Otmarsberg), has been nominated by the Holy Father to be an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Chur, Switzerland. He was elected abbot of his monastery on 15 July 1999 and in 2003 defended a doctoral dissertation on Romano Guardini at the University of Salzburg. Abbot Marian speaks seven languages and is a published author.

The Abbey of Saint Otmasberg belongs to the Congregation of Saint Ottilien, a grouping of missionary Benedictine monks who take vows to a particular monastery as other monks do, but since mission work is their common apostolate, monks are assigned from various monasteries for this mission work in monasteries in other parts of the world. This congregation of monks have a slightly different understanding of the monastic of stability but no less vital for monasticism and for the Church. There are two monasteries of the Congregation of Saint Ottilien in the USA: Saint Paul’s Abbey (Newton, NJ) and Christ the King Priory (Schuyler, NE).

Bishop-elect Marian is one of 32 Benedictine monks ordained to the episcopacy worldwide.

May God grant many years to Bishop-elect Marian and may Saint Ambrose sustain the bishop with his prayers. So, we pray for Abbot Marian and for his Benedictine community who will now prepare to elect a new abbot.

Rule of Saint Benedict

St Benedict giving the Rule.jpgThe monks of Saint Benedict’s Abbey have put on their
website Father Boniface Verheyen’s translation of the Rule of Saint Benedict. The monks at this Abbey have a terrific college and get a steady stream of vocations. This year they have 7 novices: three for Kansas and four for Brazil.


I would recommend reading a chapter a day or a portion of it since some chapters are longer than others. My recommendation echoes to significant voices:

Christ present!
The Christian announcement is that God became one of us and is present here,
and gathers us together into one body, and through this unity, His presence is
made perceivable. This is the heart of the Benedictine message of the
earliest times. Well, this also defines the entire message of our Movement,
and this is why we feel Benedictine history to be the history to which we
are closest
.
~Monsignor Luigi Giussani, Founder of  Communion and
Liberation

Familiarity with the Word, which the Benedictine Rule guarantees by
reserving much time for it in the daily schedule, will not fail to instill
serene trust, to cast aside false security and to root in the soul a vivid
sense of the total lordship of God. The monk is thus protected from convenient
or utilitarian interpretations of Scripture and brought to an ever deeper
awareness of human weakness, in which God’s power shines brightly.
~Pope John
Paul II

Father John Oetgen, OSB, RIP

Fr John Oetgen.jpg

On 10 October 2009, Father John Oetgen, OSB, PhD, 85, died in the monastery of his monastic profession, Belmont Abbey (Mary, Help of Christians), Belmont, North Carolina. He was 65 years professed of monastic vows and 58 years a priest. Abbot Placid Solari celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial for Father John on Tuesday, 13 October in the Basilica of Mary, Help of Christians; he was buried in the abbey cemetery.
O God, Who did raise Your Servant Father John to the dignity of priest in the apostolic priesthood, grant, we beseech You, that he may be joined in the fellowship with Your Apostles forevermore.
I was speaking with one of the monks of Belmont Abbey two weeks ago, shortly before Father John’s death, and I realized intuitively that the end was near for a dear priest, monk and acquaintance. I got to know Father John on my visits to Belmont and when I had the privilege to being there for two months this past spring I had the opportunity to get to know him better. Though diminished in body he was not frail in mind or spirit. His presence, though strained because of his physical weakness was a significant example to me of placing trust in the Lord. One good connection I had with Father John was caring for his Saint Francis garden: I was elated when he came to visit me there on his way back from the doctor’s.
An appreciative interview with Father John published in the Spring of 2008 in Crossroads, the Belmont Abbey College magazine which gives a sense of who Father John was and why.
In February 2009, Abbot Placid gave him the Sacrament of Anointing, which I know he did several times later, in the company of the monastic community. My thoughts were posted here.

The Oblates of Belmont Abbey posted this obit for Father John.

The Gaston Gazette posted this obit for Father John.
May Father John Oetgen’s memory be eternal.

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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