- Sunday, 01 February 2015 22:37
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.
- Tuesday, 27 January 2015 16:45
The idea of sharing anew the beautiful, the true and the good of the Catholic faith with baptized Catholics, with other Christians, and with those justing seeking Someone greater, is popular these days. The words we are using to describe this sharing of faith is the new evangelization. Saint John Paul got the ball rolling again after a hiatus from the time of Blessed Paul VI and the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council with promoting a new way of bring the Lord’s Good News to society again. But for him the new evangelization isn’t about a program as much as it is manner of conversion.
As typical, we see the use of the word “evangelization” used in a variety of ways but without a distinct and concrete definition. In my estimation few have really grasped the concept of it means to be engaged in evangelization. So many want to bolster the numbers of people in the pews, or get parish programs going or some such thing superficial thing. The difficult task is forming in a new way invested Catholics. There are times you get the sense that the “same-old” is being repackaged: it is new wine in old wine skins. The new evangelization becomes in many places more of the ghetto mentality and a perpetuation of an immature Christianity. That’s a long way of saying that we need a more creative approach in sharing the faith in bold ways.
Certainly we don’t need gimmicks. We do, however, need an honest approach that is human connected to the divine.
The Benedictine monks are getting to the heart of what I am aiming at with the new evangelization: beer brewing for the Kingdom of God. Indeed, the brewing of beer (and drinking the beer) can be a de-regulated way of getting to the heart of the faith, getting to the creator and how He is manifested in His creation. Brewing and drinking beer is a very human experience that will penetrate the heart and mind to think a little more deeply about spiritual things and how to live for and with Christ.
Here is an article, “Brew Evangelization.” Read this fine article and the links embedded. One of my interests is to see the Benedictine charism flower again. AND it is beginning to do just that….
- Monday, 22 December 2014 22:12
Benedictines historically live close to the land. Since the 6th century the Benedictines have also been pioneers in every field of study known to humanity. Here is a NPR story on the Benedictine nuns of the Abbey St Walburga (Virginia Dale, CO).
The Benedictines of St Walburga Abbey is a faithful group of women of a variety ages, experience, education and talent. I am happy to see that they are working the land in a meaningful way.
- Wednesday, 26 March 2014 17:19
Benedictine monasticism as it is lived by men has now expanded to Thailand. The Monastery of Saint Benedict is a work that has been in process for a few years, at least since 2010.
Asianews.it ran a story the other day about the new foundation made by Benedictine monks from Vietnam where there is already a sufficient monastic presence (for now) and gladly supported a move to their neighbors in Thailand. Five monks populate the Monastery of Saint Benedict with ten cells, eight guest rooms and a chapel located outside the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The monastery is located in the diocese by the same name. According to 2006 statistics, Catholics make up .8% of the population with more than 46,000 faithful.
The new monastery was instigated by the Archbishop Antonio Mattiazzo of Padua. Gratitude to Archbishop Mattiazzo is well deserved for his desire to be generative.
Claudio Corti’s article is here.
Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica, pray for this endeavor of the new evangelization.
- Friday, 21 March 2014 07:48
Today, the Holy Father was represented by Ennio Cardinal Antonelli, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family to be his Special Envoy at remembrance celebrations at the Abbey of Montecassino on March 21. As papal envoy, the Cardinal will attend the 70th Anniversary of the Destruction and Reconstruction of Abbey of Montecassino. The date is the anniversary of the death of Saint Benedict of Norcia.
Montecassino as a community of Benedictine monks founded in 529 by the saint, suffered several destructions and reconstructions of the centuries, the last one being 15 February 1944 bombing by the Allied troops in the Second World War. In four months, the Battle of Montecassino there was about 200,000 causalities (on both sides).
The monks oversaw an immediate and exact reconstruction at the war’s end between 1948 to 1956. Joseph Breccia Fratadocchi led the reconstruction.
The Benedictines still live at Montecassino.