(1) Today was Father Richard's feast day, and
our prayer for him was that his patronal saint would intercede on
his behalf, asking God to give him peace and consolation. Father
celebrated his 89th birthday in July. He suffered a fall at the end
of August, which eventually led to his complete loss of vision.
Father is much less aware of what is going on around him and with
himself now; he continues to receive the excellent care our
infirmary staff provides.
(2) This evening Father Adrian began offering a
weekend retreat, "Deliberate Christian Living," to 39 participants
at our Guest House and Retreat Center.
(3) After our Midday Prayer, we invested Ann
Tully of Indianapolis as an oblate novice. May God bless her in her
prayer, work, and witness in and to the world!
+++ Many guests on the hill this weekend. They include
about 25 students from Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois, on
retreat, and about 20 members of Young Adult Ministry from the
Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
(4) On this Second Sunday of Advent, Father
Vincent began his duties as our Mass Heb.
+++ We invested Maria Russell of Louisville as an oblate
novice, following our Conventual Eucharist this morning. Once
again, we welcome a new oblate and ask God's blessings upon
+++ The Tri-State Harp Ensemble presented a concert in our
Archabbey Church this afternoon. It brightened up what was a dark,
(5) Father Subprior Guerric presented an Advent
Conference to the monastic community in the Chapter Room after
Compline this evening.
+++ We welcomed another large group to the hill yesterday:
about 40 junior high boys from Bishop Chatard High School,
Indianapolis, who concluded their retreat today.
(6) Students, faculty, and administrators are
especially busy this week, of course: last class meetings of the
semester, papers due, exams to give, take, and grade. . .
(7) This evening we celebrated I Vespers of the
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, with Father Archabbot
(8) We followed our Sunday schedule this
Thursday, as we celebrated the Immaculate Conception. Father
Archabbot presided at the Conventual Mass, Father Vincent preached,
and Deacon Brother Romain, our visiting confrere from Togo, sang
+++ Father Prior Kurt left shortly after Mass to begin a
week's worth of vacation prior to the great feasts just around the
corner. Father Archabbot Bonaventure will be taking notes for this
Chronicle in his absence.
(9) More than a hundred men and women are
making the Oblate Advent Retreat, "Living under a Rule and an
Abbot," presented by Archabbot Justin.
(10) An exhibit of Christmas crèches from
around the world is on display in the library. The display features
crèches from the monastery collection, as well as from the
Catherine A. Smith Nativity Collection, donated to our School of
Theology in 2002 in memory of Charles Patrick Smith.
+++ After noonday prayer, Teresa Stricklen was invested as
an oblate novice. We also received the final oblations of Helen
Burris, Shirley Casebolt, Lee Cooper, Sally Gravatte, Timothy
Mattingly, Racine O'Connell, Catherine Russell and Kelly Sollinger.
And we celebrated the 25th anniversary of oblate Margit Sanders,
and the 50th of oblate Ted Waflart. Congratulations-and our
continued prayers for all our oblates!
(11) Third Sunday of Advent, also known as
Gaudete Sunday. Father Eugene is our Mass Heb.
(12) Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Fr.
+++ This past Saturday evening, St. Mary's Parish in
Huntingburg hosted a special Mass in honor of Our Lady of
Guadalupe; Evansville Bishop Charles Thompson presided, and Fathers
Archabbot Bonaventure and Noël, and St. Mary's pastor, Father Mark,
concelebrated. The homily was delivered by Father Noël.
+++ Brother Martin presented the second Advent Conference
for the monastic community this evening in the Chapter Room.
(13) Brother Terence has left to be with his
family, who are keeping watch over their 87-year-old sister who is
(14) We received word that the Most Rev. Thomas
C. Kelly, Archbishop Emeritus of Louisville, died in his sleep
during the night. Archbishop Thomas, a great friend of Saint
Meinrad, was 80 years old.
(15) Madeline, Brother Terence's sister, died.
We offer our prayers for her, and for all the faithful departed.
May the Prince of Peace, whose birthday we prepare to celebrate,
grant her and all those who have gone before us eternal rest.
(16) The mother of Ann Rohleder, our Director
of Health Services, died quite unexpectedly today. Margaret was
only 73 years old and had just returned from a trip with her family
to Virginia, which included some volunteer work laying wreaths at
Arlington National Cemetery. May she rest in peace, and may those
who mourn know the support and friendship of many.
(17) Father Prior Kurt returned from his
vacation this evening, and so the keeping of the Chronicle reverts
(18) Father Brendan is our Mass Heb for this
Fourth Sunday (and week) of Advent.
+++ Father Eugene concluded offering a weekend retreat,
"Reflections on the Infancy Narrative of St. Matthew's Gospel," to
21 participants at our Guest House and Retreat Center.
(19) Father Sean presided and preached at our
Advent Penance Service in the Archabbey Church this evening. He and
Fathers Sebastian, Vincent, Meinrad, and Joseph served as
confessors for the community.
(20) Several confreres, including Archbishop
Daniel, attended the funeral of Archbishop Kelly in Louisville this
+++ We enjoyed our annual Christmas Tree-Trimming Party in
the calefactory after Compline this evening. Organized by our
junior monks, novice and candidate, various versions of eggnog and
other assorted Christmas treats sustained those straining to string
lights and hang ornaments.
(21) During our praying of Vespers this
evening, we also celebrated the sacrament of the Anointing of the
Sick. As Father Archabbot is on the road today, Father Prior Kurt
presided and preached in his stead. Six monks were anointed in the
church during Vespers; after Vespers Father Prior went to our
infirmary wing to anoint nine confreres waiting for him
+++ While "on the road," Father Archabbot was also very
involved in ministry to the sick: in his travels, he spent time
visiting Father Boniface and Father Matthias, presently in
hospitals in Indianapolis.
(22) It has been announced that John Wilson
will retire on July 1 as the general manager of Abbey Press, a
position he has held since 2009. Mr. Wilson began his work for
Saint Meinrad in 1978 as assistant treasurer of the Archabbey. He
served as treasurer and business manager from 1989 until 2010, when
he was named Abbey Press general manager. Mr. Greg Tate, who joined
Abbey Press in 1992 and, since 2003, has been the Director of
Marketing Services, will assume the responsibilities of general
manager on July 1. We thank Mr. Wilson and Mr. Tate-and all our
co-workers-for their fine and faithful service to Saint Meinrad
(23) A very quiet day. A persistent drizzle is
keeping most people inside, encouraging the final arrangements and
preparations for Christmas.
(24) The celebration of Christmas officially
began with I Vespers at five o'clock. After supper, we prayed
Vigils at seven, then spent a few hours relaxing or quietly
recreating until our "Midnight Mass" at 10 o'clock, at which Father
Archabbot Justin presided and preached. Eggnogs and cookies were
waiting for us in the refectory after the liturgy.
(25) Christmas Day brings our latest rising of
the year! Breakfast at seven, Lauds at eight, and the Christmas
Mass "in die" (in the day) at 9:30. Father Archabbot Justin
presided and preached.
+++ After Midday Prayer many monks enjoyed one of the very
few "cocktail half-hours" we have during the year, before enjoying
a fine Christmas dinner prepared by our kitchen.
(26) The feast of St. Stephen, first martyr of
our Church, and the feast of our confrere Father Stephen, who
serves as pastor of St. Augusta Parish in Lake Village, Indiana.
Father plans to arrive here tomorrow to spend a few days with
+++ This is an OP-ranked feast, and so Father Prior Kurt
presided and preached.
+++ Christmas cookies, cakes and candies continue to
appear on the tables in our refectory: a 24/7 (but not 365)
(27) Feast of St. John the Evangelist, and the
feast day of our Brother John, who is with us during these days,
taking a break from his studies at Fordham University.
+++ This day is ranked as an OS-Order of the Subprior (one
of only two of those rankings)-but as Father Subprior Guerric is
away, Father Prior Kurt presided at the Conventual Eucharist and
Father Tobias preached.
+++ We welcome six young men who begin a several-day
"Monastic Observance" with us. They'll get an inside look at our
prayer and work this week, as they have the opportunity to join us
in the house for meals, work and recreation.
(28) The feast of the Holy Innocents. The house
and the hill continue to be quiet. Some of our co-workers are back
in their offices and at their jobs; others are enjoying a longer
(29) Father Timothy left last week for Blue
Cloud Abbey, Marvin, South Dakota, where he will be spending the
next six months participating in community discussions about their
life and work. Blue Cloud was founded by Saint Meinrad in 1950,
erected as a priory in 1952 and raised to an abbey in 1954.
(30) Father Tobias, our Mass Heb, presided and
preached on this Feast of the Holy Family.
+++ Our six "monastic observers" were touring some of the
surrounding neighborhood this morning, including the chapel at
Monte Cassino and Monastery Immaculate Conception in
+++ Father Ephrem arrived from Rome this afternoon to
spend some time with us. Father resides at Sant' Anselmo in Rome,
the International Benedictine Residence/University, where he
teaches and serves as the president of the Pontifical Liturgical
(31) Today, the seventh anniversary of the
election of Father Archabbot Justin. No celebrations-we reserve
those for the anniversary of blessing (January 21), although we did
suspend our customary table reading at our evening meal and,
instead, listened to some fine sounds composed by J. S. Bach and
performed by The Hilliard Ensemble. And, as has been his custom,
Archabbot Justin did offer the community a conference in the
Chapter Room after Compline. Undoubtedly, a few monks did stay up
to welcome in the new year but, for the most part, the hill was
dark and quiet well before midnight!
New Year Blessings
We end this year with gratitude and with confident hope. We are
grateful for the many blessings the Lord has shown us. And we
confidently pray that He will continue to guide, inspire and bring
to completion all that we have begun through our prayer and work.
And may God bless the readers of this Chronicle. May you know God's
peace and strength throughout the new year. May the Lord cause the
light of His face to shine on you and give you peace!