(1) We concluded 2010 by celebrating I Vespers
of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. After Compline yesterday
evening, our last official community activity was Father Archabbot
Justin's conference to us in the Chapter Room.
+++ Today, the Solemnity, is ranked as on O.P. Father Prior Kurt
presided at our Eucharist and Father Ephrem, who has been with us
for a while from his assignment in Rome, preached.
+++ Our "Monastic Observance" program, which began the day after
Christmas, officially concluded, although two of the five men who
participated in this opportunity to experience monastic life are
staying with us for another day or two. Several monks were involved
in working with or presenting conferences to our observers; Br.
John Mark oversaw the almost week-long program.
(2) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of our Lord.
An O.A., with Father Archabbot Justin presiding. Father Cyprian
preached. We again enjoyed colloquium at our noonday meal.
(3) Father Tobias began his week as our Mass
+++ At a meeting of the Monastery Chapter this evening, our two
novices, Michael Luckett and Timothy Wymore, were approved to
profess their temporary vows, which they will do on January 20,
during I Vespers of the Solemnity of St. Meinrad.
+++ Twenty-eight college seminarians from Bishop Simon Brute
Seminary in Indianapolis arrived to begin a week-long retreat with
us. They are directed by the Most Rev. Carl Mengeling, the former
bishop of Lansing, and an alumnus of our seminary.
(4) The January Interterm session begins in our
seminary tomorrow, and so the seminarians, like students around the
country, are beginning their "slow-but-willing" return to their
school. Most of them, anyway: about 15 are enjoying the special
travel-study session in England and Italy, accompanied by Fathers
Denis and Thomas.
(5) We received an e-mail from Father Harry in
Korea: the ordinations of our two former seminarians, Pan and John,
(6) A quiet day on the hill, all things
considered. Our housekeepers are getting ready for a lot of
retreatants (see below), and we're keeping an eye out for the
winter storm that's supposed to hit us sometime this evening.
(7) The retreatants are definitely coming!
Arriving today and staying the weekend are 13 guests of the
"Maker's Dozen" retreat from Carmel, Indiana. Father Sean is their
+++ Also, the "Epiphany Retreat" begins this evening and goes
into Sunday morning. This is a discernment retreat in which 28
young men from the dioceses of Louisville, Lexington and Evansville
are participating. The "Epiphany Retreat" is hosted by our Seminary
with Father Brendan as the coordinator; he is assisted by
Louisville Vocation Director Father Jeff Shooner and Lexington
Vocation Director Father Steve Roberts.
+++ Our confrere, Father Raymond, on the staff of The Catholic
University of America in Washington, D.C., celebrates his feastday
today. We offer him our prayers!
(8) Fifty-one guests arrived from St. Charles
Borromeo Parish in Bloomington, Indiana, today, to begin their
Confirmation Retreat. Carl Wertin, a first-year theology seminarian
from the Diocese of Pueblo, is their director. The retreat, which
concludes tomorrow, is organized and facilitated by Mrs. Janis
Dopp, an alumna (class of '98) and friend of the Archabbey.
+++ Brother Matthew is directing about 15 Boy Scouts from the
Diocese of Evansville, who are on the hill making a one-day
+++ And we welcome 30 young parishioners from St. Mary's
Catholic Church in Huntingburg, who are making their confirmation
retreat. Michelle Fisher is the facilitator and organizer, and the
retreat is led by Alan Carter, a second-year theology seminarian
from the Diocese of Lexington.
(9) Feast of the Baptism of our Lord-the
"official end" of the Christmas season, according to some
calendars. Father Sean began his week as our Mass Heb by presiding
and preaching at our Conventual Mass, which began with the monastic
community gathering at the west doors around the holy water font
for the blessing of the water. We then processed into choir and
continued Mass as usual.
+++ We've been getting snow flurries on and off this weekend; so
far it's been, at worst, a minor annoyance for travelers and, at
best, some winter beauty for our many guests.
+++ Father Adrian, celebrating the feast of his holy patron
today, was our "coped presider" at Second Vespers.
(10) After thousands of miles, dozens of time
zones, and even a trip across the International Date Line, Father
Harry has returned from his Korean travels. He landed in Louisville
yesterday evening and is fine-tuning his recovery from jetlag by
spending a few days with his mother in Bardstown, Kentucky.
(11) The snow began overnight and continued
throughout the day-steady, if not always heavy. It is beautiful,
but it-and the weather throughout the Midwest-has also stranded
some of our traveling confreres in places such as Wyoming, St.
Louis and even Louisville.
(12) The snow continued to fall and blow
around, but our physical facility crews are doing an excellent job
keeping the on-the-hill roads clear, and the state and county seem
to be doing pretty well at cleaning off the main routes around us.
Our juniors and novices were not about to be overcome by such a
thing as weather: they left for Evansville shortly before noon
today for a brief outing, planning to take in lunch and a
+++ We offer special prayers for Father Aelred today, who
celebrates the feast of his holy patron.
(13) We received word today that our Father
Gregory is one of eight pastors in the country who will be honored
by receiving the National Catholic Education Association's
Distinguished Pastor Award! The awards will be given in April when
the NCEA meets in New Orleans during Easter week. Congratulations
to Father Gregory! Many of our alumni will remember Father Gregory
from his many years in our College (1965-1991), when he taught
French and served as Dean of Students. Father's first parish
assignment was in August 1989, as administrator of St. Henry
Parish, St. Henry, IN. He became pastor of St. Benedict's Parish,
Evansville, and, subsequently, St. Benedict's Cathedral, in August
(14) It was announced this morning that Pope
Benedict XVI has appointed Father Christopher J. Coyne as the
auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Bishop-elect
Coyne is a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston. The date for his
episcopal ordination is scheduled for March 2.
(15) Today we celebrated the patronal feast
days of Brother Maurus and Father Micheas.
+++ Delta Chi "A"s' Academy, from Iowa City, IA, are with us
again for their annual retreat. We're happy to greet all 155 of the
participants and their leaders.
(16) Father Eugene is our Mass Hebdomadarian
this week. There were almost as many guests in the Archabbey Church
as there were monks. Today is one of the major "Saint Meinrad
Sundays," and so about a dozen of our priest-monks were spread
throughout the state presiding at a parish's Saturday evening and
Sunday morning Masses, giving the parishioners a brief report on
the works of Saint Meinrad, and asking for their continued
assistance prayerfully and financially. We do a lot at Saint
Meinrad, thanks to a lot of generosity and support offered by our
+++ Father Harry celebrated today the feast of his holy
(17) Today we celebrated the feast day of Saint
Anthony, Father Anthony's patron. Known by many of our guests for
his work in our apiary, Father Anthony serves as the administrator
for the parishes of St. Meinrad and Fulda's St. Boniface.
(18) A gray and drizzly day, all day. The
weather people tell us a lot of snow is on the way.
+++ We are preparing for the temporary profession of Novice
Michael this Thursday, the 20th. His classmate, Novice Timothy, has
decided to extend his period of novitiate for six months. We
continue our prayers for both of these men. As we conclude our main
meal each day, we add the following to our grace after meals: "May
the example of our fraternal charity and our good zeal draw many
others to join us in the monastic way of life." May all those
discerning our way of life know God's guidance and peace!
(19) A quiet Wednesday-it seems everyone is
getting ready for the coming snow.
(20) Novice Michael professed his temporary
vows at I Vespers of the Solemnity of St. Meinrad this evening,
taking the name Brother Elijah. His guests joined us for the
evening meal, and then for a reception in Jack's in the Commons
(21) Solemnity of our patron, and the sixth
anniversary of the blessing of Father Archabbot Justin. We monks
enjoyed a rare "social half-hour" following Midday Prayer, after
which we were treated to a fine meal in our refectory. After II
Vespers, we joined our seminary community for burgers 'n stuff in
the Newman Dining Room.
+++ And, a happy feast day to Father Meinrad!
(22) We joined the Universal Church in
observing the "Day of Prayer and Penance for Violations Committed
against the Dignity of Life." Father Eugene, our Mass presider for
the week, put things into context nicely in both his introductory
remarks and his homily. The Mass prayers were taken from the "Mass
+++ Father Vincent, the manager of our Guest House and Retreat
Center, celebrated the feastday of his holy patron today. As we are
fond of saying on these and similar occasions, "Ad multos
(23) Third Sunday of Ordinary Time. Father
Joseph is our Mass Hebdomadarian.
+++ About 105 of our seminarians are in Washington, D.C.,
preparing to take part in the annual Right to Life March tomorrow.
They left the hill early yesterday morning in 10 vans; while in the
Washington area, they will stay with families of Our Lady of Mercy
Parish in Potomac, Maryland-all this carefully organized and
arranged by Linda Budney, a member of our Board of Overseers.
+++ Closer to home, Brother John Mark is wrapping up his
offerings on "Human Development and Christian Maturity" for the
first of this semester's weekend courses. Other resident faculty
who are teaching over the weekend are Dr. Keith Lemna, Dr. James
Helmer and Dr. Robert Alvis.
(24) As referred to in yesterday's entry, most
of our seminary community participated in the annual Right to Life
March this afternoon. They'll start working their way back to the
hill tomorrow. The official "Opening Day" of the semester is
tomorrow, and second semester classes begin Thursday the 26th.
+++ Here on the hill the guests of Brother Francis have begun to
arrive for his profession of solemn vows tomorrow. Until then, he
is celebrating the feast of his patron-St. Francis de
(25) Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, and
the Solemn Profession of Vows by Brother Francis de Sales Wagner.
Formerly of the Diocese of Toledo, Brother Francis professed a life
of obedience, stability and conversion during our morning
Eucharist, at which Father Archabbot Justin presided. We
congratulate Brother Francis and welcome him as our newest
full-fledged member of the house!
+++ Today is Father Paul's feast day; he's celebrating in Rome,
where he continues his studies leading toward a doctorate in sacred
(26) The Seminary had its "Opening Day" for the
second formation term, marked especially by the annual Bishop's
Dinner in the evening. The Most Rev. Leonard Blair, Bishop of the
Diocese of Toledo-in-America, was the guest and speaker. He spoke
on the forthcoming new translation of the Roman Missal.
(27) We celebrated the feast day of Father
Timothy, who presided at our Eucharist this morning.
+++ Tomorrow the "World Priest Workshop," which began this past
Monday the 24th, draws to a close. Five international participants
were here for this five-day workshop, organized by our Institute
for Priests and Presbyterates.
(28) This afternoon we welcomed about 45 fourth
graders from New Hope Academy of Franklin, Tennessee, for a 24-hour
retreat. They are certainly making the best of their short time
with us: it was nice, and rather unusual, to have so many guests
join us for Compline!
+++ In the evening, Brother Zachary gave the first of his
conferences to 43 participants from Good Shepherd Parish in
Evansville. His theme is "Praying the Bible."
(29) About 35 monks feasted on 14 large pizzas
at The UnStable-the first of three such "monk lunches" over these
next few months. The pizza-makers were Fathers Prior Kurt and
Patrick, Brian Lederer (a third-year theology seminarian for the
Diocese of Duluth) and Tim Wyciskalla (a first-year theology
seminarian studying for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis).
+++ Today and tomorrow Father Timothy is giving a retreat to 29
members of the St. Xavier (Louisville) Alumni Reunion.
+++ This evening at Vespers, our newly-professed Brother Francis
assumed for the first time his duties as our Office
(30) Father Harry is our Mass Hebdomadarian for
the week. His homily included some relevant descriptions and
comments about his recent trip to the ordinations in Korea.
+++ A southern Indiana delicacy-squirrel-appeared on the serving
line in our refectory this evening. The treat was obtained,
prepared and delivered by Rich Niehaus, a co-worker in our Physical
(31) We received the oblation of Robert and
Tina Searcy of Fisherville, Kentucky, after Noonday Prayer. May
God's blessings be upon all our oblates, friends and
+++ After Compline this evening, the monastic community
proceeded to the Chapter Room, where we had the Aperitio
Oris for our new solemnly professed Brother Francis. This
"opening of the mouth" ceremony, consisting of prayers and a brief
commentary on the role and responsibility of a capitular (monk in
solemn vows), is the official welcome of the monk to the Chapter,
the deliberative body of the monastery.
Question of the Month
Our Question of the Month comes from Carney Strange, a High
School class of '65, College class of '69, alumnus:
So, what is a "Mass Heb." that you refer to in your monastic
log entries? That's a new phrase for me.
I received this question from Carney just a few days ago. It's
great timing since, as I look over this month's "About the House,"
I see that I refer to "Heb" directly or indirectly in the entries
for each of the last three days (and, as usual, here and there
throughout the month).
Hebdomadarian comes from the Greek hebdomas,
which means "week."
A lot of our life in the monastery is structured according to
"the week." Our praying of the psalter, for example, is based upon
a four-week cycle. Also, many of the housekeeping and serving
assignments in the monastery are scheduled on a weekly basis. We
take turns by the week waiting tables, setting out and cleaning up
after breakfast and lunch, reading at Mass, Office, and during the
main meal, and the like. These weekly services are assigned by the
Traditionally, the monk who leads the Divine Office for the week
(or presides at that week's Eucharist) is called the Office (or
Mass) Hebdomadarian. At Office, the Heb intones the introduction,
regulates the praying of the psalms, and prays the intercessions
and the concluding prayer.
The Mass Heb, as mentioned, presides at the Eucharist and,
according to our custom, preaches on Sunday and at least one other
day during the week. Sometimes, but not always, a monk who is
ordained will be both Office and Mass Heb the same week. The
service of Hebdomadarian is reserved to those monks who have
professed solemn vows-hence, my mention on the entry for January
29th of Br. Francis' first time as our Office Heb.
Quote of the Month
We conclude this month's log with a section from the Rule of
You should become a stranger to the world's way of acting.
Prefer nothing to the love of Christ.
Chapter 4, "The Tools of Good Works,"
Translation by Fr. Terence Kardong, OSB, monk of Assumption