(1) Father Abbot Justin presided and preached
at our Conventual Mass today, his feast day. The celebration
continued in our refectory over supper, as we enjoyed his menu
choice (complete with the inevitable red velvet cake, his perennial
sweet tooth favorite) and colloquium. Happy Feast Day,
Father Abbot, and ad multos annos!
+++ We began our summer Monastic Observance Program today;
two young men are sharing our prayer, work and recreation through
+++ Brother Raban had back surgery at Deaconess Hospital
in Evansville today-a procedure that lasted just less than 9 hours.
His first few hours out of surgery this evening suggest the surgery
(2) Brother Raban is indeed making steady
progress in his recovery, and we expect him to return to the hill
+++ Shortly after Midday Prayer, we invested Debra Order
of Newburgh, IN, as an oblate novice. God's blessings upon her, and
upon all our oblates!
+++ Brother Anthony Baker, OSB, a monk of Assumption
Abbey, North Dakota, and one of our "visiting Benedictines" these
past years, was ordained to the diaconate this morning at
Assumption. Congratulations to him and to many of his classmates
and fellow seminarians, who will be ordained to the diaconate and
the priesthood in the upcoming weeks.
(3) Brother Raban returned from the hospital
this afternoon, and continues his recovery in one of our infirmary
cells. He's in good spirits.
+++ Father Noël began presenting a weekend retreat,
"Living in the Spirit: Exploring the Christian Vocation," to 26
participants at our Guest House and Retreat Center.
(4) Two members of our graduating seminary
class were ordained to the priesthood this morning in their home
dioceses. Congratulations to Father Dustin Boehm (Archdiocese of
Indianapolis) and Father Zachary Peterson (Diocese of New Ulm).
+++ And two more of Br. Anthony's classmates (see June 2
entry) were ordained to the diaconate this morning n their
dioceses; congratulations to Dominic Petan and Travis Stephens, of
the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.
+++ Dr. Clayton Jefford, Dr. Ryan LaMothe and Fr. Tom
Richstatter are our weekend course professors this time around; 52
lay degree students are on the hill this weekend.
(5) The Solemnity of the Ascension has the rank
of an O.A., but Father Abbot Justin is in Toledo witnessing the
marriage of some family members. Father Subprior Guerric presided
at our Eucharist, and Father Germain preached.
+++ Two more of our seminarians were ordained to the
diaconate in their home diocese this morning: we congratulate
Patrick Hirtz and Dexter Noblefranca of the Diocese of Memphis.
(6) About 100 priests of the Archdiocese of
Louisville will be holding their annual assembly here these next
few days. They begin their work tonight and conclude at noon on
+++ The Louisville priests aren't the only ones joining us
on the hill. About 50 participants from Indianapolis' St. Barnabas,
St. Anthony and Holy Trinity Youth Groups joined us for Vespers
this evening. They will be with us part of tomorrow as well.
(7) Father Brendan is teaching a course on
Benedictine spirituality to 12 participants at our Guest House and
Retreat Center this week.
(8) Father Joseph, our Mass Heb, preached on
Monday of this week and again this morning. One guest approached me
after Mass and asked if Father Joseph was some kind of "rebel,"
since we usually have weekday homilies on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Father Joseph, however, is simply taking legitimate advantage of
the "presider's privilege." Our ordinary practice is that the
presider preaches twice during the week (in addition to Sunday),
and he is free to choose on what two days those homilies will
(9) Father Abbot Justin has landed in Belgium,
where he will spend a few days with our Father Thomas, who is
completing his first year of studies at the University of Louvain.
From there, Father Abbot will go on to Rome to visit Father Ephrem
and Father Paul, and then for some meetings with Father Prior
Cassian at the priory at Norcia.
(10) We welcome 56 participants taking part in
the Archdiocese of Louisville Diaconate Community Retreat this
weekend at our Guest House and Retreat Center.
+++ We celebrate more ordinations of our seminarians
today. Congratulations to Michael Chrisman, ordained to the
priesthood for the Diocese of Pueblo, and to newly ordained deacons
Drew Braun, Seth Gogolin and Brian Lederer, of the Diocese of
(11) Continuing with the ordination
celebrations and congratulations from yesterday: Sean Pogue was
ordained priest for the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana, and
Mauricio Carrasco (Little Rock) and Dustin Collins (Knoxville) were
ordained to the diaconate.
+++ No shortage of groups on the hill this weekend: 26
guests from St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Louisville, have
arrived for a women's retreat, and 28 high school students from St.
Benedict Parish in Oklahoma, on their way to some summer work in
Appalachia, will be spending the night with us. Welcome to all our
guests, and prayers for their safe travels!
(12) The Solemnity of Pentecost. This day has
the rank of an OA but, since Father Abbot is in Rome, Father Prior
Kurt presided and preached at the Eucharist. Having
colloquium at our main meal today helped us celebrate the
+++ This evening marked the official closing of St.
Meinrad's Catholic Church and Town's Sesquicentennial Celebration
(150 years!). Various festivities and events have been going on
since the celebrations were launched a week ago. To the town and
our parish we say, "Ad multos annos!"
(13) The first week of this summer's "One
Bread, One Cup" Youth Liturgical Leadership Session began this
morning. As part of their program, about half of the high school
participants joined the monks for Vigils and Lauds at 5:30 a.m.!
(The other half will do so tomorrow.)
+++ About 50 of our oblates began a "Summer Study Days"
session, led by Father Harry. The theme for the presentations and
discussions: "A Closer Look at the Rule of St.
(14) Father Germain, who began his Mass Heb
duties yesterday as we returned to Ordinary Time, preached at this
(15) Five oblates professed their final
oblations today. We ask God's blessings on Margaret Sherlock (West
Chester, OH), Stephen Drees (Mason, OH), Robert Siebanaller
(Toledo, OH), and Jerry and Lora Altstadt (Huntingburg, IN). May
God uphold them in their promises!
(16) The Oblate Study Days have ended, with
high praise for Oblate Director Father Meinrad and the Study Days
presenter Father Harry.
(17) Hubert, the brother of Brother Dominic,
died this morning after a long illness and battle with Alzheimer's.
May he rest in peace!
+++ Fifty participants from Cedar Springs Presbyterian
Church in Knoxville are on the hill today and tomorrow for a youth
(18) More ordinations to report-and to
celebrate! This morning Ryan McCoy was ordained to the priesthood
for the Diocese of Biloxi, and seminarians Jeff Read and Brian
Emmick were ordained deacons for the Diocese of Evansville.
Congratulations to them, and to all our graduates and newly
+++ Father Abbot returned late this evening from his trip
to Belgium and Italy. He reports good visits with our confreres
Father Prior Cassian and Fathers Ephrem, Paul and Thomas.
(19) Trinity Sunday. Father Subprior Guerric
presided and preached, and we enjoyed a colloquium at our
main meal. Father Subprior will be our Mass Heb throughout the
+++ Sixty-two students concluded another round of weekend
course work this afternoon. Our Dr. Chris Lutz, and guest faculty
Chris Urbandowski and Linda Budney, taught courses, respectively,
on "Ancient Philosophy," "Servant Leadership in Action" and "Canon
Law for Ministry."
+++ Brother Francis concluded offering the weekend
retreat, "Reading the Sacred in Creation," to 20 participants at
our Guest House and Retreat Center this weekend.
(20) Father Adrian, our business manager, and
John Wilson, general manager of the Abbey Press, gave the monastic
community a presentation on this coming fiscal year's budget this
(21) Brother Maurus began offering a Midweek
Retreat-"Pray Your Way to Happiness"-to 20 participants at our
Guest House and Retreat Center." The retreat concludes at Thursday
(22) Our "One Bread, One Cup" college interns
are enjoying a bit of a break from their previous week's work; in
addition to debriefing and continuing with their formation during
this week between sessions, they're taking a field trip to St.
Louis for some sightseeing.
(23) Father Abbot Bonaventure is filling in as
the scribe for About the House for a few days, as Father Prior Kurt
travels to Green Bay for the ordination of one of our recent
+++ Abbot Bonaventure reports a pleasant "weather day,"
with daytime temps between 75 and 85 degrees.
(24) The Solemnity of the Birth of John the
Baptist-an O.P., with Father Subprior Guerric presiding and Father
Meinrad preaching at the Conventual Eucharist.
+++ We received the oblation of Jim and Sharon Essner of
Cape Girardeau, MO, and Jim Schmitt of Albion, IN, after Noonday
Prayer. God's blessings upon them and upon all our oblates!
(25) A lot of confreres are away-on temporary
summer assignment, on vacation, attending ordinations... Father
Abbot Bonaventure reports there were only 22 monks in choir for
Vigils and Lauds this morning!
+++ Two more of our graduating seminarians were ordained
to the priesthood today: congratulations to, and prayers for,
Father Noah Diehm of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, and Father Luke
Ferris of the Diocese of Green Bay.
+++ And some 4,000 miles or so to the east of our American
Midwest, two of our seminarians were ordained to the diaconate.
Congratulations and a promise of prayers to Crispine Adongo
and Aaron Wessman, now deacons of the Glenmary Missioners, who were
ordained in Kenya! This is Deacon Crispine's home territory, so
he'll be playing host to Deacon Aaron and their guests for a few
days before returning to the States.
(26) Solemnity of Corpus Christi, an O.P., with
Father Timothy presiding and preaching at the Conventual
+++ EXTREME WEATHER !!! A tornado, with wind speeds
reaching 80+ mph, touched down on the southern end of our grounds
around two o'clock this morning. Fortunately, no one was injured,
but there was considerable damage to property and structures. At
Plant 2 at the Abbey Press, the flat roof was peeled off. The Press
warehouse was destroyed, and furniture stored there was damaged.
The building housing our groundskeeping equipment collapsed, and
the Gessner House lost half its roof. We've lots of cleanup to do
but, thankfully, we emerged far more fortunate than have many of
our Midwest neighbors this summer.
(27) Cleanup and repairs from yesterday's storm
and tornado damage took up a major part of the day, of course.
Kudos to Pat Clark, our director of physical facilities, and his
splendid crew who are cleaning and scrubbing, fixing and
+++The second session of "One Bread, One Cup" began at noon
(28) Cleanup from Sunday morning's tornado
continues, as it will for some time!
+++ The permanent deacon class from the Diocese of
Springfield, IL, is spending their week here on the hill,
undergoing their intensive workshop in homiletics.
(29) Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The
feast is celebrated as an O.A., and so Father Abbot Justin presided
at I Vespers yesterday evening and Vigils and Lauds this morning,
and also presided and preached at our 7:30 a.m. Eucharist. This
year, however, this great feast of the Universal Church runs into a
bit of competition from a local event: this afternoon Louisville
priest and Saint Meinrad alumnus Charles Thompson was ordained and
installed as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Evansville. Father
Abbot and a host of monks attended the ordination. We ask God's
blessings upon Bishop Charles, and upon all who lead, guide and
(30) Father Sebastian is home from his teaching
and administrative assignment at Canterbury School in Connecticut;
he'll be spending the summer with us until about mid-August. We
welcome him home!
+++ Thanks to the tireless cleanup and repair work of our
Physical Facilities crew, under the direction of Pat Clark, you'd
almost never know we suffered severe damage from the tornado
earlier in the week. Almost!
Quote of the Month
We end our month's entries with a quote from the Rule of St.
"Let [the monks] strive to be the first to honor one another.
They should bear each other's weaknesses of both body and character
with the utmost patience. They must compete with one another in
obedience. No one should pursue what he judges advantageous to
himself, but rather what benefits others."
Chapter 72, "The Good Zeal that Monks Ought to Have"
Translation by Fr. Terence Kardong, OSB, monk of Assumption