(1) Father Jeremy began his week as our Mass
Hebdomadarian on this Second Sunday of Easter. By the sheer
coincidence of scheduling, today is also Father Jeremy's feast
+++ Father Donald celebrated his 94th birthday today. He
sat at the abbot's table for the noonday meal, and we had
colloquium in his honor. Happy Birthday, Father Donald,
and ad multos annos!
(2) The monastery had a Chapter Meeting tonight
after Vespers, in which we conducted some routine business for the
+++ Father Jeremy continues what promises to be a busy
week for him: this evening he began a retreat for 15 deacons and
wives titled, "Diakonia/Service: The First Response to the
Real Presence in the Eucharist."
(3) Today, on this feast of the Apostles Philip
and James, we celebrate the feast day of Brother Philip. Brother
Philip lives in Evansville and devotes his time to prayer and works
of charity, for which we are most grateful. Happy Feast Day, Br.
(4) Our special dessert night was extra special
this evening, as we honored our six Benedictine confreres from
other monasteries who have been attending our seminary and living
in our house this past year: Brothers Romain Botta (who was
ordained to the diaconate April 30) and Philippe Tchalou (Monastery
of the Incarnation, Togo, West Africa), Brothers Guerric Letter and
Victor Schinstock (Conception Abbey, Missouri), Brother Anthony
Baker (Assumption Abbey, North Dakota), and Brother Mauritius
Honegger (Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland). Brother Mauritius will be
returning to Einsiedeln soon; we're expecting his confrere, Brother
Thomas, to move into his cell this August. The other five
"visiting" Benedictines will be returning to their monasteries for
the summer months; we look forward to their rejoining us for
prayer, study and work at summer's end.
(5) Father Donald, who celebrated his 94th
birthday the first of the month, was taken to the hospital in
Jasper this morning. He was experiencing some discomfort in his
chest, and so we took him over in a "non-emergency ambulance" as a
(6) Seventy-plus lay degree students have
started to arrive for their weekend courses. Fathers Brendan and
Tom Richstatter, and Drs. Ryan LaMothe and Clayton Jefford are the
professors this time around.
(7) About 28 monks enjoyed the third and final
"UnStable Lunch" of the semester. Father Prior Kurt and three
seminarians prepared 11 large pizzas to perfection.
+++ We'll be celebrating the golden and silver
anniversaries of priestly ordination of four of our confreres at
the end of the month, but today is the actual 50th anniversary day
for Fathers Timothy and Meinrad. Father Timothy is out in the
parish, but Father Meinrad is home and so sat at the abbot's table
for our noonday meal. As is our custom, we enjoyed
colloquium in his honor. Ad multos annos, Fathers
Timothy and Meinrad!
+++ Father Donald returned from the hospital this
afternoon. He seems in relatively good health-and joyful spirits
that he's home again.
+++ Greg and Mary Karn of Antioch, TN, were invested as
oblates in the Archabbey Church shortly after Vespers. May God
bless all our oblates and sustain them in their efforts to grow in
(8) Father Brendan is our Mass Heb for this
Third Week of Easter.
+++ Our Archabbey Church was rather full this morning, as
many of our weekend students joined our regular guests for the
+++ Father Columba was the homilist at this afternoon's
Marian procession and rosary at Monte Cassino. He spoke on "Mary,
the Greatest Human Success."
(9) Father Abbot Justin gave a conference to
the monastic community after Compline this evening. The topic was
"The Discipline of Easter."
+++ Father Gregory is into his fourth day at St. Mary's
Hospital, Evansville, with a case of facial cellulitis. "A major
annoyance," he says, "but not fatal." We pray for his rapid
(10) We invested Jeremy LaMastus of Evansville
as an oblate in the Archabbey Church after Noonday Prayer.
(11) Today is the patronal feast day of Brother
Hugh, as well as the actual 50th anniversary of Brother Dominic's
profession of vows. As is our custom, Brother Dominic joined the
abbot's table for supper, and we had colloquium in his
(12) Final exams for the semester take place in
our seminary today and tomorrow, with graduation following on
Saturday the 14th. As is often the case, it's difficult to tell who
is looking forward to Sunday more-students, or faculty and
(13) Father Noël concluded his week-long
retreat, "Modeling Jesus: The Priest as Servant Leader," which he
has been offering to nine priests at our Guest House and Retreat
Center beginning this past Monday.
+++ And as one retreat ended, another began. Over the
weekend, Father Eugene is offering "Reflections on the Book of
Signs in the Gospel of John" to about two dozen participants at our
Guest House and Retreat Center.
(14) A day of celebration on the hill, as our
Seminary and School of Theology awarded 10 deacons a Master of
Divinity degree, 10 seminarians a Master of Arts in Catholic
Philosophical Studies, 7 students a Master of Arts in Catholic
Thought and Life, and 12 students a Master of Theological Studies.
Congratulations to all our graduates!
+++ St. Bede Hall is under renovation, so the graduation
ceremony was held in the Archabbey Church. We were honored to have
Abbot Martin Werlen, OSB, the 58th abbot of Einsiedeln, our Mother
Abbey in Switzerland, deliver the graduation address to our
students and their guests and our faculty and staff. Having him
with us offered a unique reminder that graduations are a time both
to honor our traditions and look toward the future!
(15) Father Sean began his tenure as our Mass
Heb on this Fourth Sunday of Easter-"Good Shepherd" Sunday, as it
is often called.
+++ Having given the graduation address yesterday, Abbot
Martin of Einsiedeln is not through working for us! He presided at
one of the Masses at the "downtown" St. Meinrad Parish, to the
delight of the parishioners.
+++ Brother Zachary offered the reflection, "The Heart of
Mary," at the Monte Cassino pilgrimage and rosary this
(16) This evening following Compline, the
monastic community enjoyed a social in honor of Father Abbot
Martin. It has been a delight to have hosted Father Abbot Martin
and Brother Alexander, his confrere from Einsiedeln, these past few
days. Abbot Martin and Brother Alexander will be returning to
+++ Earlier this morning, Father Prior Bernard, of the
Monastery of the Incarnation, Togo, West Africa, began his long
return home. Father Prior Bernard joined us late last month for the
ordination of the diaconate of one of his monks, Brother Romain
Botta (April 30).
(17) On this last full day for Abbot Martin and
Brother Alexander of Einsiedeln, they've been touring some local
(18) Abbot Martin and Brother Alexander of
Einsiedeln began their journey back to Switzerland this morning. We
enjoyed having them here.
+++ After Noonday Prayer, we received the oblation of
Edward Penton of Otawa, Ontario, and Deacon Walton Jones and Mrs.
Elizabeth Jones of Louisville.
(19) Beginning today and continuing on through
Sunday the 22nd, your chronicler is relying upon notes made by
Father Archabbot Bonaventure.
+++ Work continues, on schedule, with the new generator
that is being installed alongside our power plant.
+++ Brother John concluded the midweek retreat,
"Spiritual Heroes: Finding God's Word Alive in Our Neighbors," to
about a dozen participants at our Guest House and Retreat
(20) Father John Buckel, an alumnus and priest of
the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, died today. Many of our alumni
will know him as an extremely popular and effective teacher of New
Testament, and the author of several outline-type books on the
Scriptures that were carried by The Scholar Shop. John was ordained
in 1980. After earning his doctoral degree in Scripture, he taught
at Saint Meinrad from the late 1980s until 2002, when he left the
priesthood. John continued with this decision for several years,
but a few years ago he resumed his ministry as a priest in good
standing. As many of my readers know, John had been battling
Parkinson's Disease for well over a decade. May his soul, and those
of all the faithful departed, know God's mercy and peace!
+++ Brother Mauritius left today to begin his journey back
to Einsiedeln. We certainly enjoyed having another monk from our
mother abbey pray and work alongside us this past year. We look
forward to welcoming Brother Thomas from Einsiedeln in a few
months' time. He, too, will be taking a year of pastoral studies in
(21) Father Adrian is halfway through his weekend
retreat, "Practical Christianity," that he is offering to 16
participants at our Guest House and Retreat Center.
+++ The first two of our Seminary Class of 2011 were
ordained to the priesthood today in their home dioceses: Father
Jeffrey Estacio (Lexington) and Father Ryan Harpole (Owensboro).
Congratulations, and may God bless their prayer and work as
(22) Father Vincent is our Mass Heb on this
Fifth Sunday of Easter, but his opportunities to preside at our
Eucharist will be limited. The monastic community begins its
retreat tomorrow, and so from Tuesday through Friday we will have
different monks presiding and preaching at our Conventual
+++ Brother Elijah, one of our junior monks, preached at
the Monte Cassino rosary and procession this afternoon. Brother's
topic was "Mary, Mother of Mercy."
(23) Our retreat began with a nine o'clock
conference in the Chapter Room by Father Patrick Caveglia, OSB, of
Conception Abbey, Missouri. Father will be speaking on a variety of
monastic themes and concepts: individual growth and communal
responsibility, conversation and conversion, prayer and work.
(24) As mentioned, we have various monks
"hebdoming" at our Eucharist this week. This morning, Father
Edward, home from his parish in Chicago, presided and preached at
our 7:30 Conventual Mass.
(25) Father Patrick presided and preached at
our Mass this morning. Halfway through our retreat, we enjoyed a
"cookout/eat-in," featuring steak and trimmings, for our evening
(26) Father Mark, home for our retreat from his
neighboring parish of St. Mary's in Huntingburg, had to do some
"extra projecting" in his presiding and preaching at our Eucharist
this morning, as we were without power-that, having been disrupted
around 10 o'clock last night in the midst of a severe thunderstorm.
Our power company reports that about 26,000 of its customers are
without power and, while they are tending to lines and generators
as quickly as they can, we can expect to be without electricity for
at least a few more hours. It is an inconvenience, of course, but
it does serve to remind us in a very small way of the horrors the
weather has inflicted upon our Midwest neighbors, most recently
those of Joplin, Missouri. We prayed Vigils and Lauds this morning
with the aid of pocket flashlights, and (on the part of some) keen
memories, and our praying-as-usual-but-in-an-unusual-way gently
reminded us of those who need our prayers. The power returned just
before one o'clock this afternoon, and so we move back into the
routine, trying-at least for a while longer this time-not to take
everything for granted.
(27) Our retreat concluded this morning, with a
morning conference followed by our Eucharist, at which our retreat
director, Father Patrick Caveglia, OSB, of Conception Abbey,
Missouri, presided and preached. As is our custom, we renewed our
vows after the gospel and homily.
+++ Father Benedict went to the Jasper hospital early this
morning for scheduled surgery: the amputation of his remaining leg.
He came through the surgery fine and, after a few days in the
hospital, should be returning to his room in our infirmary. Those
who know Father know he has a ferocious and humorous spirit, and
both are already in evidence as he begins his recovery from this
+++ Brother Luke, one of our junior monks, departed for
our mother abbey in Switzerland this morning, via Dulles
International Airport, Toronto and, finally, Zurich. Besides being
his first visit to Einsiedeln, this is also Brother Luke's first
"long" flight and his first time in Europe. He'll be sharing in the
prayer and work of Einsiedeln until early August. We wish him a
splendid summer of many good and blessed "firsts."
(28) Many monks, alumni and Saint Meinrad
seminarians found themselves at the same place, but some 200+ miles
north of Saint Meinrad this morning. Fathers Prior Kurt, Godfrey
and Denis were among a holy hill contingent witnessing the final
oaths of two of our Glenmary seminarians: Crispine Adagio and Aaron
Wessman. The ceremony, in the context of the Eucharist, took place
at Sacred Heart Church, not far from Glenmary's headquarters in
Fairfield, Ohio. An additional nine classmates and alumni traveled
the distance to celebrate with Crispine and Aaron. May God bless
them, and all who seek their vocation through the religious
(29) A fine day of celebration at Saint Meinrad
today, as our monastic community and many of our friends celebrated
the priesthood ordination anniversaries for four of our confreres.
Fathers Timothy Sweeney and Meinrad Brune celebrated 50 years of
ordination, and Fathers Subprior Guerric and Harry celebrated 25.
Congratulations, jubilarians, and ad multos
+++ Father Denis gave this May's homily at the final
rosary and procession at Monte Cassino: "Mary, Queen of Peace."
(30) Father Abbot Justin presided and preached
at our jubilee celebration yesterday, and so Father Bede began his
week's work as our Heb this morning.
+++ On this Memorial Day, we remember in prayer and with
gratitude those men and women who have served, and who serve now,
in our country's armed forces. For those on active duty, we pray
for their safety and for the peace of their family and friends. We
remember also those priests and religious who have served or do
serve as chaplains in our military. Our monastic community has a
history of allowing a number of our priests through the years to
serve our soldiers, sailors and airmen. God's blessings on them
all, as we continue to pray for peace.
+++ Father Benedict returned home to his infirmary cell
this afternoon, minus a "few pounds of flesh" as he would say, but
still full of enthusiasm and good spirits. We pray for a speedy
(31) Father Bede, our Mass Heb, presided and
preached this morning on this memorial of the Visitation of
+++ Anushka Fonseka, our newest candidate, has arrived and
is in the process of getting some "introductory details" worked
out: moving into his cell, getting measured for a monastic habit
and the like. Anushka is from Sri Lanka, has been in contact with
us for some time, has lived with us for short periods several
times, and has been delayed in beginning actual residence with us
due to passport and visa difficulties. Those have been resolved,
and so we now welcome him into a formal period of candidacy lasting
two months, with the hope that he will enter novitiate on August
Quote of the Month
We ask God's blessings on our readers, and pray for a safe,
peaceful and blessed summer for all of us! We conclude our monthly
report with a quote from the Rule of St. Benedict:
"A wise old monk should be stationed at the gate of the
monastery. He should know how to listen to people and also how to
speak to them; his age should prevent him from wandering about….
Filled with the gentleness of the fear of God, he must quickly
respond in the warmth of charity."
Chapter 66, "The Porters of the Monastery"
Translation by Fr. Terence Kardong, OSB, monk of Assumption