Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

April 2013

(1) We continued our celebration of Easter! This Easter Monday is ranked as an O.P., and our Sunday schedule helped us relax a bit after the various celebrations of yesterday's solemnity. Father Prior Kurt presided and preached at our 9:30 Conventual Eucharist, and we enjoyed colloquium at our main meal today at noon. Ice cream treats at supper rounded things out nicely. We'll tone things down a bit for the remainder of the week, although there will still be the alleluias, Glorias, and Easter sequence in church, and the refectory tables full of Easter candies and pastries will last a few more days.

(2) Easter Tuesday is one of the two days we celebrate as an O.S. (December 27 being the other); Father Subprior Guerric presided and preached. We're back on our weekday schedule, but we did honor the day with colloquium at our evening meal. +++ Our seminarians have returned from their Easter break. For many of them, of course, it was very much a "working break" as they were involved in the Holy Week and Triduum liturgies in their parishes.

(3) Now that the days immediately after Easter (with their rankings of O.P. and O.S.) have passed, Father Colman has begun his duties as Mass Heb.

(4) For the first time in many a year, the Stars and Stripes are flying over the hill-at night. This afternoon our physical facilities crew finished installing the lighting that will allow us to fly the flag 24/7. Since this past September 11, teams of seminarians have taken turns raising and lowering Old Glory each weekday. We're grateful for their faithful service these past months, and discharge them honorably from these duties.

(5) We're looking forward to a big weekend on the hill. Family members and friends of our seminarians who will be ordained to the diaconate tomorrow have begun to arrive, and the final preparations for liturgy, music and meals are under way.

(6) Archbishop Joseph Tobin ordained eight of our third-year theology seminarians to the diaconate this morning: Daniel Bedel, David Marcotte, Benjamin Syberg, and Timothy Wyciskalla (Archdiocese of Indianapolis); Gwant-Woo (Elijah) Cho and Chul-Min (Michael) Moon (Diocese of Busan, South Korea); Mauricio Abeldano Flores (Diocese of Memphis), and Xavier Raj Yesudasan (Diocese of Palayamkottai, India). Congratulations to these men, and to their classmates who will be ordained in their home dioceses later this spring and summer!

(7) Father Brendan is our Mass Heb on this Second Sunday (and week) of Easter, presiding and preaching at our 9:30 Conventual Mass. We enjoyed having guests of several of the newly ordained deacons join us for Mass this morning. Most will be returning to their homes today and tomorrow.

(8) We celebrated the transferred feast of the Annunciation today (it fell this year on Monday of Holy Week and, as is customary in such cases, was moved to after Easter). An O.P.-ranked feast, Father Prior Kurt presided and Brother Victor, a monk and deacon from Conception Abbey studying with us these past years, preached. Brother Victor will be ordained to the priesthood this summer. Though today is a solemnity, we followed our weekday schedule, and so enjoyed colloquium at our evening meal.

(9) Shouts of rejoicing could be heard from various sectors of our campus today, as the air conditioning was turned on! After several weeks of rather cold temperatures and high winds, things are warming up: the forecast for most of the next 10 days calls for 70 degrees…and occasionally 80.

(10) This evening we had the 25th Annual Service Recognition Banquet, during which we honored 75 active co-workers and 57 retirees who have 25 years or more of service. Fr. Adrian Burke, OSB, former business manager/treasurer, spoke at the banquet, and 10 co-workers received extra-special recognition. We are blessed to have such faithful and competent co-workers, and it is our privilege to recognize them with a special evening!

(11) Father Abbot left early this morning for Marmion Abbey in Aurora, Illinois, to attend a meeting of the Abbot President's Council.

(12) Among visitors to our hill these days are 16 men from St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Indianapolis making a several-day retreat, and 13 individuals from Holy Trinity Catholic Church and St. Anthony Catholic Church in Indianapolis, making their retreats. We welcome all pilgrims!

(13) About 20 of us enjoyed the last "monk lunch" at the present UnStable (Marty Gym). We look forward to moving into the new premises in Kleber Gym! +++ Congratulations to two more of our seminarians: William Thompson and Emmanuel Udoh were ordained to the diaconate this morning at St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro, Kentucky.

(14) Father Eugene is our Mass Heb on this Third Sunday (and week) of Easter. He was assisted by Deacon Todd Nance of the Diocese of Tulsa, who will be ordained to the priesthood at the end of May.

(15) Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. The TV rooms in the monastery were occupied a good part of the afternoon and evening.

(16) Our flag is flying at half-staff, in memory of the victims of yesterday's bombing. Our prayers continue-prayers for all victims of terrorism.

(17) Weather reports today called for watches for both thunderstorms and tornados. Fortunately, neither came to be.

(18) Our fourth-year seminarians enjoyed the annual "Black and White Dinner" this evening, hosted by the President-Rector. It's the last "big event" our upcoming ordinands and staff have to enjoy each other's company-and reminisce.

(19) About 60 lay degree students are arriving this evening and tomorrow morning for another round of weekend courses. Subjects and instructors are "Creed in History and Theology" by Dr. Richard Collins; "Book of Genesis" by Fr. Damian Dietlein, OSB; "Servant Leadership for Ministry" by Ms. Chris Urbanowski; "Ministry to Families" by Dr. Ryan LaMothe; and "Adult Religious Education" by Dr. Thomas Walters.

(20) While our lay degree students were hitting the books, dozens of seminarians, staff, faculty and monks were trying to hit the ball! This morning and afternoon witnessed the first major Softball Tourney in quite some time. Many played, some were victorious, all enjoyed the fine weather, the exercise, and the accompanying eats and drinks. Our infirmary staff is laying out extra jars of Vapor Rub for possible use tomorrow!

(21) Father Joseph is our Mass Heb on this Fourth Sunday (and week) of Easter. Once again, Deacon Todd Nance of the Diocese of Tulsa assisted at our 9:30 Eucharist.

(22) Father Eugene began offering the retreat "Biblical Models of Leadership and their Implications for Priesthood Today" to 11 priests at our Guest House and Retreat Center.

(23) We have two groups with us these next few days, making retreats. We welcome nine guests from Sacred Heart Parish in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, for their youth retreat, as we welcome also 13 guests of the Thermwood Corporation of nearby Dale, here for an international sales group meeting.

(24) Our "new" monastery is 31 years old and is showing signs of aging. We've begun some major repair work to the plumbing in and around our refectory and pantry. It's not clear at this point how extensive and how long this will be, and we're figuring out whether we'll have to find another place to have our meals for a while. Very practical concerns!

(25) On this feast of St. Mark, we celebrate the patronal feast day of Father Mark and Brother John Mark.

(26) Our Board of Overseers is meeting today and tomorrow-their annual spring enterprise. A special treat this time around is the official blessing and inauguration of the new UnStable, housed in Kleber Gym, now called the St. Martin Center.  +++  Although he is 94 years old and has been a monk for 73 years, this is Father Cletus Miller's first feast day with us. Father Cletus professed his vows as a monk of Saint Meinrad in 1939, and later transferred his stability to Blue Cloud Abbey, our foundation in South Dakota. Blue Cloud closed this past August and he and his confrere, (former) Abbot Alan, came to saint Meinrad and, this past December, were brought back into our Chapter. Happy Feast Day, Father Cletus!

(27) A "slight but steady" rain today, just about all day.  +++  Father Meinrad is taking Father Joseph's place as Mass Heb for the second consecutive day, as Father Joseph is off giving oblate retreats and attending oblate chapter meetings off the hill.

(28) Father Mark is our Mass Heb on this Fifth Sunday (and week) of Easter.  +++  We offer greetings to Father Louis Hacker, who today celebrates his patronal feast day. +++ Brother Zachary concluded offering the weekend retreat "Women of the Bible" to 16 participants at our Guest House and Retreat Center.

(29) On most Monday evenings we enjoy a "special dessert," as we move into the calefactory after supper for freshly baked cookies, small pies and the like. This evening we had a "special note" to the special dessert night, as we said farewell to the six confreres from other monasteries who have been with us this past year, studying in our seminary. Three of these confreres will be returning to us in August for the next academic year - Br. Philippe Tchalou, of Monastere de l'Incarnation, Togo, West Africa; Br. Macario Martinez, of Conception Abbey, Missouri; and Br. Simon Baker of Saint Benedict's Abbey, Atchison, Kansas. But we bid a longer-lasting farewell to Br. Victor Schinstock, of Conception Abbey, Missouri; Br. Philipp Steiner of Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland; and Br. Matthias Balz, of Münsterschwarzach Abbey, Germany. We wish our "visiting confreres" well, and ask God's blessings on their prayer and work this summer and beyond!

(30) On this last day of the month, I hand over "About the House" to Brother Francis, who will report on the various monastic goings and comings during May. This Sunday, the 5th, I will join Brother Maurus on a 12-day cruise on the Baltic Sea. It's a "first-ever" event for me. Those of you who know Brother Maurus will appreciate what I mean when I say, "He's stopped counting!" God's blessings to all!

We conclude with our monthly selection from the holy Rule:

A monk from a distant region may arrive for a visit and wish to live in the monastery as a guest. If he is satisfied with the local customs that he finds there and does not trouble the monastery with his excessive demands, he should be allowed to stay as long as he likes-provided he is satisfied with what he finds! If, however, he points out some shortcoming calmly and with loving humility, the abbot should consider the matter carefully. Indeed, the Lord may have sent him for that very purpose.

Chapter 61, "How Visiting Monks are to be Received"
Translation by Fr. Terence Kardong, OSB, monk of Assumption Abbey

Each day the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey write another page in the long history of Benedictine monks throughout the world. Here Father Prior Kurt reports on some of last month's events at Saint Meinrad.