(1) A beautiful day. The campus is quiet in this time
between the Alumni Reunion and the celebration of the investiture
of our soon-to-be Novice Dane on August 5 and the monastic
profession of our current Novices Bradley and Matthew on August 6.
Organist and PBS television host of "The Joy of Music," Diane Bish,
was recording in the Archabbey Church today as part of her PBS TV
show. Date for airing, TBA.
(2) Electricians working on the Hill accidentally broke
the water main to the monastery, so we were without water for a
time. It didn't take too long to restore, though the water was
discolored. Fr. Christian is home again. He has been visiting his
parents in northern Indiana.
(3) Candidate Dane, under Fr. Meinrad's direction, and
Novices Bradley and Matthew, under Fr. Adrian's direction, are on
retreat in preparation for entrance into the novitiate and first
profession. There was an organ concert in the Archabbey Church in
(4) Fr. Bede was the celebrant and homilist for this 18th
Sunday of the Year. Fr. Raymond arrived home from Washington, D.C.
to be part of our investiture and first profession celebrations in
the days ahead. Br. John Mark left today to give a workshop to the
Benedictine monks at the Abbey of Pannonhalma, Hungary. He will go
from there to Einsiedeln for a month.
(5) Today, Candidate Dane De Decker was invested with the
habit by Archabbot Justin before Vespers, thus beginning his year
of novitiate. Of course, this means that he received the corona
(tonsure). At dinner, we enjoyed colloquium (talking),
while Fr. Guerric, novice/junior master had dinner with Novice
Dane's family. There was a reception after Compline for Dane, his
guests and monks. Six Trappists (1 candidate, 3 novices and 2
formators) from Gethsemane arrived to participate in today's
celebration of the investiture and tomorrow's celebration of first
profession. Each year, our novices take a trip to observe the
Trappist life at Gethsemane for a couple of days. Two different
ways of living the Rule of St. Benedict. As part of their
ongoing retreat, Novices Bradley and Matthew had a "desert day"
with their retreat director, Fr. Adrian, in a local state
(6) Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration. Fr. Mark
presided and preached at the conventual Mass. At Vespers, our two
novices professed temporary vows. Novice Bradley became Brother
James. Novice Matthew became Brother William. There were many
guests; and, with the visiting Trappists and our monks who were
home, there were many people. We enjoyed a very nice dinner in the
Anselm Dining Room with the guests. There was also a reception
after Compline. Unfortunately, work on a new water main forced the
shutdown of water to the Guest House and some other buildings on
campus; but happily guests were shifted to Anselm and Bede, which
we were not affected.
(7) Fr. Richard passed away at about 4:30 p.m. His health
had been rapidly declining in the previous few days. The monks had
kept vigil with him in the early morning hours; but this was
discontinued when he seemed to stabilize. The vigil was supposed to
have started up again this evening, but he died peacefully. By
chance, Fr. Subprior Guerric had stopped in the room to check on
him and was with Fr. Richard when he passed away. May he rest in
(8) Funeral arrangements for Fr. Richard have come
together. Family and expositi have been contacted.
(9) Fr. Richard's body was received at the Entry Wing after
Noon Prayer. At 7 p.m., the body was transferred in procession to
the Archabbey Church, where we prayed the Office of the Dead. Fr.
Timothy offered the remembrance. Many co-workers were present.
(10) The funeral liturgy for Fr. Richard was celebrated at
10 a.m. Archabbot Justin presided and preached. After the burial,
we joined the guests for lunch in the Anselm Dining Room.
(11) Fr. Adrian presided and preached for the 19th Sunday
of the Year.
(12) A quiet day in the monastery. We have two diocesan
priests on retreat with us. Many monks are on vacation.
(13) We had two brief electrical outages today. In the
morning, we were transferred from our usual electrical supplier to
our campus generator; and then, in the afternoon, back again. This
was a test of the generator's operation. The outages were brief,
and normal power supply seemed present all day.
(14) A wonderfully cool and sunny day! Archabbot Justin
presided at First Vespers of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the
Virgin Mary. Many monks made solemn vows on this feast in the
(15) Archabbot Justin presided and preached at Mass for the
Assumption. Deacon John Huether, a Development Office co-worker and
college alumnus, assisted as deacon. He was very recently ordained
for the Diocese of Evansville. Our numbers were a bit low, so
co-workers served as candle and cross bearers; and a young guest
served as miter/crozier bearer. Fr. Barnabas, acting MC, fell early
this morning and sprained his ankle, so Br. Matthew filled in.
Helming Brothers continues some repairs on the roof and ducts of
(16) Retreatants have arrived for Fr. Vincent's weekend
retreat at the Guest House on simplicity. There are also weekend
courses in the Seminary and School of Theology. Many guests already
at Vespers this evening.
(17) Sunny and unseasonably cool weather. Fr. Cletus
celebrated his 95th birthday. He sat at the abbot's table for
dinner; and we all enjoyed colloquium (talking) and
birthday cake in his honor. Fr. Cletus recently rejoined Saint
Meinrad after many years at Blue Cloud Abbey, returning to the
monastery where he was professed many decades ago. He uses a
motorized cart to go long distances, but his mind is sharp and his
good humor constant. He is a great example to us all in his
fidelity to the common life and prayer.
(18) Fr. Guy presided and preached at the conventual Mass
on this 20th Sunday of the Year.
(19) Today is the feast day of Fr. Subprior Guerric. He
presided at our community liturgies today; in his honor, we enjoyed
colloquium at dinner.
(20) Today is the feast of Fr. Samuel, who has been on
assignment away from the monastery for several years.
(21) We celebrate today the patronal feast day of Fr. Pius.
The opening of the new school year must be near: five of our new
"visiting Benedictines" (student monks from other monasteries) have
arrived from Subiaco Abbey (Arkansas), Marmion Abbey (Illinois),
and St. Anselm Abbey (New Hampshire). A new student monk from Togo
is expected in a couple of days, after the usual trials of trying
to get a visa. Workers finished up the work on the exterior boxes
that cover the water pipes that were recently installed outside our
monastery refectory. The "great doors" on the entry of the
monastery received a fresh coating of varnish.
(22) Br. Maurus ended a midweek retreat at the Guest House
titled "St. Benedict's Way," with 17 participants. Tomorrow Fr.
Eugene will begin a weekend retreat for which there is a waiting
list. Obviously, he is an especially popular retreat director. The
new visiting Benedictines spent the day taking tours, getting their
laundry numbers and bags, meeting yet one more monk of our
(23) The monks were invited to a get-acquainted reception
with the new seminarians after Compline. A young man who was with
us for our "Monastic Observance" (a "come-and-see" week) in
December is back for a return visit this weekend.
(24) A number of the monks went over to Monastery
Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand this afternoon to celebrate the
golden jubilee of profession of six of the sisters.
(25) Twenty-first Sunday of the Year. Fr. Patrick presided
and preached at the conventual Mass. A new student monk, Br. David
N'Djam, arrived from Togo today, after some delay due to visa
complications. He had a very long flight: from Togo to Brazil to
Atlanta to Louisville! Today is the feast of Fr. Louis
(26) Hot and humid like August usually is! We finished our
book for table reading: Once Upon a Town by Bob Greene,
about the train station canteen at North Platte, Nebraska, that
served the service men and women who passed through there by train,
every day, throughout World War II. We started a new book, a recent
biography of St. Catherine of Siena.
(27) Late in the afternoon, a problem was discovered in a
steam pipe in Newman Hall, making it necessary to shut off the
boilers so that repairs could be made the next day. So the
residents of all of the buildings on the Hill, except the Guest
House and St. Bede Hall, can expect to wake up to cold showers in
the morning. Repairs are expected to be complete later in the day
on the 28th.
(28) The repairs were made, and the boilers were back up by
early afternoon. The feast day of Fr. Aurelius, Fr. Augustine, and
Br. Jacob. Fr. Aurelius lives in the Infirmary, where his physical
health is basically good though his mind is not. Fr. Augustine,
too, lives in the Infirmary, following a stroke several years ago,
but he gets around in his motorized cart; and he is a regular at
the Divine Office and conventual Mass. Br. Jacob is busy with
computers at the Press and offering some part-time assistance to
Group Accommodations in the school. He is a very regular
(29) A quiet day in the monastery, though the new student
monks have been busy with the new Spirituality Week program in the
seminary. As part of our table reading this evening, we heard one
of the "circular letters" from the Abbot Primate. The Benedictines
don't really have a superior general, like many of the other orders
have; but we do have an abbot primate in Rome who sort of
"oversees" the Benedictine world. Periodically, he sends out a
letter to all the monasteries with news from his many travels
around the world to visit the various communities and to give us
news of the Benedictine school in Rome, San Anselmo.
(30) The last of our returning "visiting" Benedictines, Br.
Simon from Atchison, KS, has arrived back, so our full contingent
of monk students is now complete. The seminarians have a Day of
Recollection on Labor Day, actually beginning on Sunday evening,
before classes begin. Archabbot Justin is giving the recollection
this year. Prior Kurt emails from Germany that he has arrived
safely for the second part of his sabbatical.
(31) A quiet, hot day. We are enjoying wonderful produce
from Fr. Colman's garden: tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, to name a
few. He has, a couple of times, fried up some green tomatoes for
lunch. Br. Martin, the assistant refectorian, buys us some fresh
fruit each week-whatever is in season-so we have been enjoying
peaches, nectarines, plums and cantaloupe. So far, no watermelon