(1) Today, for the Solemnity of All Saints, Archabbot Justin
presided and preached. We observed our Sunday schedule. The
seminary did not have classes, so the faculty and student monks
were free. Abbot John Brahill, OSB, abbot of Marmion Abbey, an
alumnus, arrived for a quick visit with the three monks from
Marmion who have begun studies here this semester.
(2) All Soul's Day. Archabbot Justin had to leave early for a
regular periodic visitation at Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas, so the
pro-prior, Fr. Mark, presided at Mass. We had our traditional
procession to the cemetery at the conclusion of Mass. It was a
beautiful morning. Fr. Adrian is leading a Guest House retreat on
the "Universal Call to Holiness" with 32 participants. Fr. Tobias
presided at Vespers in honor of his feast day (the holy man Tobias
from the Old Testament Book of Tobit).
(3) Sunday of the 31st Week of the Year. Fr. Guy presided and
preached. Two young men were visiting the monastery this week to
experience our life.
(4) The bishop of our two seminarians from the Diocese of
Palayamkottai, India, is visiting today. In the absence of the
abbot and the prior, Fr. Mark met with him to welcome him back to
(5) Fr. Prior Kurt returns from his sabbatical tomorrow to take
up his duties once again, and so this is the last entry by the
acting prior, Fr. Mark. Welcome home, Fr. Prior Kurt!
(6) From Fr. Prior Kurt… As Fr. Mark welcomes me back (he would
insist that he welcomes me back most enthusiastically!), I must
thank him for his most competent service as pro-prior these past
four months. And I thank him most enthusiastically, for I
received a wonderful gift from him when I entered the Prior's
Office this morning: a clean desk! I am grateful to him and to a
number of confreres whose generosity and willingness to take on
extra work allowed me a splendid sabbatical! +++ In Fr.
Abbot's absence, I presided at our culpa service in the
Chapter Room this afternoon. Fr. Patrick led us in a reflection on
Chapter 34 of the Rule, "On the Distribution of Goods
According to Need."
(7) In preparation for his eventual move into our monastery,
Abbot Denis Quinkert, the delegated superior of Blue Cloud Abbey in
Marvin, South Dakota, arrived this morning for a brief visit. He
brought with him some of his luggage, some luggage of Blue Cloud
monk Fr. John McMullen and several large boxes containing archival
material of Blue Cloud Abbey. Saint Meinrad founded Blue Cloud in
1950; it was raised to the status of an abbey in 1954. Last year,
after much prayer, reflection and consultation, the decision was
made to close the abbey. Last year we received two monks from Blue
Cloud: former abbot Alan Berndt and Fr. Cletus Miller. Readers of
"About the House" may recall that they were granted full chapter
status by the Saint Meinrad Chapter last December. Within the near
future, Abbot Denis and Fr. John will also be joining us; their
cells are being prepared even as I write! And Saint Meinrad
Archabbey will assume responsibility for organizing and maintaining
the archives of Blue Cloud Abbey.
(8) After supper this evening, a handful of monks went over to
Forest Park High School in Ferdinand to enjoy Shakespeare's "A
Comedy of Errors," performed by The National Players. Another
handful will be going over tomorrow to enjoy The Players'
production of Homer's "Odyssey." +++ Father Abbot has
returned from Subiaco Abbey, Arkansas, where he was taking part in
that community's regular visitation.
(9) The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica is an O.P.-ranked
feast, and so Fr. Prior Kurt presided at today's Conventual Mass
and the hours of the Divine Office. Br. Macario Martinez, a monk of
Conception Abbey studying in our seminary, preached at the
monastery Mass. +++ A group of seven Tibetan Buddhist
monks from Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery in Dehradun, India, are
touring the United States, sharing their culture and religion with
various audiences. They visited Saint Meinrad this morning, giving
a presentation in the St. Gregory Gallery, after which they joined
us in the Archabbey Church for Midday Prayer.
(10) Fr. Vincent is our Mass Heb on this 32nd Sunday (and week)
of Ordinary Time; he presided and preached at our 9:30 Conventual
Mass, assisted by Deacon Will Thompson, a seminarian of the Diocese
of Owensboro. +++ Fr. Adrian concluded offering the
weekend retreat, "Listening to God with a Discerning Ear," to 63
(11) We celebrate the feast day today of Br. Martin. +++
Father Abbot Justin left early this morning for Baltimore. He
is among our people hosting the traditional "Saint Meinrad
Reception and Dinner" for a number of bishops whose students are
attending our seminary.
(12) Today we celebrate the feast day of Br. Theodore Haggerty,
a monk of Marmion Abbey, who is a first-year philosophy student in
(13) Forty-two students from Our Lady of Providence High School,
Clarksville, Indiana, arrived yesterday to begin a retreat. They
will be residing in St. Bede Hall until the retreat concludes at
noon on Friday.
(14) Ordinarily we don't celebrate birthdays in the monastery
(just feast days and jubilee anniversaries). But we do make
exceptions in special cases, and today is one of those special
times. Fr. Rupert celebrates his 92nd birthday today! He joined the
superiors at the abbot's table for supper, and we had a birthday
cake and colloquium in his honor. Happy birthday, Fr.
Rupert, and ad multos annos!
(15) Our junior monks hosted a "belated feast day party" for Br.
Theodore Haggerty at the Placidium this evening after
Compline. As noted above, Br. Theodore's feast day was on the
twelfth. +++ Late last night Father Prior Kurt picked
up Fr. Ephrem at the Louisville airport. Fr. Ephrem had a long day:
Rome to Amsterdam to Atlanta to Louisville. They arrived on the
hill just after midnight this morning. Fr. Ephrem will be with us
until January, when he will return to Rome to teach at the
Patristic Institute of the Augustinianum for the second semester.
We welcome him back to the hill!
(16) About 35 monks enjoyed a pizza lunch at The UnStable today.
Fathers Prior Kurt and Patrick and Novice Dane worked with
seminarians Deacon Tim Wyciskalla and second-year theology
seminarian James Brockmeier (both of Indianapolis) to serve some 18
pizzas. +++ Fifty-four members of Holy Spirit Parish,
Louisville, made a Confirmation Retreat on the hill today.
Third-year theology seminarian Shayne Duvall of the Archdiocese of
Louisville was their director.
(17) Fr. Eugene, our Mass Heb on this 33rd Sunday (and week) in
Ordinary Time, presided and preached at our 9:30 a.m. Conventual
Mass. +++ Shortly after three o'clock this afternoon,
the tornado siren blared away. As some monks took precautionary
cover in the basement, others went to the infirmary in case
assistance with our bedridden confreres would be necessary, and a
few kept a watchful eye on the storm's progress as tracked by TV.
There were a few close encounters-perhaps 15 or so miles from the
hill-but, fortunately, we had only a lot of rain and strong winds.
This "tornado Sunday" resulted in eight deaths in Illinois and
Michigan, plus millions of dollars of damage to homes and
properties. We keep especially those who suffer the loss of family
and friends in our prayers.
(18) About 90 Conventual Franciscan Friars from Mt. Saint
Francis, Indiana, have arrived for their retreat. They'll be with
us through the 21st. +++ Monday evening, and so we
enjoyed our "special desserts and recreation" in the calefactory
after supper. This evening we were also treated during the evening
meal to several special cheeses, provided through the kindness of
(19) An "unremarkable day," at least as far as the public record
goes. We continue to have chilly mornings and nights, and
(20) Fr. Eugene, our Mass Heb, preached at the Conventual Mass
this morning. +++ Fr. Abbot Justin offered a conference
in the Chapter Room at three o'clock.
(21) Seems as though not much is going on besides the
weather-and our students getting ready for their Thanksgiving
break, which begins after their last class tomorrow. As for the
weather, it's somewhat balmy, with an on-again/off-again
(22) Fr. Eugene, our Mass Heb, offered a most appropriate
introduction to today's liturgy. He noted that as our Church
celebrates the martyrdom of St. Cecelia, our country commemorates
the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John
Kennedy. "It is an appropriate day," Fr. Eugene suggested, "to
remember and pray for all victims of violence." Observing the
anniversary, and at the request of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis
(who was responding to a request from the U.S. Conference of
Mayors), we were one of countless churches throughout the country
who, at 1:15 EST this afternoon, pealed our bells for one minute,
in memory of our 35th president.
(23) Twenty-one participants-14 students and 7 adults-from St.
John's Catholic Church in Loogootee are here today and tomorrow for
a Confirmation Retreat. Also on the hill this weekend are seven
participants from nearby Tell City, making a women's retreat.
(24) This solemnity of Christ the King is an O.P.-ranked feast,
and so Fr. Prior Kurt presided and preached. This was also our
annual "Co-worker Mass and Reception" Day. After the Eucharist,
many of our co-workers and their spouses enjoyed, with a number of
monks, a reception in the Alumni Commons. We're most grateful to
the many men and women whose work, skills and care we rely upon
every day. These people keep Saint Meinrad going, and we thank
(25) As noted, Fr. Prior Kurt presided at Mass yesterday, the
Solemnity of Christ the King. Fr. Pius resumed "ordinary" Mass Heb
duties today, and will finish out this 34th (and last) week in
(26) Fr. Abbot Justin was in Indianapolis today, offering a
pre-Advent Day of Recollection for the archdiocesan presbyterate.
+++ Some sporadic snow flurries this morning and
afternoon-our first snow of the season-but no accumulation, which
is just fine, as there's still quite a bit of traveling to do
(27) One of our traditions is to do a little celebrating on
Thanksgiving eve. After dinner we gathered in the calefactory to
enjoy some cheeses, breads and wines. We concluded with a slightly
later-than-usual Compline, at 7:15.
(28) Thanksgiving Day! Fr. Pius, our Mass Heb, presided and
preached, beginning his homily by reading the decree of William
Radford, which marked the thanksgiving feast at the Pilgrim Rock
colony in 1623. We enjoyed our Sunday schedule today and, with a
number of guests, feasted on turkey 'n trimmings in the Anselm
Dining Room for our noonday meal.
(29) This day after Thanksgiving has been very quiet indeed!
+++ A handful of our seminarians are spending at least
part of their break here on the hill. This afternoon they enjoyed
Fr. Ron Knott's hospitality in Louisville-dinner and a movie, I'm
told. Fr. Ron has been hosting the "orphan seminarians"-those too
far away from home to travel during these few days-for several
years now. His graciousness is much appreciated!
(30) Fr. Pius finished his week as our Mass Heb and preached on
this feast of Andrew the Apostle. +++ Many of our
readers are interested in what we're reading at our evening meal in
the monastery. This evening we put our "regular" reading on hold
for a while. During the Advent season, after the standard
selections from the Rule, Martyrology and
Necrology, we'll hear a brief selection for the day from
Caryll Houselander's and Thomas Hoffman's Advent, Christmas,
and Epiphany, and then proceed to our longer Advent reading,
taken from Paula Gooder's The Meaning is in the Waiting: the
Spirit of Advent.
I wish our readers a "calm and joyful" Advent. As we await the
coming Christ-as-Child, may our eyes and hearts be open to the many
subtle ways God makes His presence known in our lives each day.