Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

August 2014

Week of August 3  

Our confrere, Father Prior Cassian of Norcia, was with us for the weekend. He was accompanied by a junior monk of Norcia, Brother Placid De Wogo. Brother Placid is from Indonesia. He will be staying with us for about a month to improve his English. He is anticipating professing his solemn vows at Norcia this coming October.

Among our other guests this weekend were 40+ guests of the Diocese of Memphis diaconate community, making their retreat, and about four dozen students and staff of St. Xavier High School in Louisville.

Father Tobias was our Mass Heb for a week, which included several special liturgical celebrations. Before Vespers on Tuesday evening, Candidates John Avery and Charles Peñalosa received the scapular and so began their novitiate. At Vespers Wednesday evening, the feast of the Transfiguration, Novice Dane DeDecker made his simple vows, professing obedience, stability andconversatiofor a period of three years. Novice Dane is now Brother André. We congratulate him and welcome him more fully into our house as he takes another step along the path of God's commands!

On Thursday, August 7, we observed the one-year anniversary of the death of Father Richard Hindel. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, know God's mercy and peace!

Week of August 10  

Father Joseph was our Mass Heb for this 19th Sunday (and week) in Ordinary Time. On Friday of this week, the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, Mother of God, he preached at the Conventual Mass, at which Father Abbot Justin presided.

Friday was also the actual date of Father Raymond's monastic profession in 1964. We celebrated his (and other jubilarians') anniversaries last month, but again wish him congratulations andad multos annos!

This weekend saw another round of some of our lay degree students returning to class. Courses and professors included "Ancient Philosophy" by Dr. Dan Kolb, "Ministry to the Sick, Dying, and Bereaved" by Fr. Tom Richstatter, OFM, "Synoptics, Acts, and General Epistles" by Dr. Clayton Jefford, and "Spirituality and Ecumenism" by Fr. Adrian Burke.

Week of August 17    

Father Harry was our Mass Heb for this 20th Sunday (and week) in Ordinary Time. This week the Hill's population increased a bit, as those seminarians working on the orientation staff returned to arrange welcomes and greetings to our new students. As is usual, everyone is asking "what happened to the summer?" The first day of classes in the seminary is Tuesday, September 2.

Among the larger groups visiting us this past week were 20 guests from St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Carmel, Indiana, making a staff retreat, and 15 members of the parish council of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Louisville, making a weekend retreat.

 Week of August 24  

Father Edward was our Mass Heb on this 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time and throughout the week. As he's been working in a parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago the past 12 years, it was good to have him preside for and preach to us once again!

This week also marked "Orientation Week" for our 29 new seminarians. The dozen or so seminarians on the orientation staff returned a few days early, of course, to get things organized and tend to the many details. Classes begin on Tuesday, September 2.

At week's end, our Guest House and Retreat Center hosted 42 guests from the Diocese of Salina, Kansas, making a several-day pilgrimage.

And we pray for the eternal rest of David, the brother of Sister Diane Pharo, SCN, who passed away the evening of August 24, after a long battle with cancer. Sister Diane is the director of our Student Counseling Center. May David, and all the faithful departed, rest in the loving embrace of the Father of us all.

Finally-and happily-we welcomed our Father Thomas Gricoski back home from his studies in Leuven. Father Thomas has a bit more to finish on his dissertation, but he hopes to complete everything and make his defense for the doctorate in mid-December. He is also looking ahead to teaching a first course for our first-year philosophy seminarians in January. Welcome home, Father Thomas!

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.