First Week of June
Father Tobias was our Mass Heb this Seventh Week of Easter. The
week began, however, with the Solemnity of the Ascension, an
O.A.-ranked feast, and so Father Abbot Justin presided and preached
at the Conventual Mass. By coincidence, that Sunday was also Abbot
Justin's feast day and so we had extra reason to celebrate.
Many guests on the hill this week! There were 100 priests and
personnel from the Louisville Archdiocese, who had gathered for
their annual presbyteral assembly. They were with us Monday through
Thursday noon. The very next day about 70 deacons and personnel
from Louisville arrived for their three-day retreat.
And, this was a Lay Degree Program weekend. Around 50 of our
students spent time with one of the following: "Ethics and Natural
Law," taught by Dr. Christopher Lutz; "The Apostolic Fathers" by
Dr. Clayton Jefford; "Pastoral Care and Counseling" by Dr. Ryan
LaMothe; and "Prayer and Community" by Brother Zachary, OSB.
Second Week of June
Father Bede was our Mass Heb in this week of returning to
Ordinary Time. Sunday, of course, was the Solemnity of Pentecost,
and so Abbot Justin presided at the Conventual Mass. At his
invitation, Father Bede preached. We have three young men present
for our Benedictine Scholars program, which runs through July; in
addition our interns for "One Bread, One Cup"have arrived.
We certainly welcome them-and try to make them feel a part of us
by having them take some extra parts in our various liturgies. At
our Eucharist and at Second Vespers on Pentecost, we drafted
several scholars and interns to serve as cross and candle bearers,
miter and crozier assistants, ….
Father Gregory Chamberlin died Tuesday morning around 4:30.
Father Abbot was with him. Father Gregory had been in our infirmary
since mid-January, suffering from pancreatic cancer. During his
last weeks in our infirmary, Father Gregory experienced
considerable discomfort and pain. Those visiting and caring for him
experienced his admirable spirit-a spirit determined to approach
death with gratitude for a full life and faithful friends, a spirit
unmistakably reflecting his faith in the eternal life promised by
Christ the Good Shepherd.
We received Father Gregory's body after Midday Prayer on
Thursday, and prayed the Office of the Dead at seven that evening,
with Father Prior Kurt presiding and Father Godfrey offering the
remembrance. Father Abbot Justin presided and preached at the
funeral Mass and burial Friday morning.
We were privileged to have Evansville Bishop Charles Thompson
concelebrate (Father Gregory's last assignment was rector of St.
Benedict's Cathedral, Evansville, an assignment he held for over 20
years), as well as over a dozen priests from the Indianapolis and
Among the groups we welcomed at the close of the week were 50
members of Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, Tennessee.
Their Joyful Noise Youth Choir enjoyed a weekend retreat on the
Third Week of June
Father Guy was our Mass Heb this week, although his duties did
not begin until Monday. Sunday was Trinity Sunday, a solemnity
ranked as an O.P. Father Prior Kurt invited Abbot Lambert to
preside and preach for the occasion.
Father Damian Schmelz began this week at Jasper Hospital, being
evaluated for some heart-related issues. In fact he did undergo a
heart catheterization on Tuesday. The procedure went well and he is
feeling better-and more energized.
Upon his release from the hospital Wednesday morning, he moved
into our infirmary for a few days-as a precaution and to assure a
bit of extra rest. He did return to his parish at St. Henry each
day to take care of paperwork and the like. Several confreres
covered the parish during the two weekends he was away.
About 50 of our lay degree students were on the hill Friday
through Sunday, completing another segment of their weekend
Fourth Week of June
The week began with the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, an
O.P.-ranked feast. Father Prior Kurt presided at the Conventual
Eucharist and Father Christian preached. Joining us for the Sunday
Eucharist were many of our lay degree students and the "One Bread
One Cup" interns, eager to begin another session.
We celebrated another solemnity on Tuesday, the Birth of St.
John the Baptist. This is also an O.P.-ranked feast; Father Prior
Kurt presided and preached.
Thursday morning Father Abbot Justin left for the meeting of the
General Chapter at Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, California.
The General Chapter, held usually every three years, brings the
abbots and elected delegates from each monastery together to
discuss spiritual, financial and practical concerns related to the
Abbot Justin will be returning to Saint Meinrad Monday evening,
June 30. Prior Kurt was the elected delegate to attend the meeting
with him. He had his bags packed, but a tooth abscess (and
subsequent root canal) kept him here on the hill for the duration.
It would have been a bit of a nightmare to have an abscess flare up
on a cross-country flight!
Among our guests this week were about a hundred priests and
personnel from the Indianapolis Archdiocese, taking part in their
presbyteral assembly. We welcome our brothers from the See
And yet another solemnity on Friday, the Sacred Heart. Father
Subprior Guerric presided and preached at the Conventual Mass.
On Sunday, June 29, we celebrated the seventh and last solemnity
of the month, that of the Saints Peter and Paul. An O.A.-ranked
feast, Father Subprior stepped in to preside in the abbot's
absence; Father Meinrad delivered the homily. And Sunday evening we
welcomed the Most Rev. Paul Etienne, Bishop of Cheyenne, who will
be staying with us for a few days of prayer and recollection.