First Week of May
Father Joseph was our Mass Heb for this Third Sunday and week of
Easter. Monday evening we bade a "formal farewell" to our "visiting
Benedictines"-the eight monks from other monasteries who have been
studying at our seminary and living in our house. Of these eight,
seven will be returning in the fall to continue their studies.
Brother Macario Martinez of Conception Abbey, Missouri, however,
will be leaving us "for good," returning to his monastery for
ordination to the priesthood at the end of the month and his
assigned ministry there.
Thursday and Friday of this week were final class and exam days.
The library seemed busier than usual, as students scrambled to turn
in reports and papers and study for "the final."
On Saturday our Seminary and School of Theology awarded 69
degrees! In our Lay Degree Programs, 11 students received the
Master of Arts in Theology, 6 the Master of Theological Studies,
and 7 the Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology. Having completed
their two-year full-time studies in our Seminary Program, 24
seminarians received the Master of Arts in Catholic Philosophical
Studies. (Among this group was our Brother Peduru.) And each of the
21 members of our deacon class received the Master of Divinity
Congratulations to all our graduates! Most of our seminarians
had left by the end of the day, and most of our deacon graduates
have anywhere from two weeks to two months prior to their
ordination to the priesthood. (Our two deacon-seminarians from the
Diocese of Busan, South Korea, and our deacon-seminarian from the
Diocese of Palayamkottai, India, will be ordained in December.) We
were pleased to have the Most Reverend Michael Hoeppner, DD, bishop
of Crookston, as the presider and homilist at our Graduation Mass
and as our commencement speaker.
Second Week of May
Father Harry was our Mass Heb for this Fourth Sunday and week of
Easter. Twice during the week-on Sunday and on Wednesday, the feast
of the Apostle Matthias-our Brother Luke assisted as deacon at the
Conventual Mass. On Wednesday he preached, his first time in the
The Seminary and School of Theology faculty enjoyed an
end-of-the-school-year social and dinner Thursday evening. A
highlight of the gathering this year was the official announcement
that Mr. Gil Ring is now granted "professor emeritus" status. This
privilege continues to provide him with a faculty office, and
allows him to continue to offer courses as he so desires. The
faculty presented Gil and his wife, Gail, with a gift certificate
to enjoy at the French Lick resort hotel and area. We thank Gil for
his 34 years of faithful service to our students and our
We had many visitors over the weekend of the
17th-18th. In addition to several retreat
groups, 39 lay degree students continued work on their degree
programs by taking one of the following courses: "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
Third Week of May
Father Denis was our Mass Heb for this Fifth Sunday and week of
Our annual retreat began Monday morning. Father Abbot suggested
we have a more relaxed schedule during these days, to encourage
prayer and holy reading, and so we followed a modified Sunday
schedule. Following breakfast we prayed Vigils/Lauds at 7:15, and
then had the first conference at 9:30. Our Conventual Mass was at
11:00, which we concluded with a modified form of Midday Prayer.
The afternoon conference was scheduled for 3:00. During the
retreat, we took all of our meals in the Newman Dining Room-a
change of peace, which also allowed us to luxury of a hot breakfast
each day!-although on Wednesday evening we returned to our
refectory for a "cook-out/eat-in."
Father Ron Knott, priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville,
alumnus, and founding director of our Institute for Priests and
Presbyterates, was our retreat master, and his conferences were
well received. He graciously offered to make the texts of his talks
available for those who might have difficulty hearing, and 30 monks
signed up to receive copies! That's not a reflection on the
"auditory capabilities" of our community, of course, but, rather,
an indication of the interest his conferences generated. Our
retreat ended Friday morning. Mass Heb Father Denis presided at the
Eucharist and Father Ron preached. As is our custom, we renewed our
vows by signing the Suscipe before the Preparation of the
Fourth Week of May
Subprior Guerric was our Mass Heb for this Sixth Sunday and week
of Easter, but we began the week on a special note. We celebrated
the ordination anniversaries of four of our confreres: Father
Cletus Miller (70 years), Father Benedict Meyer (60 years),
Archbishop Daniel Buechlein (50 years), and Father Louis Mulcahy
(25 years). Archabbot Justin presided at the 10 o'clock Conventual
Mass and preached. Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin honored us
by his presence-all the more so since, as Abbot Justin mentioned in
his homily, the rest of the See City was involved in the annual 500
Race! The guests of our jubilarians joined us for our meals, as
well as an informal reception in the afternoon. To our four
jubilarians: ad multos annos!
Father Cletus was again honored Friday evening, as it was the
actual day of his ordination-70 years previously! In accord with
our practice, he was seated at the abbot's table at our evening
meal and we had special wine and colloquium in his honor.
Once again, Father Cletus, ad multos annos!
This is the fifth year that our Brother Martin Erspamer and Br.
Michael Moran, CP, have hosted the week-long "The Image as a Window
to the Spiritual: an artist's six-day hands-on workshop and
retreat." Twenty-three participants signed up for the workshop, a
number of them "repeats" from past years. The retreat has proven to
be a great way to get one's summer off to a creative start!