Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

May 2014

 

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 degree.

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 Archabbey Church.

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 school!

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 Zachary, OSB.          

Third Week of May

Father Denis was our Mass Heb for this Fifth Sunday and week of Easter.

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 Gifts.

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!

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.