First Week of November
All Souls' Day fell on Sunday this year,
and our commemoration of all the faithful departed took place with
Archabbot Justin presiding at Mass in the Archabbey Church.
Seminarian Michael Charles Ajigo Abiero (Diocese of Owensboro)
assisted as deacon, and Father Ephrem delivered the homily. The
celebration concluded with the customary procession of monks and
guests to the cemetery. In the evening, in accordance with
long-standing tradition, the seminarians processed to the cemetery
to honor and pray for those monks who faithfully labored as "living
stones" to build the firm foundation on which Saint Meinrad
Father Patrick was our Mass Heb for this
31st Week of Ordinary Time. On Monday, we helped Brother
Benedict celebrate his 95th birthday. Brother Benedict,
who resides in our infirmary and typically takes his meals there,
joined us in the monastery refectory for the occasion, taking a
seat of honor at the abbot's table. The community celebrated with
cake and colloquium. Ad multos annos, Brother
Archabbot Justin announced four
appointments during the week. Father Christian, after returning
from graduate studies at The Catholic University of America this
fall, will take up teaching and faculty responsibilities in the
Seminary and School of Theology for the second semester. Meanwhile,
Father Edward will finish his work with the Institute for Priests
and Presbyterates in early December, and shortly thereafter head to
Rome, where he will fill a new position as coordinator of guest
services at Sant' Anselmo, a Benedictine house of studies.
Additionally, Father Noël, who has been
serving as secretary to the archabbot, will take up residence in
the school January 1 to serve on the formation staff there.
Meanwhile, Brother Francis has been appointed to the secretary post
effective January 1. He will leave his position at the Abbey Press,
but will continue to write for the Publications Division, and also
continue his work with the oblate program and in the ministry of
Second Week of
Father Edward was our Mass Heb for this
32nd Week of Ordinary Time, also serving as presider and
homilist for Sunday's Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran
Basilica. Seminarian Andy Syberg (Archdiocese of Indianapolis)
assisted as deacon.
On Sunday in Chicago, Father Anthony
received the National Religious Vocation Conference Recognition
Award during the closing banquet for the 25th Jubilee
Convocation. While he was a member of the NRVC Board, he served on
the executive, finance and editorial committees, among others.
Father Subprior Guerric and Brother John Mark, who gave several
presentations at the conference, were also present.
Congratulations, Father Anthony!
During the first part of the week,
Archabbot Justin and Father Denis, president-rector of the Seminary
and School of Theology, attended the dinner for Saint Meinrad's
client bishops during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Fall
General Assembly in Baltimore.
Work continues on the replacement of
heating and cooling lines between St. Gregory Hall and the
Archabbey Library. Since this project has created a rather large
(and deep) pit, the Great Sidewalk in that area (directly to the
south of the Memorial Lobby steps) is closed to all vehicle and
pedestrian traffic during regular work days. Each evening, a
temporary bridge is placed over the chasm to allow pedestrian
passage. This situation is likely to be in effect for some time, so
getting from one side of campus to the other outside during the day
(on the west side of the Archabbey complex, anyway) requires some
Archabbot Justin announced this week that,
with his agreement, Archbishop Tobin has appointed Father Timothy
as administrator of St. Isidore in Bristow and St. Martin in
Siberia, with residence at St. Isidore. The appointment is
effective November 26, and Father Timothy will continue his work in
the archives here on the Hill.
On Friday, we honored Father Rupert on the
occasion of his 93rd birthday! Father Rupert, who is
still going strong, took a seat at the abbot's table for the
evening meal, and the entire community celebrated with cake and
colloquium. Ad multos annos, Father Rupert!
We were saddened to learn of the sudden
passing of Colette Kennett, 63, who was the energetic director of
Saint Meinrad's "One Bread, One Cup" program from 2010 to 2013.
Colette died Thursday in her home in West Baden, Illinois, where
the funeral Mass was held on Monday, November 17. May she and all
the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Third Week of November
Father Jeremy was our Mass Heb on this
33rd Sunday and Week of Ordinary Time. Brother Maurus
and Father Prior Kurt returned to the hill after enjoying their
11-day pilgrimage through Eastern Europe. Father Prior resumed the
"About the House" entries-and thanks Brother Francis for filling in
so competently during his absence!
Father Denis Quinkert had a successful knee
replacement at Jasper Hospital early in the week but, due to some
complications, was transferred to Jewish Hospital in
Brent Stamey, our primary organist, joined
us in our refectory for supper and then in our calefactory for
special desserts Monday evening. Brent will be married on November
29, and he and his wife will reside in Bloomington, Indiana. We
congratulate Brent on his marriage, and are glad he'll continue to
play for our liturgies on special feasts and on the weekends.
On Friday evening, Fathers Abbot and Prior,
on behalf of the monastic community, hosted our health care and
infirmary co-workers at a pizza buffet at The UnStable. This is the
fourth year we've held this special gathering, and we've been told
by our nurses in no uncertain terms to keep it going! About 14
pizzas were made by Fathers Prior Kurt and Patrick and Brothers
John Mark and James.
Each of our infirmary co-workers received a
work of pottery fashioned by Brother Martin, and they and their
spouse or guest took home a loaf of bread from the Abbey Bakery. We
are grateful for the expert care these women provide in helping us
keep fit in both body and soul!
Fourth Week of
On Sunday we celebrated the Solemnity of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Father Prior Kurt
presided and preached. We also held our annual Co-workers'
Reception and Appreciation Gathering: about a hundred of our
co-workers and their spouses and guests joined us for the
Eucharist, and then for a reception in the Alumni Commons. We
continue to give thanks-as we continue to realize how blessed we
are with the generous and competent service of our many
Father Julian assumed the duties of Mass
Heb on Monday. He presided and preached at the Conventual Mass on
Thanksgiving Day. We followed our Sunday schedule that day, which
allows for a bit of extra sleep and has us sitting down to the main
meal at midday-and a fine meal it was, which we enjoyed in the
dining room in St. Anselm Hall with about 30 seminarians and family
members of several monks.
On Thanksgiving eve, we held our "Occasion
of Appreciation," an opportunity to enjoy some fine wines, cheeses
and other specialties after supper, while a monk-this year, it was
Father Thomas, still considered "newly returned" from his graduate
studies at Leuven University in Belgium-reflects on "thanksgiving"
and some of the many reasons we as a community have to be
This week also saw the return of two of our
confreres: Archabbot Lambert, who has returned home after serving
six months as chaplain to the Carmelite Sisters in Denmark,
Wisconsin, and Brother Matthew, on a Thanksgiving and Christmas
break from his graduate studies at the University of Toronto.
Father Raymond, a professor at The Catholic University in
Washington, D.C., was also with us for a few days.
In our December edition of "About the
House," we will begin with the last day of November-a Sunday that
introduces the season of Advent and leads us toward the holy days
of Christmas. Our prayer for our readers as we begin the season of
joyful expectation and waiting is that the Prince of Peace, whose
birth we prepare to celebrate, may indeed touch your hearts with
His strength and gentleness, with His compassion and