As I begin this reflection, it has been just a few days since I
attended the 85th Alumni Reunion at Saint Meinrad. It
was evident that a great deal of time and planning had been done to
ensure that everything went well, and on schedule.
The only minor glitch was with the weather. Go figure. During
the Reunion Mass, it rained so no reunion photo again this year! At
least the temperature was cooler and less humid than normal at the
end of July on the Hill.
As an Alumni Board member, I get the opportunity to see
firsthand the details of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into
the planning for each reunion. It is a big job! Many thanks and
congratulations to the entire Development Office staff and reunion
faculty for all your efforts in making this year's reunion a
tremendous success! I look forward to seeing the agenda for
Each time I visit Saint Meinrad, my first thoughts are usually
about those memories surrounding the years that I spent as a
college seminary student here. For me, the memories of my past
experiences at Saint Meinrad are a great gift - those lived and
shared experiences of time spent here learning and developing from
teenager to young adult.
The many friends I made, the quality of the teaching, an
appreciation for Benedictine spirituality, liturgy and much more.
Saint Meinrad had and continues to have a profound effect on my
For many of us, the Saint Meinrad where we lived and studied no
longer exists in the same form (high school, college), but has been
transformed into something new. The mission remains the same, but
the way it is delivered has significantly changed over the
The genius of Saint Meinrad is in its ability to adapt and grow
to meet the needs of the ever-evolving Church, so succinctly
described by President-Rector Fr. Denis Robinson, OSB, during his
address at this year's Alumni Association meeting. Adaptation and
growth are evident not only in the sandstone and steel buildings
(the newly renovated St. Bede Hall and St. Martin Center, for
example), but also in the addition of new programs.
The success of the "One Bread, One Cup" summer program for high
school students and the Master of Arts degree in theology for lay
students are examples of innovation to meet the needs of the
current and future Church. Saint Meinrad continues to be a place,
an institution, dedicated to enriching the lives of Catholic men
and women, providing well-rounded priests, deacons and lay leaders
for the Church of today and tomorrow.
No one knows what changes the next century will bring, but it is
certain that change will come. Saint Meinrad is poised to adapt and
grow to meet whatever challenges the future Church presents.
Seasons change, memories endure, buildings are razed and
restored, but the heart and soul of Saint Meinrad remains in the
Benedictine community. The stability of the monastery and the
dedication of the monks to daily living the Benedictine ideal of
prayer and work are the foundation for all that happens at Saint
I remember my first visit to Archabbey Church (the old church);
it was 1959, and I was in first grade. I was immediately drawn to
the image of the risen Christ that looms over the nave. It wasn't
until a few years later that the daily rhythm of prayer and work of
the monastic community became real to me when I experienced life on
the Hill as a college student.
As an alumnus, I am very grateful for the blessings I have
received from the dedication to prayer and service of many
Benedictine priests and brothers from Saint Meinrad Archabbey. In
this I am not alone!
Ora et Labora!