Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

June 2012

(1) On this first day of the new month, we wish Abbot Justin greetings and blessings on the feast day of St. Justin Martyr, his patron. Abbot Justin presided at our Conventual Eucharist this morning. We continued the celebration this evening by enjoying colloquium at our evening meal, along with his preferred menu (simple, to be sure but, also to be sure, including Red Velvet Cake. +++ We received the oblation of Curt and Donna Hardy of Pittsboro, North Carolina, in the Archabbey Church following Midday Prayer. May God bless all our oblates.

(2) About 50 of our lay degree students are on the hill this weekend for another round of courses. Teachers and courses include Dr. Clayton Jefford (Synoptics, Acts and General Epistles), Fr. Damian Dietlein (Women in Early Christianity), and Dr. Ryan LaMothe (Marriage Counseling).

(3) The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity is an OP-ranked feast, and so Father Prior Kurt presided and preached at our Conventual Eucharist this morning. +++ Father Adrian concluded his weekend retreat, "Prayer: What is it, Really?" at our Guest House and Retreat Center, which had over 40 participants. +++ This evening we also hosted the annual supper for our Einsiedeln Society, which included a pre-supper social, the fine supper itself and several presentations-all ably and entertainingly moderated by Father Brendan. We are grateful for the many who support our prayer and work. May God sustain and strengthen them!

(4) About a dozen monks and another 15 or so co-workers attended the funeral and burial of co-worker Terry Wahl, who took his own life at the end of last month. Father Anthony presided and Father Godfrey preached at the liturgies, held at St. Ferdinand Church and Cemetery. +++ Coincidentally, we also learned today of the death of Steven Scheer, a former English professor in our College in the 1970s, '80s and '90s, who apparently took his own life a few days ago at his home in Newburgh, Indiana. We pray for all the faithful departed. And reflecting upon these two deaths, we pray also for those who feel they have no hope and no possible future. May God sustain them in their pain and hurt, and may "we" be attentive to their needs.

(5) Fr. Joseph, our Mass Heb, preached at our Conventual Mass this morning. +++ Abbot Justin is at Benet Lake Abbey in Wisconsin, taking part in the regular visitation of that community. From there, he will go to Marmion Abbey, Illinois, to take part in the annual meeting of the Abbot President's Council. We expect him back on the hill Friday. +++ Over a hundred priests and staff of the Archdiocese of Louisville have their annual Presbyteral Assembly under way here on the hill. They began yesterday and will conclude their work on the 7th. May God bless their prayer and work!

(6) This past Saturday, five men in their late teens and early 20s arrived to begin a two-month Benedictine Scholars program. A new program offered by our Vocations Department, it offers young men a chance to spend some time with the monastic community (prayer, meals, recreation), take a college-level course for credit, and earn a stipend through working with one of our various crews. This evening after supper, we officially greeted and welcomed them with an ice cream social in our calefactory after supper. The five men come from Indiana, North Carolina, Michigan, Illinois-and India!

(7) Father Joseph took another opportunity to preach at our Conventual Mass this morning. +++ This afternoon an opportunity for tours of the ongoing renovation of St. Bede and Newman halls was offered. As of today, Pat Clark, our director of physical facilities, offers the following assessment:

The offices of the Office of Group Accommodations and the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates will be moving into St. Bede Hall the week of July 9th, and we expect all to have moved into their offices by the morning of the 16th. The first guests of St. Bede Hall are expected the week of August 12th.

The Scholar Shop will begin moving July 11th, and should be operational the morning of July 18th. The Counseling Center and IT Offices will be operational by the end of July, and classrooms will be operational for the first day of classes. The Newman Hall Wellness Center and the four apartments on 4th floor are due to be open by the end of August.

Needless to say, a lot is going on and we're looking forward to renewed facilities, less dust and dirt in the air, and quieter times during the day!

(8) Brother Zachary begins offering the weekend retreat, "Forgiven and Forgiving," to 24 participants this evening at our Guest House and Retreat Center. And as Brother Zachary begins, about two dozen parishioners from St. Patrick's Parish in Kokomo, Indiana, concluded a two-day stay with us. We have lots of visitors, retreatants and guests throughout the year. May all who join us, for a few days or even a few hours, leave with a renewed sense of God's peace!

(9) As you know, we have various groups visiting the hill throughout the year-to pray, to relax, to retreat, to camp out and, sometimes, to record! Throughout this Saturday, the Christ Church Cathedral Choir from Indianapolis was recording in our Archabbey Church. They will return in the fall to offer us a concert!

(10) Today, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), is an OP-ranked feast and so Father Prior Kurt presided and preached at the Conventual Mass. We extended the celebration a bit by having colloquium at our midday meal.

(11) About 50 of our oblates began their annual Study Days this evening; the program will conclude Thursday at noon. The speaker this year is Father Prior Kurt, who will be presenting six conferences on the topic, "The Sacraments: Means of Grace, Ways of Life."

(12) Some of the monks enjoyed an ice cream social with the "One Bread, One Cup" participants, here for this summer's first session. The hill is filled with youthful energy this month!

(13) Father Bede, our Mass Heb, presided and preached on this feast of St. Anthony of Padua. +++ Our Benedictine Oblates, here for their Study Days, invited the monks to join them in a social this evening at the Guest House and Retreat Center.

(14) The oblates concluded their annual Study Days at noon today, although a handful are staying on the hill for an additional day or two, continuing to enjoy the quiet.

(15) On this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an OP-ranked feast, Father Prior Kurt presided and Father Bede preached at the Conventual Mass. We continued the celebration at supper with colloquium and wine. (A bit of monastic trivia: during most of the year, we have table wine at our main meal except on Wednesdays and Fridays. On special feasts-such as today-we break the abstinence!)

(16) The first session of this summer's "One Bread, One Cup" concluded yesterday, and so our interns are spending the next few days reviewing and refreshing. The next session begins Wednesday.

(17) Father Germain is our Heb, beginning this 11th week of Ordinary Time.

(18) Father Adrian, business manager, and Mr. Greg Tate, who will become general manager of the Abbey Press on July 1, presented the overview for fiscal 2012-2013 to the monastic community after Compline this evening. We continue to thank God for the many blessings he has given us, and we continue to keep our many friends and benefactors in our daily prayers.

(19) Thirteen candidates for the permanent diaconate of the Diocese of Evansville are here for their week of homiletics training.

(20) Br. Martin and Br. Michael Moran, CP, are conducting the last full day of their six-day retreat, "The Image as a Window to the Spiritual: An Artist's Six-Day, Hands-On Workshop and Retreat." Twenty-four participants have been taking advantage of the talents of these two fine artistic creators and crafters.

(21) The Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota, is ordaining six men to the priesthood tomorrow-their largest ordination class since 1923! Three of those men completed their studies last month at our seminary, and so Saint Meinrad will be well represented (and on the road!) these next few days. At various times today, Fr. Prior Kurt, Fr. Harry, Fr. Denis and Director of Spiritual Formation Fr. Joe Moriarty took to the highways or the skies to the edges of Lake Superior. +++ After Compline this evening, a number of monks enjoyed an ice cream social with the participants of our "One Bread, One Cup" youth leadership program. Ice cream was made for these hot summer days!

(22) We welcome Father Timothy back to the house! For the past months, Father has been at Blue Cloud Abbey, South Dakota, one of our daughter houses, as they engaged in a lengthy process as to how to best manage their future. They have announced that their last public liturgy will be on August 5, and then will proceed with the dispositions of property and considerations of the opportunities for their personnel. We keep the monks of Blue Cloud Abbey in our prayers in a special way now, as well as asking God to strengthen and sustain all affected by this news.

(23) It has been so dry this summer that it's no surprise we and our neighbors are having water supply and usage problems. This afternoon, our area was placed on a "water boil order" for at least the next few days. Temperatures next week are predicted to be in the 100s for several days; we pray for relief-and some rain-and remember that many are suffering the extremes Mother Nature offers.

(24) Today the Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist takes precedence over the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time. This is an OP-ranked feast but, as Father Prior Kurt is in Duluth (with several confreres for the ordinations mentioned above), Father Subprior Guerric presided at our Conventual Mass.Father Meinrad preached, and some special wine and colloquium at our midday meal continued the celebration.

(25) Both our "conserve water" and "water boil" advisories continue-as do the high temperatures.

(26) Father Meinrad, our Mass Heb, preached at the Conventual Mass this morning.

(27) The Archdiocese of Indianapolis concluded its annual presbyteral assembly at noon today; about a hundred priests and staff were present for the meetings, which began this past Sunday evening. +++ The monastic community enjoyed an extra special Wednesday dessert in the calefactory after supper, held to honor Sr. Regina McIntyre for her many years of fine and faithful service as our principal organist. +++ Our "conserve water" condition continues but, fortunately, we were able to return to drinking water from the tap halfway through the afternoon. You never know how much you take something for granted until....

(28) We welcome Father Sebastian back from Connecticut, where he teaches at The Canterbury School in New Milford. Father will be with us through the first week of August, and so will be present for the celebration of his and his four classmates' 60th jubilee of monastic profession at the end of July.

(29) Father Abbot Justin presided and preached on this Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. +++ Today was the last day of full-time employment for John Wilson, who has served us well for 34 years as business manager and, most recently, general manager of the Abbey Press. Many monks and co-workers enjoyed a luncheon and reception for him. We're most grateful for John's service, and are thankful he will continue to serve us in his retirement as senior financial advisor. +++ This evening Father Eugene began offering the weekend retreat, "The Birth of the Church According to the Acts of the Apostles," to 24 participants at our Guest House and Retreat Center.

(30) On this last day of the month (and the fiscal year), Father Mel fell in his infirmary cell and was taken, by Brother Benjamin, our "resident ambulance driver," to the Jasper hospital for x-rays. He has an inoperable fracture of his pelvis, and so treatment will involve relief of pain, physical therapy and natural healing. Father Mel will remain in the hospital over the weekend, and will be re-evaluated Monday to determine how much of his treatment might be carried out back here in our infirmary. Otherwise, he may be in the hospital for 10 to 14 days. +++ The temperatures continue to reach into the mid-100s; the forecast doesn't offer much relief anytime soon. We continue to keep our neighbors in prayer, especially those who work the land.

As we conclude this month's report, we congratulate our seminarians who have been ordained to the priesthood these past weeks:

On June 2: Jerry Byrd, Archdiocese of Indianapolis; Brian Emmick and Jeffrey Read, Diocese of Evansville; Patrick Hirtz and Dexter Noblefranca, Diocese of Memphis

On June 9: Dominic Petan and Travis Stephens, Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana

On June 16: Anthony Baker, OSB, Assumption Abbey, Richardton, ND

On June 22: Drew Braun, Seth Gogolin and Brian Lederer, Diocese of Duluth, MN

Congratulations to our new priests!

And now, from St. Benedict's Rule...

"Do not wish to be called holy before you really are; first be holy, and then the term will be truer in your case."

Chapter 4, "What Are the Tools of Good Works?" v. 62

Translation by Fr. Terence Kardong, OSB, monk of Assumption Abbey


Each day the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey write another page in the long history of Benedictine monks throughout the world. Here are recent events chronicled at Saint Meinrad.