(1) We celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints,
with Abbot Justin presiding at, and Father Meinrad preaching, the
Conventual Mass. The Sunday Schedule we followed today allowed for
a bit of extra morning rest.
+++ One of our confreres, Father Harold, celebrated not
only the memory of the entire heavenly court of saints but that of
his patron saint in particular. Father Harold lives and ministers
in Evansville, and faithfully attends to the sick and suffering in
that city's hospitals.
(2) Father Abbot presided at and preached the
Conventual Mass on this Solemnity of All the Faithful Departed.
Following the Mass, we made our customary procession to the
cemetery to bless the graves and ask God's peace on those who have
gone before us.
+++ We prayed for the living as well - especially Father
Tobias, who celebrates his patronal feast day.
(3) A rainy day in Southern Indiana - a truly
+++ It's also Brother Benedict's 92nd birthday! In his
honor, he was seated at the abbot's table for our evening meal, and
we had cake and colloquium in his honor. Ad multos annos,
(4) Father Noël began offering the weekend
retreat "Good Grief" to about a dozen participants at our Guest
House and Retreat Center.
(5) The feast day of Brother Zachary is today
and so, as is our custom, we prayed for him by name at Vigils-Lauds
and at our 7:30 a.m. Conventual Mass.
(6) Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Father Noël is our Mass Heb.
+++ Along with most of the United States, we set our
clocks back one hour before retiring last night. As many of the
readers of this Chronicle know, we sit right on the time line, and
so we have an awkward, sometimes inconvenient, situation: we remain
one hour behind Ferdinand, Jasper and Huntingburg - neighboring
cities where many of our co-workers, doctors and service people
+++ Fourteen third-year theology seminarians in our
Seminary and School of Theology professed their candidacy for the
priesthood during the seminary's Sunday Eucharist this morning,
including Brother Victor Schinstock, a visiting Benedictine from
Conception Abbey, Missouri. The presiding bishop was the Most Rev.
Timothy Doherty, Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.
Congratulations to these men, and may God uphold them in their
(7) This evening after Compline, Father Abbot
Justin offered the community a conference in the Chapter Room.
(8) We celebrate today the feast day of Father
Godfrey. Ad multos annos!
(9) Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran
Basilica. This is an OP-ranked feast, and so Father Prior Kurt
presided at our Eucharist. Brother Romain, one of our "visiting
Benedictines" from Togo, Africa, was deacon and preached.
+++ We welcomed Father Louis Hacker back from the hospital
this afternoon. It's good to have him back with us!
(10) We hosted benefactors and friends from the
Jasper, Washington and Loogootee region this evening. We enjoyed
the opportunity to offer the some hospitality.
+++ Our Father Matthias, working and living in Beech
Grove (near Indianapolis), was taken to the hospital in
Indianapolis this morning, complaining of back pain. Diagnosis will
begin with an MRI.
+++ Father Richard returned from the Jasper hospital,
where he had been getting some routine evaluation these past few
(11) Today is Veterans Day, and our prayers are
with those men and women who have served our country. They are
among those to whom we owe an unpayable debt. We pray, too, that
God will keep safe our men and women currently serving, and will
guide us all in our quest for peace.
+++ Today is the feast day of our Brother
+++ Brother Anthony Baker, a "visiting Benedictine" from
Assumption Abbey, South Dakota, was deacon and preached at our
Conventual Mass this morning.
(12) About 30 monks enjoyed lunch at The
UnStable after Midday Prayer this afternoon.
+++ Today is the actual 50th anniversary of the monastic
profession of Brother Mario; we helped him celebrate by having him
sit at the abbot's table for supper and having colloquium
in his honor.
(13) Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, and
Father Jeremy is our Mass Heb. The year - the Liturgical Year, at
least-is fast coming to a close: next Sunday is the Solemnity of
Christ the King, and then we begin Advent, brought in this year by
the full implementation of the third edition of the Roman
(14) We celebrated Father Rupert's 90th
birthday today! We had colloquium in his honor at our
evening meal and enjoyed a fine, specially prepared birthday
(15) Father Jeremy preached at our Conventual
Mass this morning. The rain, which began yesterday evening,
continued throughout much of the night and continued to fall
steadily all morning and a good part of the afternoon.
(16) Lance Schortmann of Louisville was
invested as an oblate novice after our Midday Prayer. God's
blessings on all our oblates!
+++ Archbishop Daniel enjoyed a visit with several of his
brother bishops today. Archbishop John Vlazny (Portland) and
Archbishop James Keleher (Emeritus of Kansas City in Kansas), along
with Abbot Justin, joined the archbishop for a meal and
conversation this evening.
(17) Our seminarians have departed for
Indianapolis, where they will participate in the National Catholic
Youth Conference. Their Thanksgiving break begins at the conclusion
of the Conference on Saturday; classes will resume November
+++ Over a dozen nurses and nurses' aides staff our
monastery infirmary, and they certainly have had their hands full
these past months. As I've reported several times, each of the nine
cells in our infirmary is occupied. As a small but sincere gesture
of appreciation, Abbot Justin and Prior Kurt, representing the
monastic community, treated our lay infirmary staff to a pizza
supper at The UnStable this evening. Fathers Prior and Patrick
prepared the pizzas, and Brother Hugh created a special dessert.
Father Gavin designed a thank you card, signed by many in the
community, and Brothers Raban, Dominic, Zachary and Elijah minded
the infirmary during the supper so that as many of our lay staff as
possible could join in the fun. Each of our infirmary staff was
presented with a medallion created by Brother Martin, and they,
along with their spouse or invited friend, took home a loaf of our
Abbey Kitchen's freshly baked raisin bread. It was as good time for
all, and we were happy to offer this modest "thank you" to our
dedicated, skilled and caring health care workers.
(18) Brother Zachary began offering the weekend
retreat "Be Angry But Do Not Sin" to 19 participants at our Guest
House and Retreat Center.
(19) We invested David Nelson of Rockfield,
Kentucky, and Edwin Wells of New Carlisle, Ohio, after Midday
Prayer. May God bless them and all our oblates.
+++ Another round of weekend courses began for about 60 of
our lay degree students. The instructors this weekend are Fathers
Harry, Eugene and Denis, Fr. Tom Richstatter, and Drs. Ryan LaMothe
and Tom Walters.
+++ An Indiana University vocal ensemble gave an hour-long
concert in the Archabbey Church this afternoon.
(20) Sunday, the Solemnity of Jesus Christ our
Lord and King. An OP-ranked feast, Father Prior Kurt presided
and preached at the Conventual Mass.
+++ About a hundred co-workers joined us for Mass, and
then afterward for a reception in Jack's. These men and women work
with us, for us, every day; on this Sunday of Thanksgiving Week,
it's a privilege to pray with them, and praise and thank the Lord
for his many blessings.
+++ This afternoon we were treated to another concert in
the Archabbey Church: the Evansville Brass Quintet and organist
Mark X. Hatfield presented a fine program for the enjoyment of
(21) After yesterday's celebration of the
solemnity, Father Adrian began his week as presider at our
Eucharist this morning.
+++ Mr. Mike Ziemianski, our vice president of
development, and several members of his staff presented the
monastic community with the annual Development Office report this
evening in the Chapter Room after Compline. This was the first time
we had audio-visual capability in the Chapter Room; now, with the
proper equipment, we're able to meet there (just a hundred feet
south of the church), rather than make our customary, somewhat
torturous, trek around the Newman Hall construction up to the
fourth floor of Newman!
(22) A rainy day almost all day: a light but
steady drizzle, which makes for perfect November weather! All
seemed to be very quiet on the hill today, as many are getting
ready in various ways for the Thanksgiving break.
(23) After supper this evening ,we expanded our
usual "Wednesday special dessert" evening a bit and, thanks to the
creative and careful shopping of our junior monks, enjoyed some
fine wines, cheese, fruits and sweets in the calefactory. Before
moving into the Archabbey Church for Compline (at 7:15 this
evening), Abbot Justin briefly addressed the community, recalling a
number of blessings we have experienced over the past year. We give
thanks to God, and keep in prayer those who are so good to us!
(24) Thanksgiving Day, and we enjoyed a
traditional meal with all the traditional desserts! A small group
of guests and seminary students remaining on the hill over the
break joined us for our noonday meal. Father Adrian, our Mass Heb,
presided and preached at our Eucharist - 9:30 this morning, as we
were following our Sunday schedule.
(25) Some say the day after Thanksgiving is the
quietest day of the year. It is quiet here today! Leftovers - both
on the bone and on the dessert table - are slowly disappearing.
(26) The choirmaster, sacristan, and master of
ceremonies and their assistants spent a good part of the day
preparing new books and finalizing details for tomorrow, when the
full implementation of the third edition of the Roman Missal
becomes effective. We began some minor changes in our practice of
the Divine Office at I Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent this
(27) This First Sunday of Advent brings with it
the full implementation of Roman Missal III. Father Julian is our
Mass Heb and, as a former master of ceremonies of the monastery, as
well as one who has given many workshops on the new translation, he
was well prepared to lead us in our first Eucharistic celebration.
All went smoothly.
(28) This evening after Compline, Brother John
Mark, vocation director for the monastery, gave the second of three
presentations on "The Culture of Vocations." We again met in the
newly AV-equipped Chapter Room.
(29) Father Vincent is giving a weeklong
retreat, "User-Friendly Spirituality: The Lectionary and the
Liturgy of the Hours," to eight priests at our Guest House and
+++ And, on this next-to-last day of November, we enjoyed
our first sighting - a brief one - of snow for the season.
(30) Brother Romain Botta, OSB, a "visiting
Benedictine" from Togo, Africa, was our deacon at our Eucharist
this morning on this feast of the apostle Andrew.
Quote of the Month
We end November's entries with a quote from the Rule of St.
"But if local circumstances or the workload or the heat of
summer demand more [wine for meals], the superior has the power to
grant it. But he should be constantly vigilant that excess and
drunkenness do not creep in. We read that wine is absolutely not
for monks. But since monks in our day cannot be convinced of this,
let us at least agree not to drink to excess, but sparingly."
Chapter 40, vs. 5-6, "The Quantity of Drink"
Translation by Fr. Terence Kardong, OSB, monk of Assumption