Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

October 2011

(1) On this first day of the new month, our junior monks and our novice had an outing today, enjoying some chilly (44 degrees) but pleasant (sunny) weather.

(2) Father Vincent is our Mass Heb on this Twenty-Seventh Sunday (and for the week) of Ordinary Time. 

+++  Father Bede gave the first homily of the fall season for the rosary and pilgrimage at Monte Cassino speaking on "Mary, the Receptive  Missionary."

(3) We celebrated today the feast of St. Theodora Guerin, co-patroness of our Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Seminarian Jerry Byrd of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis was deacon at our monastery Eucharist and preached. 

+++  The power outage, planned for some time to begin at 7:30 this morning and extend into the afternoon, took place as anticipated.

  +++  The lack of electricity did not hinder our receiving the body of our confrere, Father Severin, in the Entry Wing shortly after our Midday Office.

  +++  Power was restored long before we began the Office of the Dead at seven this evening; Father Subprior Guerric presided at that liturgy, and Father Barnabas offered the remembrance of Father Severin.

(4) Father Abbot Justin presided and preached at the Mass of the Resurrection for Father Severin, presiding also at the Rites of Burial in our cemetery afterward. Father Severin spent most of his monastic life in parish ministry in the dioceses of Owensboro, Evansville and, especially, Indianapolis. Those parishes were well represented at his funeral, as over 400 guests joined us for the liturgy.

(5) Father Adrian is again offering his "Practical Christianity" retreat at our Guest House and Retreat Center, this time to 25 participants.

(6) Our crews are busy rounding out the rough edges, as they prepare some cells for the Archbishop Daniel. We expect the archbishop's return this Monday.

(7) Father Louis Hacker had a nine-hour heart surgery today, and there are some potential complications. He will remain on a ventilator at least through the weekend. Brother Benjamin was with him at the hospital in Indianapolis. 

+++  Our Board of  Overseers arrived for the first of their two-day fall meeting.

(8) Brother Martin is offering the retreat, "Living Monastic Values in Everyday Life," to 13 participants at our Guest House and Retreat Center.

(9) Father Sean is our Mass  Heb as we celebrate this Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time. 

+++  Many guests and retreatants joined us for our Eucharist this morning, including 30 teenagers from St. Joseph's in Sellersburg, Indiana, making a youth retreat. 

+++  Father Timothy led the prayers and offered a homily on "Mary, Woman of the Mystery," at the Monte Cassino pilgrimage this afternoon.

(10) Archbishop Daniel arrived on the hill this afternoon, to take up residence in the monastery. He has a small suite and an office in the northeastern section of the house. He joined us in the church for Vespers and in the refectory for supper.

(11) About 40 priests of the Diocese of Covington are making a retreat here on the hill; they arrived yesterday, and will be with us through Thursday.

(12) Father Louis Hacker continues to recover, slowly, from his heart surgery this past Friday. He remains on the ventilator although, beginning this afternoon, they will begin weaning him from that.

(13) Today is Father Eric's 92nd birthday. He's in our prayers in a special way this day, as he rests in our infirmary. 

+++  We have 40 guests from St. Michael's Parish of Greenfield, IN, making a one-day retreat on the hill.

(14) Father Julian began offering a Deacon Formation Weekend for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The program for the 29 participants will conclude Sunday. 

+++  Fifty-six eighth graders from St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis concluded the retreat they began yesterday. To all our guests, retreatants, and pilgrims: welcome! You are in our prayers!

(15) About 30 monks enjoyed pizza at The UnStable following Midday Prayer. Father Prior Kurt, Indianapolis seminarians Deacon Jerry Byrd and Tim Wyciskalla, and Duluth Deacon Brian Lederer were the cooks. Thirteen pizzas made, not one piece left! 

+++  Fathers Harry, Eugene, and Denis, Fr. Tom Richstatter, OSFM, and Drs. Tom Walters and Ryan LaMothe offered another segment of this term's weekend courses; 77 students are on this hill, continuing their work toward their respective degrees.

(16) Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Father Joseph is our Mass Heb this week, but on this Sunday the "domino syndrome" was very much in play. Due to illness, Father Abbot Lambert was not able to fulfill a parish mission and weekend assignment to which he had previously agreed; Father Vincent took Father Joseph's place at the monastery Mass this morning so that Father Joseph could travel to St. Rupert's Parish, Red Brush, in Abbot Lambert's place. 

+++  Fr. Noël preached at the Monte Cassino pilgrimage and rosary this afternoon, speaking about "Mary the Peacemaker." 

+++  Today St. Mary's Parish in Huntingburg had a special Mass as part of their celebration of their 150th anniversary. Father Abbot Justin presided and preached. We wish the parishioners of St. Mary's and their pastor, Father Mark, OSB, happy anniversary and ad multos annos! With the exception of one year, Saint Meinrad has been responsible for the pastoral care of the people of St. Mary's throughout its history!

(17) Father Denis presented the annual "State of the School" to the monastic community this evening. We are thankful there is much good news! Among the highlights: our school is "full"-with an opening enrollment of 142, there is, literally, no room left for another seminarian.

(18) We honor the memory of Brother Luke's patron today, the Dear and Glorious Physician and Evangelist, St. Luke. 

+++  Seventy-seven priests from the Archdiocese of Louisville concluded their two-day Presbyteral Convocation on the hill today.

(19) Father Louis Hacker is making slow progress at St. Vincent's Hospital, Indianapolis. Our hope is that he will be transferred to a hospital closer to us within a few days. 

+++  Matthew Scheeser arrived to begin his three-month candidacy with plans of beginning the novitiate in January. A native of Sandusky, Ohio, living most recently in Fairfax, Virginia, Matthew will be working in the Oblate Office and in our library during his candidacy.

(20) Fifteen members of the Seton Elementary School of Richmond, Indiana, are on the hill.

+++  Also on the hill are 27 participants in the Hoosier Fellows/Leadership Excellence Group.

(21) Father Louis Hacker has been transferred to a hospital in Evansville, so he's one step closer to returning to the hill. That event is still probably several weeks away, but we are glad that he's continuing to make progress and move closer to the hill. 

+++  Seventeen students from the University of Dayton, the "Chaminade Scholars," have joined us for the weekend for a retreat. They will be joining us for some of our prayers, as well as having conferences by their directors

(22) Father Columba is directing 16 participants in the retreat, "Tools of the Trade from the Holy Rule of St. Benedict," at our Guest House and Retreat Center this weekend. 

+++  Father Abbot Justin left this morning for Mount Angel Abbey, Oregon, to take part in their regular visitation. He expects to return toward the end of next week.

(23) Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time. This was a busy day for Father Germain: in addition to presiding and preaching at the Conventual Mass, he also preached at the Monte Cassino pilgrimage and rosary this afternoon. His Monte Cassino homily was titled, "The Rosary: Album of Our Lady's Memories." 

+++  This evening we enjoyed having some company in the monastery. The 35 students of the St. Matthew Formation House of our Seminary joined us for Vespers in the Archabbey Church, and then for the evening meal in our refectory.

(24) Forty-three students from Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis concluded their two-day retreat at noon today. 

+++  This evening after Compline, Brother John Mark, Monastery Vocation Director, led the community in a presentation on the "Culture of Vocations."

(25) Today is the feast of Father Gavin's patronal saint. We wish him blessings and ad multos annos

+++  Fr. Germain, our Mass Heb, preached at our Conventual Mass this morning. 

+++  We enjoyed having the Most Reverend James Tamayo, Bishop of the Diocese of Laredo, join us for Vespers this evening. Bishop Tamayo is one of several bishops here attending a conference sponsored by our Institute for Priests and Presbyterates.

(26) Father Prior Kurt, Father Julian and Father Anthony attended the funeral of Alfred Lange, the father of Connie Ernst and father-in-law of Gloria Lange, both of whom are co-workers in our kitchen, who died this past Saturday. The funeral was at St. Ferdinand Parish in Ferdinand.

(27) Father Eugene concluded the retreat he began on the 24th, "Reflections on the Life and Ministry of Jesus and the Challenges of Contemporary Priestly Ministry," which he presented to 35 priests at our Guest House and Retreat Center.

(28) On this feast of the apostles Simon and Jude, Brother Anthony Baker, OSB, of Assumption Abbey, South Dakota, was deacon and preached at our Conventual Mass. Today is the actual 30th day following the death of Father Severin, but because of the feast we will transfer our customary commemoration of our deceased confrere until tomorrow. 

+++  Father Louis Hacker has been transferred to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville. He is making slow-but-steady progress. Our infirmary staff has been exceptional in the time and care they offer him. Our ill and aging confreres are well cared for-another of the many blessings we enjoy! 

+++  Father Abbot Justin has returned from the visitation at Mount Angel Abbey, Oregon.

(29) Father Brendan presented the annual Day of Recollection to the Abbot Martin Marty Guild this morning and afternoon; about 90 of the Guild members were in attendance. Father Brendan spoke on "Benedictine Wisdom for Everyday Living." 

+++  Abbot Lambert, who has been with us the past 10 days, left this morning to head north-and to give another few retreats!

(30) On this Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Father Meinrad is our Mass Heb for the week. 

+++  Father Jeremy preached at the season's final Monte Cassino pilgrimage and rosary. His homily focused on "Mary, Queen of All Saints." 

+++  A new exhibition by Brother Martin Erspamer opened in our library today. "New Works" features ceramics, stained glass and drawings created by Brother Martin during his recent six-month sabbatical. The exhibit runs through December 4.

(31) We resumed the wearing of our cucullas this evening, as we celebrated First Vespers of the Solemnity of All Saints. Father Abbot Justin will preside at our Conventual Mass tomorrow, and Father Meinrad will offer the homily. On Wednesday, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, we will process to the cemetery after our morning Eucharist to bless the graves and to pray for all those who have gone before us.

+++ This evening after Compline, our junior monks, novice and candidate hosted our Halloween Party. Refreshments, and a skit with superb acting  and even special lighting effects, made for a frightfully good time.

Quote of the Month

We end our month's entries with a quote from the Rule of St. Benedict:

The ninth step of humility comes when a monk holds back his tongue from speaking, and out of love for silence does not speak until someone asks him a question. Scripture shows that "In much talk, one does not escape sin," and: "The chatterbox does not walk straight on the earth."

Chapter 7, "On Humility," vs. 56-58
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 Father Prior Kurt reports on some of last month's events at Saint Meinrad.