(1) We're expecting Fathers Richard and Rupert
to be dismissed from the hospital within a few days. When they
arrive and take up residence in our infirmary, it will be the first
time in almost six years that all 10 infirmary cells are occupied.
We are fortunate to be able to care for our ill and aging confreres
at home, and we are certainly blessed to have such a dedicated and
professional nursing staff caring for them.
(2) Father Richard home has returned home. He's
moving a bit slow, but he's obviously grateful to be in familiar
+++ Father Abbot Justin, Father Prior Kurt, Father Godfrey
and Father Patrick, along with II year theology seminarian Tim
Wyciskalla from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, were the judges in
a "Pizza Cook-off" at The UnStable this evening. (Seminarian Tim
merited the position by winning the "Chili Cook-off" at last year's
Super Bowl party.) There were six contestants, one of whom was a
monk and, somewhat embarrassingly-perhaps suspiciously?-the monk
won. Congratulations to Father Brendan.
(3) Br. Maurus is offering the weekend retreat,
"Pray Your Way to Happiness," to 22 participants at our Guest House
and Retreat Center.
+++ We received word that Dr. Bill Gillespie, a former
teacher in our College, died yesterday. May his soul, and the souls
of all the faithful departed, know the embrace of our Loving Father
(4) Father Jeremy is our Mass Heb on this
Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
+++ Father Boniface had a stroke at his home in
Indianapolis this afternoon. He was taken to Methodist Hospital in
Indianapolis and is now in observation in the ICU.
(5) Father Rupert returned from the hospital
this afternoon and has taken up residence in one of our infirmary
+++ No classes in our seminary on this Labor Day, and so
faculty, staff and students are enjoying a long weekend.
+++ The monastic chapter gathered in the Chapter Room for
a culpa service after Compline this evening; Father Abbot
Justin presided and offered the reflection on Chapter 72 of the
Rule, "The Good Zeal that Monks Ought to Have."
(6) Although we usually don't celebrate
birthdays in the monastery (at least not officially), there are
exceptions, and today was certainly one of those. Father Archabbot
Bonaventure turned an energetic 93 today, and so we had
colloquium and cake in his honor at our evening meal.
Ad multos annos, Father Abbot Bonaventure!
(7) Father Boniface remains in the hospital
under the watchful care of the medical staff. Father Matthias,
living in Indianapolis, visited him today.
(8) Brother Romain, from the monastery of the
Incarnation in Togo, West Africa, has been studying in our seminary
for the past three years. He was ordained to the diaconate this
past spring and today, on this feast of the Nativity of the Blessed
Mother, he preached in our Archabbey Church for the first time. It
was a busy day for him, as he also served as deacon and preached at
the late morning Mass in our seminary!
+++ Father Abbot visited Father Boniface at Methodist
Hospital in Indianapolis this morning. Father's left side remains
paralyzed and his speech is somewhat slurred, although he has shown
some improvement over the past few days. We continue our prayers,
and he continues to be grateful for them.
(9) We have always considered the generosity of
our many benefactors and friends as among our greatest blessings.
Today we are again humbled, and most grateful, as it was announced
that Catherine (Kay) Gaither, a longtime benefactor of Saint
Meinrad who recently died, left a substantial bequest to Saint
Meinrad Archabbey and our Seminary and School of Theology. Kay is
the wife of Jack Gaither, who was formerly the principal of the
accounting firm that once did our institutional audit. The
endowment is expected to be worth about $5 million and will be used
to create the John F. Gaither and Catherine W. Gaither Endowment
Fund. Grateful for their generosity, we pledge to use their gift
wisely and well.
(10) Eighty lay degree students are on the hill
this weekend, taking courses offered by Father Denis, OSB
(Foundational Theology), Father Tom Richstatter, OFM (Liturgical
Year), Dr. Ryan LaMothe (Contexts of Care), Dr. Tom Walters
(Catechetical Ministry), Father Harry, OSB (Introduction to New
Testament Greek), and Father Eugene, OSB (Letters and Theology of
(11) On this Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary
Time, Father Harry is our Mass Heb.
+++ Today is also the tenth anniversary of 9-11. In
addition to our personal recollections and thoughts, we tolled the
death bell for three minutes beginning at 8:45 (the time the first
aircraft impacted the World Trade Center), followed by pealing all
the bells for two minutes. Representing the monastic community,
Father Abbot Justin also offered a prayer and participated in a
memorial service held at the American Legion in downtown St.
Meinrad, as part of the town's commemoration of the 9-11
(12) Father Denis experienced chest pains this
morning and so went to Jasper Memorial Hospital. The doctors
determined that his heart did indeed "suffer an insult," and so
some stent procedures are scheduled for tomorrow. Needless to say,
the President-Rector's report to the monastic community on the
"State of the School" has been postponed a bit. We keep Father
Denis in our prayers.
(13) Father Denis' surgery went well; he'll
likely remain in the hospital until Thursday.
+++ Bernard Gunar Gruenke, president of Conrad Schmitt
Studios Inc. of New Berlin, WI, presented the annual Dolle Lecture
on Art and Architecture in the evening to many seminarians, monks,
and off-the-hill guests. His address: "Build My Church: A Journey
through Planning, Funding and Managing a Church Restoration or
(14) On this Feast of the Holy Cross, an
O.P.-ranked celebration, Father Prior Kurt presided at the
Conventual Mass and Father Harry, our Mass Heb, preached.
(15) Father Denis returned to the hill this
morning, full of energy once again, but promising to take things "a
(16) Brother Zachary is giving a midweek
retreat, "Forgiven and Forgiving," to 10 participants at our Guest
House and Retreat Center.
(17) Young people from St. Anthony's Catholic
Church in Utica, Kentucky, are making a short retreat on the hill
in preparation for their confirmation. Also on the hill are 18 men
from St. Barnabas Parish in Indianapolis, making their annual
retreat. God's blessings on all who come to the hill to seek
(18) On this Twenty-fifth Sunday of Ordinary
Time, Father Timothy is our Mass Heb.
+++ Father Abbot Justin left the hill early this morning,
headed for the Dakota Territories. More about that tomorrow!
(19) Father Abbot Justin presided and preached
at the opening liturgy of the year-long celebration of the 75th
anniversary of Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota. Today
is, in fact, the actual 115th anniversary of the death of Bishop
Martin Marty, first abbot of Saint Meinrad (1870-1879) and, later,
bishop of Dakota (1880-1889), bishop of Sioux Falls (1889-1895),
and bishop of St. Cloud (1895-1896.)
+++ This evening, Mr. Kyle Kramer, director of our Lay
Degree Programs, speaking as a representative of the Catholic
Coalition on Climate Change, offered the monastic community a
presentation on "Catholics, Climate, and the Common Concern."
(21) It was announced this morning that the
Holy Father has accepted the resignation of our confrere,
Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, OSB, due to the archbishop's health.
Archbishop Daniel is 73 years old, and he was ordained as bishop of
Memphis in 1987. He was installed as archbishop of Indianapolis in
1992. Archbishop Daniel has expressed his desire to return to the
monastery. We thank him for his years of service, pray that God may
strengthen and sustain him, and look forward to his return to
+++ On this feast of St. Matthew, Brother Guerric Letter,
OSB, a monk from Conception Abbey in Missouri, who is with us for
his fourth and final year of seminary studies, preached at the
(22) We began preparations for Archbishop
Daniel's return to us. Two adjacent cells on our first floor will
be converted into a large bedroom/sitting room suite, and another
cell has been designated to provide some office space.
(23) This evening, Father Pat Beidelman, an
alumnus ('98) and director of liturgy in the Office of Worship for
the Archdiocese, gave the first of two presentations to us on the
new translation of the Roman Missal, which all Catholics in the
United States will begin using on the First Sunday of Advent.
(24) This morning Father Pat gave his second
presentation on the new translation, this session tailored
especially for the priests of the monastery.
+++ Father Adrian is giving a weekend retreat, "Practical
Christianity," to 29 participants at our Guest House and Retreat
(25) Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and
Father Subprior Guerric is our Mass Heb. Brother Anthony Baker, a
fellow Benedictine from Assumption Abbey in North Dakota, who has
been studying with us for the past six years, preached at our
+++ Father Abbot Justin began a 10-day absence today: his
agenda includes some meetings and visits and, fortunately, even a
bit of vacation time.
+++ This evening, the 35 students in our seminary's St.
Luke Formation House joined the monastic community for Vespers in
the Archabbey Church and the evening meal in our refectory. For
many of our seminarians it was, of course, their first quick look
inside the "mysterious monastery"!
(26) Father Abbot Justin left the hill
yesterday morning to enjoy what I'm sure is an all-too-brief
+++ This evening, the annual Gardner Lecture consisted of
a one-man show on G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton was portrayed by John
"Chuck" Chalberg, PhD, an actor and historian who has taught at
Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota.
(27) The "Gearing Up to Be a Pastor" Workshop,
sponsored by our Institute for Priests and Presbyterates, is taking
place this week. Eight participants, including five recent alumni,
are taking part in the program.
(28) Father Severin Messick died this morning
at the hospital in Greenfield, Indiana, where he had been for the
past few weeks. Father was diagnosed with cancer in January; just
last week he decided to discontinue the extensive chemotherapy he
had been undergoing. May he, and all the faithful departed, rest in
+++ Father Louis Hacker went to Jasper Hospital this
morning, and was transported by ambulance this afternoon to St.
Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis. They are running tests and
preparing him for possible heart surgery. We keep him, and all our
ill and aging confreres, in our prayers.
(29) On this feast of the Holy Angels, Father
Subprior Guerric presided and preached at our Eucharist.
+++ Later this afternoon, he and other theology faculty
and administrators headed out to New Harmony, Indiana, for the
annual Faculty Study Day.
(30) Today we celebrate the 14th anniversary of
the dedication of the Archabbey Church. As Father Abbot is away,
Father Prior Kurt presided and preached at this O.A.-ranked feast.
Our Archabbey Church is under the patronage of Mary, Our Lady of
Einsiedeln. We ask her intercession, as we thank the many friends
of Saint Meinrad who support us in our prayer and work.
+++ Father Louis Hacker's possible heart surgery has been
postponed once again. He remains in the hospital in
Quote of the Month
We end our month's entries with a quote from the Rule of St.
When we wish to propose something to powerful people, we do not
presume to do so without humility and reverence. How much more
should we petition the Lord God of the universe with great humility
and total devotion.
Chapter 20, "Reverence in Prayer"
Translation by Fr. Terence Kardong, OSB, monk of Assumption