(1) On this first day of the new year, we
celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Father Prior
Kurt presided, and Father Cyprian preached, at the Conventual Mass.
We had colloquium at our noonday meal.
+++ Archbishop Daniel has been having kidney problems
these past days, and so he was taken, by car, to Indianapolis this
afternoon for admittance to the hospital and further testing. He,
and all of our ill and aging confreres, is in our prayers daily-as
we daily enjoy the expert and caring concerns of our infirmary
(2) Archbishop Daniel was successfully treated
at St. Vincent's Hospital, Indianapolis, today; we expect his
return to the hill tomorrow.
+++ The six young men who had been with us since December
26th concluded their participation in our "Monastic Observance"
program and returned to their respective homes yesterday. They seem
to have benefited from their time with us and, of course, we hope
we will see some of them again! We continue to pray for vocations
to the priesthood and religious life.
(3) Archbishop Daniel returned to his infirmary
cell this afternoon, in good spirits and better health.
+++ About 10 of our monks serve as chaplains for the
sisters of Monastery Immaculate Conception, Ferdinand, alternating
days of presiding and preaching at their daily Eucharist, hearing
confessions and attending to other spiritual needs. This evening
many of them attended Vespers and then a reception/supper at
Ferdinand, graciously offered by the sisters as an expression of
thanks for their ministry this past year.
(4) A quiet Wednesday on the hill, the special
feature of the day being our "ordinary special Wednesday evening
desserts" after supper.
(5) Thirty seminarians from the Bishop Simon
Brute Formation House in Indianapolis are making their annual
retreat here on the hill. Father Bob Robeson, an alumnus and
associate vocation director of the Archdiocese, is with them for
these days of prayer and renewal.
(6) Brother Hugh had successful outpatient foot
surgery; he'll be recuperating for the next few weeks.
+++ Father Colman returned to the monastery, after a
several-year period of exclaustration. He's moved into his new cell
and is eager to catch up on things. Rumor has it that it won't be
too long before the Prior adds his name to the house assignments
(7) We received the oblation of Richard Cooper
of Corydon, Indiana, in the Archabbey Church after Midday Prayer.
May God bless the prayer and work of all our oblates!
(8) Sunday, the Solemnity of the Epiphany.
Father Abbot presided and preached at the Conventual Mass, and we
continued our celebration in the refectory by having
colloquium at our noonday meal.
(9) Monday, the feast of the Baptism of Our
Lord, and surely it is only a coincidence that, due to a water main
break, the county has put us under a "boil water order"! So, it's
taking a bit of extra time to make coffee, and thirsts are being
refreshed by dozens of plastic bottles.
+++ We did bless our baptismal water at Mass this morning
(no boiling there); Father Sean, Mass Heb, presided, and Brother
Romain, a deacon and one of our visiting Benedictines from Togo,
West Africa, preached.
(10) Tuesday, our second day under the boil
order, but it seems as though all will be back in order by
(11) The carpet in our common room, the
calefactory, was cleaned today, so some foot traffic was rerouted
and we enjoyed our Wednesday "special desserts" in the refectory.
And, once again we have living water!
(12) Our first snow of the season-the first
that actually stuck to anything. Only about a half-inch fell, but
it lasted long enough for many to sit back by the fireplace and
enjoy the scenery for a while.
(13) We received word that Abbot Martin Werlen
of Einsiedeln Abbey, our mother house in Switzerland, received a
serious head injury while playing volleyball (at Einsiedeln) today.
After an initial visit to the hospital in the town of Einsiedeln,
he was transported to University Hospital in Zurich. Our latest
report today says he is in a coma.
(14) Thankfully, Abbot Martin seems to be
making progress. Still considered in serious condition, he is
showing some response to the words and presence of others. Abbot
Martin is an alumnus of Saint Meinrad: he spent two semesters with
us in 1987-1988, taking some courses in pastoral studies prior to
his ordination to the priesthood.
(15) Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. Father
Jeremy, our Mass Heb, presided and preached at the 9:30 Conventual
+++ This month and next, we have a number of "Saint
Meinrad Sundays" scheduled, and so many of the monastery's priests
will be spending the weekend in parishes throughout the
Indianapolis and Evansville dioceses.
(16) The 167 participants in Delta Chi "A"s'
Academy annual meeting concluded today. Members of the Academy have
been coming to the hill long enough now that the fraternity is
considering it a "tradition."
(17) Abbot Martin seems to be recovering slowly
but steadily. Brother Thomas, our Einsiedeln confrere studying with
us this year, tells us that he probably won't be receiving any more
immediate news, short of something unexpected occurring.
(18) On this Wednesday we began, with the
Universal Church, to commemorate the Octave for Church Unity.
Father Jeremy, our Mass Heb, presided and preached at our
(19) Candidate Matthew Scheeser was clothed
with the scapular in a brief ceremony in our entryway just before
Vespers. He then led the community in procession into the Archabbey
Church. We continued celebrating the beginning of his novitiate
with colloquium at supper, and then a chocolate and
liqueur social in the calefactory after Compline.
(20) Father Archabbot Justin presided at First
Vespers of the Solemnity of our patron this evening.
+++ After Compline, at "Jack's in the Commons," we enjoyed
a social with many of the seminarians. They will be heading to
Washington, D.C., Sunday for the annual Right to Life March, and so
this was the most convenient time for us to
celebrate-non-liturgically-the solemnity of St. Meinrad.
(21) And on this Saturday we did celebrate
liturgically! Archabbot Justin, on what is also the seventh
anniversary of his election as our abbot, presided and preached at
our 9:30 Conventual Eucharist. We prayed Midday Prayer at 11:30-30
minutes earlier than usual-to allow the monks to enjoy a social in
the calefactory, before a fine noonday meal of turkey with all the
+++ In this solemnity of our patronal saint, we especially
remember the living and deceased parents of the monks of Saint
Meinrad for their financial and spiritual support-and their very
visible contributions!-to the monastic community.
(22) Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, and Father
Joseph is our Mass Heb. +++ Father Abbot Justin
presided at Mass in the parish in downtown St. Meinrad this
morning, as part of the town's conclusion of the celebration of its
(23) Thirty participants concluded their
several-day high school reunion on the hill today. Congratulations
to the St. Xavier High School Group from Louisville!
(24) We received word that Abbot Martin of
Einsiedeln has been released from University Hospital in Zurich and
is now in a rehabilitation home closer to Einsiedeln Abbey. He
seems to be making slow, steady progress.
(25) On this feast of the conversion of St.
Paul, we mark the end of the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Brother Romain preached at our Conventual Mass. +++
This is the feast day of Father Paul-one of five confreres
currently pursuing graduate studies. Father Paul is in Rome,
working on his doctorate in Sacred Scripture.
(26) A grey and drizzly day, all day. Abbot
Bonaventure, admitted to the infirmary for a bit of "extra watch"
yesterday, is back in his cell and, as usual, is very much up and
(27) After almost a half-year of declining
health, Father Donald Walpole died this afternoon. Several of our
health care personnel and confreres were with him. Father Donald
was 94 years old.
+++ Elizabeth Wourms of Beavercreek, Ohio, was invested as
an oblate novice in the Archabbey Church after Midday Prayer.
(28) About 70 of our lay degree students are on
the hill this weekend; classes include "Sacraments of Initiation"
(taught by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, OFM), "A Transformed Life"
(taught by Sisters Maria Tasto, OSB, and Kathy Huber, OSB, of
Monastery Immaculate Conception, Ferdinand), and "Medieval Church
History" (taught by Dr. Alexander Hwang).
+++ We received the oblation of Larry Barnes of Muncie,
Indiana, in the Archabbey Church after Midday Prayer. May God bless
all our oblates!
+++ Many enjoyed the choral music program presented this
afternoon in the Archabbey Church by the Bloomington, Indiana,
Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and Musicians. The
90-minute program included compositions for organ and chorus, as
well as readings reflecting on the mystery of the Incarnation. The
works were conducted and played by more than 10 different
conductors and organists.
(29) We received the body of Father Donald at
the entryway of the monastery after Midday Prayer. Father Prior
Kurt led the community in the reception, which included a chant and
a brief reading from the Rule. This evening at seven
o'clock, we prayed the traditional Office of the Dead. Father Prior
Kurt presided and two of the monastery's artists (Father Donald was
a splendid artist!), Brother Kim and Brother Martin, served as
assistants. Archabbot Bonaventure, who professed his monastic vows
two years to the day before Father Donald professed his, offered
+++ Father Adrian concluded the weekend retreat, "Prayer:
What is It, Really?" to 44 participants from Good Shepherd Parish
(30) We began the funeral liturgy of Father
Donald at 10 o'clock this morning. Father Archabbot Justin
presided, and Father Germain preached. Burial in our cemetery
followed, and then our guests joined us for a buffet lunch in the
Anselm Dining Room. This evening, another of our confreres, Father
Eric, died at the age of 92. He, too, had been in declining health
for some time.
(31) This past Saturday evening (the 28th), the
mother of Father Jonathan died at the age of 97. She and her
husband-90 years old, still living-had been married 63 years. Our
condolences to Father Jonathan and John, his father, and may Mrs.
Fassero, and all the faithful departed, rest in peace!
We end January's entries with a quote from the Rule of St.
"In his commands, [the Abbot] should be farsighted and
thoughtful. And whether it is a question of spiritual or material
matters, he should give prudent and moderate orders…. He should
arrange everything so that the strong are challenged and the feeble
are not overwhelmed."
Chapter 64, "The Installation of the Abbot"
Translation by Fr. Terence Kardong, OSB, monk of Assumption