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