Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

Monk Profiles

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Here are brief profiles of some members of the Saint Meinrad monastic community.

Br. John Glasenapp, OSB

Monk-Senior

Head shot of Br. John Glasenapp, OSBTitle: Student
Born: June 21, 1978
Professed: February 2, 2007

Prior Work/Life Experience: 
I spent two years after my undergraduate working in administration for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, teaching piano privately, and working part-time in a music store. My ambition at that time was to pursue my doctorate in musicology, so while I was working I was also taking courses in Latin, Irish, French, Gregorian chant and opera while doing lots of reading and writing. I began graduate school at University of Chicago in 2003 just as I was also beginning to discern monastic life.

Education History:

  • 2001 - B.A. in music, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
  • 2001 - B.M. in music and business, DePaul University, Chicago, IL

Work in the Monastery: 
I am a full-time student in our School of Theology and am becoming more involved with liturgical music here. I also do a fair bit of gardening in the summer months.

Other Interests: 
I like learning and I like improving. I also love to watch people around me engaged in what they do well. My interests mostly seem to revolve around those themes. I love watching a garden grow, struggling through a new language, unraveling a piece of music, hiking in a place I've never been, trying foods I've never heard of, and then convincing the people around me to try the same thing.

What Attracted Me to Monastic Life:
When I was first beginning to experience a call to conversion, I felt ill-prepared and tongue-tied. I could hardly express the sorts of questions that were suddenly bothering me. I also had some serious reservations. Providentially, I had the good fortune to make early acquaintance with a few Benedictines. In our talks, I was blown away by their agility and adeptness at integrating faith concepts with life experience in a way that gave them both sense. It was a sense that I was not at all finding in my other studies.

Later on, I learned this connection was one of St. Benedict's primary interests. Benedict understood that faith and its fruits, including prayer, would remain diffuse and irrelevant unless each of us allowed faith to mingle with the raw grit of daily life. So a Benedictine is not only a person of prayer, but also a student of life and the real-life situations of our world. Community living, work, silence, liturgy, hospitality, discipline, recreation all help keep a monk's feet on the ground and, in a distinct way, help bring him to a deeper and more constant state of prayer.