Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

December 17-26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

On Saturday, December 17, several monks wrote about 170 Christmas cards at the UnStable for Branchville inmates, our food box families, the infirm sisters at our neighbor monastery in Ferdinand, and residents at local nursing and assisted living facilities. We obtained many of these names through our seminary students who visit these folks on a regular basis.

Fathers Pius and Barnabas and Brother Zachary helped deliver some of the cards. We ended the afternoon with pizza (baked by Archabbot Kurt and Brothers Justin [Togo], James and Jean) and fraternal cheer at the UnStable.

On Saturday, our Abbey Caskets hosted the 4th annual Service of the Longest Night. The Service of the Longest Night uses prayer and scripture to acknowledge those who mourn and struggle with loss during the holiday season. Father Adrian led the prayer service, and the night concluded with light refreshments.

Father Eugene led a retreat on Friday through Sunday at the Guest House: "Spiritual Themes in the Gospel of Luke."

Brother Francis posted some new blog posts: Rorate coeli, Toward the Dawn, Today is born our Savior and Christian, remember your dignity.

On Wednesday, Father Christian gave our final community Advent Conference. Later in the evening, after Compline, we decorated our Christmas tree and enjoyed some baked goods and eggnog.

Several of the junior monks went door to door greeting our infirm monks on Thursday … they also had a special guest along with them: Santa Claus (Brother Zachary nailed the role, costume and all!).

In addition to the cards we wrote, several monks assembled care packages to give out to families in need in the area who receive our foodboxes. The care packages included fruit, candy, homemade granola, cookies, bread and our Abbey soap.

On Saturday, Christmas Eve, we celebrated I Vespers of Christmas, anticipated Christmas Vigils at 7 p.m., and at 10 p.m. we celebrated the Christmas in Nocte Mass. Archabbot Kurt presided and preached.

On Sunday, Christmas Day, we had the option to sleep in. Breakfast started at 7, and we had Christmas Lauds at 8 a.m. followed by Mass in Die at 9:30 a.m. Archabbot Kurt was the principal celebrant and Father Gavin preached.

In addition to our liturgical celebrations of the day, we had Christmas Cheer at noon with hors d'oeuvres followed by our Christmas meal at about 12:30. Our Christmas Day concluded with II Vespers, dinner and Compline.

Father Christian and Brothers Zachary and Simon celebrated Christmas Mass at Branchville prison with about 30 offenders. We welcomed one inmate into the Church who received the sacraments of initiation on Christmas Day.

On Monday, we had a Sunday schedule and celebrated the feast of St. Stephen. Father Subprior Guerric served as the principal celebrant for our Eucharist. We enjoyed colloquium (talking) at our noon meal.

May the joy, peace and hope of Christmas continue reigning in your hearts throughout the New Year.

Each day the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey write another page in the long history of Benedictine monks throughout the world. Here are recent events chronicled at Saint Meinrad.