Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

July 22-28, 2016

On Tuesday, Archbishop Joseph Tobin presided at our Eucharistic liturgy in which he blessed Archabbot Kurt. Archabbot Kurt formally received the Rule of St. Benedict, the miter, the crozier and his abbatial ring (fashioned from his father's wedding band by our Brother Martin).

Hundreds of guests joined us representing many of the constituencies that make up our Saint Meinrad family: coworkers, benefactors, oblates, alumni, seminarians/students and personal guests of Archabbot Kurt. In addition, several bishops and abbots joined the celebration. Here is a link to a photo slideshow of the blessing on YouTube.

Brother Francis wrote a blog post about the abbatial blessing.

We enjoyed a pizza lunch at the UnStable last Saturday. Yum!

On Sunday, we hosted an organ concert in the Archabbey Church performed by our own George Hubbard and three of Fr. Columba's chant class students: Michael David of Evanston, IL; Ray Henderson of Carle Place, NY; and Rev. Edward Wagner of Chelsie, Ontario. This has been an annual event for a good number of summers.

The men in permanent diaconate formation for the Diocese of Wilmington spent a week here this week in homiletic formation.

We are at the midway point in hosting five priests for a month-long mini-sabbatical program through our Institute for Priests and Presbyterates. Several monks are assisting in many functions of the program: Father Joseph, Father Barnabas, Brother André, Brother William, Father Christian, Father Eugene, and Father Denis R.

Father Columba and George Hubbard (one of our organists on staff) hosted the "Bringing to Life the Word of God" chant workshop this week.

Brother Joel shares a nice overview of the service trip he went on to St. Joseph Abbey in Louisiana with Brothers Stephen and Jean:

On Monday of this week (July 18), Brothers Jean, Stephen, and I returned from an expedition to our daughter house, St. Joseph Abbey, in Covington, LA. They are still recovering from the devastating flood earlier this year, and we did our best to help them by painting in their college dormitories.

The cleanup from the flood is complete, but every building touched by the flood has been gutted on ground level, and it all must be rebuilt. By painting in the dorms, we helped free their maintenance crews to work in areas that were in more pressing need of their greater skill and attention. Thankfully, air conditioning and electricity are functioning throughout the campus, and we enjoyed a pleasant working environment.

We arrived at St. Joseph Abbey on Tuesday night of last week, and we began work the next day. During our stay, we were nearly overwhelmed by the community's generosity and hospitality. Surely, hospitality that is both Southern and Benedictine must be the chief of all hospitalities. Though we put in three very full days of work, there was still time to enjoy getting to know their community.

Early in the week, we watched a movie in the house and went on an outing with their men in formation to get "snowballs," which are like snow cones made with very finely shaved ice. I had mine stuffed with ice cream.

On Saturday, we hiked with their novices through the very shallow and calm Bogue Falaya river (it is remarkable that it was able to swell to 27 feet), and then on Sunday we toured the French Quarter of New Orleans with Abbot Justin Brown and a priest friend of his who lives in the quarter. New Orleans is a remarkable, energetic, and (to my Midwestern sensibilities) bizarre city, and I highly recommend a visit to anyone who gets a chance to go.

Overall, we were impressed by the community's friendliness, easygoing nature, and food. On the feast day of Our Lady of Einsiedeln (which they celebrate as a feast instead of a solemnity), they had wine and colloquium in our honor, and they always made us feel welcome and at home.

As tokens of gratitude, they gave us t-shirts, a bag of homemade soap each, and two seedlings-a magnolia tree and a crepe myrtle tree. We hope to plant them in the monastery courtyard as a symbol of lasting friendship and goodwill between our two houses.

Last weekend, Brother Simon served on a team for the Southwest Indiana Teens Encounter Christ retreat in Ireland, Indiana.

Last Saturday, Novice Tony and Brother Jean spent some time at the Farmer's Market in Jasper selling some homemade monastery bread. It is a real treat to have this throughout the day to supplement our meals! They plan to have better signage marketing the bread next time they go because many people were excited to try some of the bread.

On Wednesday, we had a continuation of "Kurt-fest," as we heard in his toast at dinner, because it was Archabbot Kurt's feast day. So, we enjoyed colloquium and a tasty dinner planned by Brother André.

Thank you for your prayerfulness at the time of our abbatial blessing, and continue to pray for us as we welcome a sizeable Alumni Reunion crowd next week in addition to moving back to the monastery. Further, pray for Novice Tony, as he will be on retreat in preparation for his temporary profession next Saturday, August 6, on the Feast of the Transfiguration.

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.