First Week of October
October "began" on Wednesday. Prior to that, Father Eugene was
our Mass Heb for the 26th Sunday and Week in Ordinary
Time. He did some extra duty before September was out, as he
presided and preached also on Monday, the Feast of the Archangels
Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, and then again on Tuesday, as we
celebrated the 17th Anniversary of the Dedication of the
Week of October 5
Father Vincent was our Mass Heb for the 27th Sunday
and week in Ordinary Time. The week began with this season's first
pilgrimage/rosary at the Monte Cassino Chapel, located just a mile
northeast of our hill. Father Noël was the first of the October
speakers, speaking on "Mary, Virgin of Mercy."
Among our many guests this week were 75 priests and staff from
the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, who were participating in the
annual priests' retreat from Monday through Friday.
Week of October 12
Father Adrian was our Mass Heb for the 28th Sunday
and week in Ordinary Time, and our church was pretty full for our
Sunday Eucharist. Among our guests were 30 members of Highland
Baptist Church from Louisville, making a young adult retreat, and
another half-dozen participants in a week-long Icon Painting
Workshop, which begins today (led by Br. Michael Moran, CP).
We undoubtedly also had many visitors who later took part in the
pilgrimage and rosary devotion at Monte Cassino Chapel. Father Sean
preached on that "small hill" this Sunday, his specific theme being
"Mary, Mother of Life."
About 50 of our lay degree students concluded another round of
weekend courses, as they continued work toward their degrees.
Courses and professors were "God and the Human Person" by Dr. Keith
Lemna, "Christian Ethics" by Dr. Kevin Schemenauer, and "Modern
Church History" by Dr. Robert Alvis.
On Saturday the 18th we celebrated the feast of Saint
Luke. As part of his celebrating his patronal feast, Brother Luke
preached for the first time in the Archabbey Church.
Saturday also saw the third annual Benedictine Hills Pilgrimage.
About 70 pilgrims joined the monastic community for Midday Prayer,
at which Abbot Justin spoke briefly about the pilgrimage toward the
New Jerusalem, to which all Christians are committed.
The pilgrims, a dozen or so monks included in their number, then
processed to Monte Cassino, their first stop, where Father Brendan
addressed them and their prayer intentions were collected. The
procession continued on to Monastery Immaculate Conception in
Ferdinand, arriving in time for Vespers with the sisters. A cookout
followed, thus replenishing the energy expended on the five-mile
Week of October 19
Father Germain was our Mass Heb for the 29th Sunday
and week in Ordinary Time. Father Noël accepted his invitation to
preach at the Conventual Mass on Sunday, his feast day. Father
Timothy preached at the Monte Cassino rosary-procession, his theme
being "Mary at the Cross."
A dozen of our lay degree students were with us over the
weekend, taking a course in "Human Development and Christian
Maturity," offered by Sr. Janice Bachman, OP.
The seminarians enjoyed a long weekend (no classes on Friday),
although a few dozen remained on the hill to take part-by playing
or cheering-in the annual Seminarian Soccer Tournament. Our Saint
Meinrad Ravens emerged victorious, defeating teams from Sacred
Heart Seminary in Detroit, Mt. St. Mary's in Cincinnati, and Bruté
Week of October 26
Father Sean was our Mass Heb for the 30th Sunday and
week in Ordinary Time. Brother André led the final rosary and
procession for the season at Monte Cassino Sunday afternoon. The
topic of his homily was "Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary."
Thursday evening we enjoyed a "pumpkin-carving contest" in the
refectory after Compline. On Halloween itself, we celebrated I
Vespers of All Saints, with Abbot Justin presiding. A regular meal
followed, but after Compline we proceeded to the calefactory, where
we were entertained with snacks, treats, stories, and skits-all
organized and arranged by our junior monks.
On Saturday, the Solemnity of All Saints, we observed our Sunday
schedule. Abbot Justin presided at our Eucharist, and one of our
three monastic deacons, Brother Philippe Tchalou, of the Monastery
of the Incarnation in Togo, Africa, preached for the first time in
the Archabbey Church. The day before, Brother Philippe received the
happy news that he will be ordained to the priesthood next July 11,
"one of the feasts" of Saint Benedict.