(1) Father Columba is on his way to Houston
today, to begin tomorrow a four-day workshop on Gregorian Chant at
the University of St. Thomas. The workshop is sponsored by St.
Basil's School of Gregorian Chant, and their workshop brochure
describes Fr. Columba as "one of the world's greatest living
scholars of Gregorian chant." Congratulations, Fr. Columba, to a
tribute well deserved!
(2) Today Fr. Christopher Coyne, "formerly" a
priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, was ordained Auxiliary Bishop
of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The liturgy took place at St.
John Church, Indianapolis. Among the monks attending were Fathers
Archabbot Justin, Barnabas, Bede, Jonathan, Julian, Denis and
Anthony, and Brother Mauritius, a monk from our mother abbey of
Einsiedeln, who is with us this year studying in our seminary. Also
present were Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, and about 16 other
(3) This evening we hosted the annual Service
Recognition Dinner for over a hundred of our co-workers. These
loyal friends joined us for Vespers, and then enjoyed a social and
fine supper with a dozen members of the monastic community,
including Father Archabbot Justin and Father Archabbot Bonaventure.
All of these men and women are blessings to us. May God bless them
and their families!
(4) Father Noël began the weekend retreat,
"Carnival Capers: Preparing for Lent," at our Guest House and
Retreat Center for some 17 participants this evening. The retreat
runs through Sunday noon.
(5) About 35 monks marched or rode down to The
UnStable for our occasional "pizza lunch" after Midday Prayer.
Fathers Prior Kurt and Patrick and third-year theology seminarian
Brian Lederer (Duluth) and first-year theology seminarian Timothy
Wyciskalla (Indianapolis) prepared some 15 large pizzas and
tendered the beverages.
(6) Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time-and the last
Sunday before Lent! Father Vincent, beginning his week as our Mass
Heb, presided and preached this morning. After Mass we exposed the
Blessed Sacrament on the altar, beginning our annual Day of
Adoration. We concluded Vespers this evening with Benediction and
by again reposing the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.
+++ After Vespers we welcomed into our refectory the 30 or so
seminarians from the St. Luke Formation House who had prayed with
us. They enjoyed a brief tour of the monastery afterward.
(7) We welcomed Brother Hugh "back home" today.
For almost a year, he had been caring for his mother (RIP February
18) at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Evansville. May she, and
all the faithful departed-especially our deceased parents-know the
mercy of God and rest in peace.
(8) We transferred our customary "Wednesday
Evening Special Dessert" time to this evening, to better honor the
mood both of Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Following desserts
and then Compline, Father Abbot Justin offered the community his
+++ We also celebrated today the feastday of Father
(9) Father Abbot Justin presided and preached at
our Conventual Mass this Ash Wednesday. After blessing the ashes
after the homily, he received them from Father Prior Kurt, and then
distributed them to the Prior and the community. As they processed
to the abbot to receive the ashes, the monks dropped their Bona
Operas in a basket at the ambo. Fr. Abbot reviewed, annotated
and signed, and returned them to each monk by the close of the
+++ After Vespers we received the oblation of Mr. Scott Tretter,
of nearby Oakland City.
+++ And, even with the beginning of Lent, we remember to
celebrate the patronal feast day of Brother Dominic.
(10) Many of our seminarians left after their
last class this morning or afternoon to enjoy a "long weekend." The
faculty and administration enjoy this time as well! Classes resume
(11) It was an unusually quiet day here on the
hill, even with over 100 Boy Scouts from the Evansville Diocese
arriving in the early evening to begin a weekend retreat!
(12) Throughout the year, we have many college
seminarians visiting to "take a look at our seminary"-part of the
decision-making process by them and their vocation directors as to
which theologate they will attend. For these next few days, we are
hosting a brother monk, Brother Simon Baker of St. Benedict's
Abbey, Atchison, Kansas, who is considering our school for his
studies for the priesthood.
(13) Father Sean is our Mass Heb for this first
week of Lent but, as he was assisting at a parish this weekend,
Father Jeremy presided and preached at our Conventual Mass.
(14) We have set aside four Lenten Monday
evenings to tend to our spiritual education and formation. The
first of these sessions, presented after Compline by Father Harry,
offered an overview of the psalms in our monastic prayer and how
they have shaped our common prayer in the Opus Dei.
(15) Father Sean preached this morning on this
Ides of March, and in the evening Father Vincent began offering a
midweek retreat at our Guest House and Retreat Center. Twenty
participants have signed up for "The Return to God in the Rule
of St. Benedict."
(16) Among the guests and visitors to the hill
this past week were two prospective candidates for the monastery.
Both young men spent the better part of a week joining us in the
house for prayers, meals, work and recreation. We pray that God may
guide their discernment. And, in line with that, we pray for
vocations to our monastery each day at the conclusion of our "grace
after meals" at our main meal, and as part of our procession to the
Shrine of Our Lady of Einsiedeln at the end of I Vespers (Saturday
evening) each week.
(17) The violet vestments didn't have a green
trim on this feast of St. Patrick, but corned beef and cabbage was
on the supper menu.
+++ Happy feast day to Father Patrick!
+++ This evening the monastic community enjoyed an hour session
with Abbot Gregory Polan of Conception Abbey (Missouri), who
explained the rationale and some of the details behind the revised
translation of the Grail Psalter we will soon be adopting
for choir use. Abbot Gregory was an excellent person to do this for
us: the translation is largely his! We'll be familiarizing
ourselves with this translation in various ways over the next
months. (This is a different issue than the new Roman
Missal we'll be adopting-along with the rest of the
English-speaking Church-this First Sunday of Advent.)
(18) Today is the patronal feast day of our
Father Christian, who is in his second year pursuing doctoral
studies at The Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
+++ Some 33 participants began a weekend retreat this evening at
our Guest House and Retreat Center; Brother John Mark is directing
"Monastic Practices: Drawing Everyday Wisdom from the Monastic
(19) The Solemnity of St. Joseph-an O.P.
according to the ranking of liturgical feasts, and so Father Prior
Kurt presided and preached at our Conventual Mass.
+++ After Midday Prayer, we received the oblation of Raul and
Judy Longoria of Bartlett, Tennessee.
+++ And, happy feast day to Father Joseph!
(20) Father Julian, our Mass Heb, presided and
preached on this Second Sunday of Lent. The Archabbey Church was
rather full, as our weekend retreatants and other guests joined
+++ After Compline, we welcomed the Most Reverend Christopher
Coyne, the recently ordained auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of
Indianapolis. In anticipation of tomorrow's solemnity, we enjoyed a
modest social at "Jack's in the Commons."
(21) Auxiliary Bishop of Indianapolis
Christopher Coyne presided and preached at our Eucharist on this
solemnity of St. Benedict. Some six dozen oblates (who are on
retreat) and our seminarians joined us for Mass, so the Archabbey
Church was quite full.
+++ This was Bishop Coyne's first visit ever to Saint Meinrad;
he will be returning at the end of April to ordain one of his
seminarians and Brother Romain, a monk from the Monastery of the
Incarnation in Togo, West Africa, to the diaconate. The other
deacon candidates in our seminary will be ordained in their home
diocese throughout May and June.
+++ We celebrated the feast days of three of our confreres
today: Brother Benedict, Father Benedict and Brother Benjamin. May
God's grace sustain them in their monastic life!
+++ In the midst of our celebration, we received word that our
confrere, Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, OSB, archbishop of
Indianapolis, suffered a minor stroke. He is recuperating in an
(22) The oblate retreat, which began Sunday
evening, ended at noon today. Father Adrian directed almost 80
oblates, 64 of whom stayed at our Guest House and Retreat Center.
During the retreat, we invested one oblate and received six final
oblations. May God continue to bless the many men and women who
associate themselves with the prayer and work of our monastery!
(23) Amy Halt of Bloomington, Illinois, was
invested as an oblate in the Archabbey Church after Vespers today.
Congratulations to her, and to all of our recently invested and
(24) Thirty junior high students from Trinity
High School, Whitesville, Kentucky, began a 24-hour retreat on the
hill. We pray for them, and for all who come to the hill seeking to
strengthen their relationship with the Lord.
+++ The "slype" is the passageway that connects the Archabbey
Church and the monastery. It's that glass-enclosed area that, if
you walk outside the church before weekend Vespers or Sunday Mass,
you'll see the monks lined up, preparing to process into the
church. This week workmen have begun to repair and replace the
glass and the frames of the slype-the first major work done on this
structure since the dedication of the renovated Archabbey Church in
1997. The improvements will help keep the air conditioning in
during the summer and the heat during the winter.
(25) We had some scattered snow flurries this
morning, on this solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord. Father
Prior presided at our Eucharist (an "O.P.") and, at his invitation,
Father Julian preached.
(26) After Vespers, Scott Woods, a second-year
philosophy seminarian from the Diocese of Toledo, was invested as
an oblate novice. We congratulate him and welcome him to our oblate
(27) On this Third Sunday of Lent, Father
Joseph began his service as our Mass Hebdomadarian. (As is
sometimes the case, he also serves as our Heb and the Divine
+++ We celebrated the feast day of Father Rupert today. The
weather was not at its best, but Father still is in many ways; I
believe he went for his daily ride on his "tri-bike." God's
blessings, Father Rupert!
(28) As part of our Lenten observance, we
remained in choir after Compline this evening. Father Julian
offered a brief reflection on his favorite psalm, and then as a
community we alternated the psalm in our usual manner, using the
translation from the revised Grail Psalter from Conception
Abbey (Missouri) we will soon adopt. Brother John Mark also gave a
reflection on his favorite psalm, after which we prayed that psalm.
This exercise-we'll do this again next Monday-both familiarizes us
with the new translation and offers us a chance for some "common
(29) Father Richard went and returned from
Jasper Memorial Hospital today, having some minor surgery done. He
seems in good spirits and health!
+++ Father Paul Turner, a priest of the Diocese of Kansas
City-St. Joseph, is offering conferences this evening and tomorrow
morning to the seminary community regarding the forthcoming
translation of the Roman Missal. Father Paul is a prolific
author and a consultor for the International Commission on English
in the Liturgy. He received his S.T.D. in sacramental theology from
Sant' Anselmo, the International Benedictine University in
(30) Father Abbot Justin concluded the third of
three "mini-mission" talks at Saint Paul's Parish in Tell City this
+++ Work on the repair and remodeling of our slype
(31) Sixteen priests from the Archdiocese of
Louisville are enjoying their last full day of a five-day Ignatian
Retreat at our Guest House and Retreat Center.
+++ Father Richard continues to recover from his surgery earlier
in the week; this morning he vacated his temporary infirmary room
and returned to his own cell. We are blessed to receive excellent
care from our dedicated nursing staff, who presently assist seven
of our confreres who are now full-time infirmary residents: Brother
Benedict, Father Eric, Father Donald, Father Simeon, Father
Benedict, Father Aurelius and Father Mel. We keep in prayer also
our sick confreres off-the-hill, especially Archbishop Daniel, who
continues his rehabilitation from his stroke, and Father Severin,
whose cancer appears in remission.
Quote of the Month
No "question of the month" this time around, and so our tireless
research assistant has some time off. We do conclude with a quote
from the Rule of St. Benedict:
"So the one who needs less should thank God and not be sad. And
whoever needs more should be humble about his weaknesses and not
gloat over the mercy shown him."
Chapter 34, "Whether All Should Receive Necessities in Equal
Translation by Fr. Terence Kardong, OSB
Monk of Assumption Abbey