Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

February 26-March 3, 2016

Did you catch Br. Francis' latest blogs? If not, here are the links below:

Our Unpredictable God

Prayer for an abbot

The Truth of the Cross

Fr. Denis Q. and Fr. John gave the remembrance and homily, respectively, for Abbot Alan. Some notes from Fr. John's homily from the funeral Mass, where Abbot Justin presided:


Job 19:1, 23-27

Romans: 8:14-23

Matthew 25:14-21

Fr. Denis and I, unbeknownst to each other, chose the same Romans reading for our reflections, calling to mind Abbot Alan's suffering and also his role of Christ as abbot. Abbot Alan's way of showing love was unique. Here at Saint Meinrad, we have only seen a little glimpse of Abbot Alan. He had a stern love of Christ and lived stubbornly. In 1946 he began 66 years in the Dakotas, leaving his home monastery of Saint Meinrad.

He loved the Missouri River. He supervised the farm and taught the boys farm techniques, and he coached the high school boys' basketball team.

He was one of the 1954 founding members of Blue Cloud Abbey.

As mission superior, he encouraged individual responsibility. He returned to Blue Cloud as prior, where he sought to unify the community. In 1970, he was elected abbot, which spanned the 1970s and '80s. He renewed and enforced common prayer, work, lectio and recreation.

As a resigned abbot, he committed to live a life of dutiful love. When we closed Blue Cloud, Abbot Alan and Fr. Cletus, our senior-most members, were role models for us. We affect one another as we live, and though death separates us, we are united in the Eucharist.

During Abbot Alan's time at Blue Cloud, we sang a Sioux Hymn at the cemetery following the reservation custom: "Wakantanka kici yaon." God be with you till we meet again. We wish that now to Abbot Alan. God be with you till we meet again. Well done, good and faithful servant. Come share your Master's joy.

Fr. Harry presided at Mass this week. I had notes ready for his Sunday homily, however, Br. Francis posted Fr. Harry's Sunday homily on his blog. Check it out here: Our Unpredictable God.

Fr. Harry shared the following throughout the week:

  • Wednesday: Moses encourages the Israelites to keep the statutes and decrees. These are the laws of the Torah. Monks are encouraged to grow in their obedience. (Fr. Harry offers four obediences presented in the Rule of St. Benedict .) 1) Obedience to the Abbot, which is really obedience to God and Christ; 2) So, really, the second obedience is obedience to the Abbot; 3) Mutual obedience-obedience to each other; 4) The fourth obedience became clear one year when Fr. Harry, as novice and junior master, noticed the novices having a particularly tough time. Obedience to self. By obeying yourself, we are not talking about self-will but about being obedient to the best part of oneself-the goodness that lies at our core. This is the goodness Christ teaches us to live fully in the Kingdom of God.
  • Friday: Dr. Bob O'Connor served for many years as the psychiatrist who evaluated prospective monks and seminarians at Saint Meinrad. He was affectionately (or notoriously) known as "Razor lips" because he certainly made a good effort in getting to know the candidate and his background. Bob visited campus and Fr. Harry walked around with Bob. They stopped at the library where a display of Fr. Eric's calligraphy was out for viewing. One piece contained a phrase from today's reading: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself." The line, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" was written smaller than the rest of the text. Bob suggested this part should be much larger because he spent his career encouraging patients to love themselves. Are you taking the time to love yourself for who you are?

From 3 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, we had the opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration to especially call to mind the intention of our upcoming abbatial election.

Fr. Mel celebrated his 91st birthday on Wednesday. Ad multos annos!

On Thursday, three of the visiting Benedictines staying and studying with us made deacon promises. Congratulations to Br. Linus Klucsarits, OSB (Saint Bernard Abbey, Cullman, Alabama), Br. Stephen Lawson (Saint Anselm Abbey, Manchester, New Hampshire) and Br. David N'djam (Monastere de l'Incarnation d'Agbang, Togo, Africa).

On Monday, we heard the following intercession at Lauds:

"For the grace to confess our sins and avail ourselves of God's mercy. Let us pray to the Lord." 

Do you have access to Facebook? Our Monastery Vocations Facebook page has been posting visual reflections for an examination of conscience from Fr. Prior Kurt's Sacrament of Reconciliation book. These reflections are on the 10 commandments to aid in an examination of conscience. Here is a link to the photo album and reflections.

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.