Catholic Relief Services

The Hunger Site

Catholics Confront Global Poverty

The Order of Saint Benedict

What Was New

January, February, and March 2018

Rev. 05 June 2018


Be notified of page updates
it's private; powered by ChangeDetection
OSB Headlines OSB Facebook

March 2018

Easter Triduum

The Easter Triduum of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection began with the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. Holy Thursday is the oldest of the celebrations of Holy Week. During the Last Supper, Christ blessed the bread and wine with the very words that Catholic and Orthodox priests use to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass and the Divine Liturgy. In telling His disciples to "Do this in remembrance of Me," Jesus instituted the Mass and made the apostles the first priests. Most Holy Week services from Saint John's Abbey will be broadcast live from the abbey church. The celebration of Easter perdures through its privileged Octave.

Transitus of St. Benedict - 21 March

Like the great Saint Joseph, devotion to whom the monks of Monte Cassino fostered, Saint Benedict is a potent patron at the time of one's death. On the margin of the medal of St. Benedict, encircling the figure of Benedict, are the Latin words: Eius in obitu nostro præsentia muniamur (May we be strengthened by his presence in the hour of our death). An additional prayer to Saint Benedict for a happy death is available online.

Several miracles associated with the Transitus (Passing) of Saint Benedict are reported by Pope St. Gregory the Great. In Chapter 37 of the second book of his Dialogues, Gregory relates how Benedict, the man of God, prophecies the time of his death at Monte Cassino and communicates the news of his death to distant monks. By permission of the Congregation for Divine Worship, today's celebration, 21 March 2018, ranks as a solemnity in the American-Cassinese and some other monastic congregations.

Camaldolese Choose Local Superior

A consultative vote of the entire community in a chapter meeting at New Camaldoli Hermitage on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, 19 March 2018, led Prior Cyprian Consiglio OSB Cam. to name Br. Bede Healey OSB Cam. as the new local prior of Incarnation Monastery, Berkeley, California. The Camaldolese cherish Brother Bede "as a man of many talents, with a big heart and a fine mind as well."

Otillilens Establish First Benedictine Monastery in the Arab World

Friday, 9 March 2017, the Missionary Benedictines of Saint Ottilien  officially opened their youngest foundation in Mokattam, Cairo, Egypt. The Coptic Catholic Patriarch, Ibrahim Sidrak, celebrated the Eucharist on the festive occasion. Best wishes to the Monastery of St. Benedict of the Copts for a full measure of the blessings of God for the future. Please pray for the peaceful development of this first Benedictine monastery in the Arab world.

+ Abbot Giles Hayes OSB

Abbot Giles Hayes OSB, 79, died Wednesday, 7 March 2018.  The monks of St. Mary's Abbey, Morristown, NJ, elected him abbot in 2006. In 2013, having reached 75, the age of retirement in the American-Cassinese Congregation, he resigned as abbot.  He had served as Delbarton School's headmaster twice, from 1980 to 1985, and again from 1996 to 2000. Abbot Giles is remembered for his support of social justice and diversity through his participation in the Fair Housing & Assistance Programs of the Urban League of Morris County, NJ, and the NAACP. "From 1980 through 2014, he did part-time work in the coal mining regions of Kentucky among the poorest of the poor of Floyd, Magoffin, and Lee Counties in the Eastern Kentucky Mountains" (Obituary).

He was a member of the College Board where he helped found the DBQ (Document Based Question) test format for Advanced Placement high school exams. The Conference of Major Superiors of Men elected him president in 2010; he assumed the office in 2011, becoming only the second monastic to serve in that capacity since the founding of CMSM in 1956. Abbot Giles served until March 2012 when failing health forced him to step down as president. The monks will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial in the abbey church, Wednesday, 14 March 2018, 10:30 a.m. May he rest in peace.

American Benedictine Academy

The February 2018 issue of The American Monastic Newsletter includes the schedule for the American Benedictine Academy's biennial convention, "Artisans of the Monastery," 19-22 July 2018, St. Benedict's Monastery, St. Joseph, MN.  Membership in the ABA is not necessary to participate in the convention. The reduced registration fee expires, 1 May 2018.

February 2018

Abbatial Elections


Wednesday, 21 February 2018, the monks of the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat (Manila, Philippines) of the Subiaco Cassinese Congregation elected Fr. Austin Cadiz OSB, 44, as the eighth abbot of the community. He served previously as oblate director, procurator, and, from October 2017, prior-administrator of the community. Abbot President Guillermo Leon Arboleda Tamayo OSB presided at the election of Abbot Austin and installed him in the office of abbot. Ad multos annos.


The monks of Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem elected Dom Bernhard Maria Alter OSB, 71, the seventh abbot of their community, 20 February 2018. Abbot Bernhard Maria was born in Poland, 1946, and ordained a priest in 1970. Over the years he lived as a hermit in the Judean desert, worked as an artist and icon writer, and has served the community as novice master since October 2016. Dormition and its priory at Tagbha, Galilee, belong to the Benedictine Congregation of the Annunciation.


The Holy Father has accepted, 16 February 2018, the resignation from the office of Archabbot Ordinary of Pannonhalma, Hungary, tendered by Most Rev. Imre Asztrik Várszegi OSB. Pope Francis has named Prior Cirill Tamas Horgobagyi OSB, 57, as the new archabbot ordinary. The abbatial blessing will take place 21 March 2018. Archabbot Cyril also serves as the Abbot President of the Hungarian Benedictine Congregation.


The Subiaco-Cassinese monks of Prinknash Abbey, England, announce the election of Dom Martin McLaughlin OSB, 53, as sixth Abbot of Prinknash, installed 10 February 2018. Ad multos annos! For the last 17 years Abbot Martin has been the bursar of the community, and he is a well known retreat- and conference-giver.


The monks of Sacred Heart Abbey, Inkama, South Africa, have elected, 9 February 2018, Fr. John Paul Mwaniki OSB, the third abbot of the community, for an indefinite period. Abbot John Paul is 50 years old and hails from Kenya. Since 2015 he served as prior administrator of the community. Inkamana was established in 1922 and at the time of this election numbers 28 capitulars.

Solemnity of Saint Scholastica

Reliquary bust, ca. 1500
Reliquary bust, ca. 1500

Saturday, 10 February, Benedictines celebrate the devout life and peaceful death of Saint Scholastica of Nursia (480-547). Pope St. Gregory the Great writes about the spiritual friendship between Saint Benedict and his twin sister in chapters 33 and 34 of the Second Book of Dialogues. He uses a story to teach a lesson in the efficacy of prayer.

The visit Benedict made to his sister suggests that their monasteries were not far distant. Such has remained the pattern, and many Brother/Sister monasteries are geographically close. Through collaboration in the apostolate and in prayer, men and women Benedictines support each other in fidelity to the Holy Rule.

In the next chapter of the Dialogues, Gregory recounts how three days later Benedict, "lifting up his eyes to heaven, beheld the soul of his sister that had departed her body ascend into heaven in the likeness of a dove." He gave orders that they both should be buried at Monte Cassino. Saint Benedict was soon thereafter laid to rest beside her in the crypt of Monte Cassino Abbey. "As their souls had always been one in God while they lived, so their bodies continued together after their deaths."

January 2018

+ Archbishop Emeritus Daniel Buechlein OSB

Bishop Buechlein OSB, 79, died Thursday, 25 January 2018, Saint Meinrad, Indiana. He had served as Archbishop of Indianapolis from 1992 to 2011, when he retired to Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Information on visitation and services may be found at the archdiocesan website. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord!

Trappist Monks of Tibhirine in Algeria

On Friday, 26 January 2018, Pope Francis received in audience Angelo Cardinal Amato SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the meeting, the pope authorized the congregation to promulgate the decrees concerning the martyrdom of the Servants of God Peter Claverie, Bishop of Oran, and 18 companions, men and women religious; killed, in hatred of the Faith, in Algeria from 1994 to 1996. The martyrs include the seven Trappist Monks of Tibhirine in Algeria.

Michael Casey OCSO Honored

Good Sam Sister Carmel Posa edits the Cistercian Publications book, A Not-So-Unexciting Life: Essays on Benedictine History and Spirituality in Honor of Fr. Michael Casey OCSO. It is now available in a variety of formats.

S. Carmel SGS presents essays by 18 Benedictine women, men, and lay scholars, including Columba Stewart OSB, recognizing Michael Casey's contribution to Benedictine and Cistercian life for the past 40 years. Casey is surely the most influential Cistercian writer since Fr. Louis Thomas Merton OCSO. Order now.

Prior Re-confirmed at Big Sur

On Wednesday, 24 January 2018, the monks of New Camaldoli Hermitage acclaimed Fr. Cyprian Consiglio OSB Cam on his re-confirmation as prior for another six years. The monastic chapter included all the monks of the various Camaldolese houses in California: New Camaldoli at Big Sur; the dependent houses of Incarnation Monastery, Berkeley, and the Monastery of the Risen Christ, San Luis Obispo; and Fr. Michael Fish OSB Cam who lives separately in a designated Hermitage of St. Romuald.

Benedictine Appointed to Roman Congregation

Pope Francis has appointed, 13 January 2018, Rev. Roberto Fornaciari OSB Cam., 53, as one of the consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Dom Roberto is a professor at the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of Arezzo.

New Abbot for Guatapé Monastery

Friday, 5 January 2018, the monks of Santa María de la Epifanía (Guatapé, Colombia) elected Fr. Humberto Rincón-Fernández OSB as their second abbot. This election coincided with the 50th anniversary of the monastery's foundation that took place, 5 January 1968, solemn First Vespers of Epiphany. The blessing of the new abbot will be on Saturday, 10 February 2018, Feast of Saint Scholastica. Abbot Humberto succeeds Abbot Guillermo Arboleda-Tamayo OSB, currently serving as abbot-president of the Subiaco-Cassinese Congregation.

+ Abbot Cipriano Carini OSB

Abbot Cipriano Carini OSB, from 1983 to 2003, was the abbot of the monastery of Saint John the Evangelist in Parma, where he has never been forgotten. The ducal city remained bound to him with ties of great affection. Parma mourns the Benedictine monk who died, 3 January 2018, at the age of 81 years in his new position as prior at the monastery of San Pietro in Assisi. Dom Cipriano had arrived in January 2007 to lead that Benedictine monastic community.

Born in Piacenza, Dom Cipriano studied philosophy in Rome at Sant'Anselmo and theology at the monastery of Praglia, Padua. From 1955 he led with great commitment the Italian Commission of DIM (Monastic Interreligious Dialog) that encouraged dialog among monastics of every faith.

In Parma, too, Abbot Cipriano is also remembered for the strong impulse he gave to interreligious dialog with all denominations. He began publishing books and articles while in Piacenza, among them were those dedicated to Saint Frances of Rome and Saint Benedict of Nursia. May he rest in peace.

+ Bishop Herbert Hermes OSB

Most Rev. Dom Herbert Hermes OSB, 84, Bishop Emeritus of the Prelacy of Cristalândia, Brazil, died 3 January 2018 at the General Hospital of Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil. He professed vows as a monk of St. Benedict's Abbey, Atchison, Kansas, 11 July 1954. The territorial prelature buried its former bishop, 1990-2009, in the crypt of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Cristalândia, Tocantins, Brazil.

World Day of Peace

Pope Francis used his message for the 51st World Day of Peace 2018 to highlight the plight of migrants and refugees. Quoting Benedict XVI about the one human family, the Holy Father  said, "The wisdom of faith fosters a contemplative gaze that recognizes that all of us 'belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth, whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded.'"


What's New OSB
What's New auf Deutsch: Aktuelle Meldungen (Erbe und Auftrag, Monastische Welt).
What Was New OSB, October, November, and December 2017, and previous quarters (1995-; archive).

The monks of Saint John's Abbey welcome comments, questions and suggestions from readers. Send items for inclusion in "What's New" to the <Webkeeper>.

General News (OCSO/Trappists)

OSB Index | OSB Sitemap
Search | Welcome

OSB Facebook
OSB Website Store


Valid CSS! [Valid HTML 4.0!]Rev. 05 Jun 2018 / © Copyright 2018 by OSB, MN 56321-2015 USA / info @ /