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January, February and March 2006

Rev. 31 March 2006

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March 2006

Benedictine Education in Switzerland

Supporters of the lower school at Disentis Abbey have organized a petition protesting proposed financial arrangements in the Swiss canton of Graubünden that would result in the closure of the first two years of monastery's high school. Seen by the monks as a necessary support for the boarding school (Gymnasium), reduced subsidy would sink the number of pupils beneath a critical level. Besides providing a structured education infused with Christian values, the school is one of the few in the nation that offers instruction in the Rätoromanisch language, native speech for about a third of the pupils and, uniquely, a third official language of the canton. On the occasion of the boarding school's 125th anniversary, Rector Pirmin Gnädinger outlined plans to establish the school on the market as an international school with a strong Swiss character. The boarding school is an ideal location for learning to live in community.

Einsiedeln Abbey, on the other hand, has decided to reconfigure its school for boys and girls. Abbot Martin Wehren OSB announced new plans in a series of press releases on Thursday, 23 March, to expand the monastery's commitment to education in holistic and traditional values. Starting in 2007 the institution wants to reorganize the monastery school as a "quality school with increased requirements and extended support." The inclusion of spirituality and musical subjects requires more space and time -- and that stands against the trend for the maximization of efficiency and usefulness. The abbot also announced fundraising goals of 8,5M SF (€5,4M; $6.5M US) to reorganize the preservation of the monastery's precious archive and 12M SF (€7,5M; $9.1M US) for renovation of the baroque stables and the monastic property on the island of Ufnau in Lake Zurich.

European Monasticism

Christopher Levenick writes "Monkish" for the Weekly Standard (23 March) noting the statistical improvements relating to Mass attendance and monastic vocations in Italy. "Monasticism's utility as a leading social indicator should not be underestimated. 'The monastic turn,' writes historian Bernard McGinn, 'was the great religious innovation of late antiquity, and monastic institutions and values have continued to affect the history of Christianity to the present.' The possibility exists that a contemporary monastic risorgimento may likewise presage something more profound" as an indication of European renewal.

St. BenedictTransitus of Saint Benedict

Tuesday, 21 March, commemorates the death of Saint Benedict. The serenity of his death among his confreres makes him a special advocate for the dying. On the margin of the Benedictine Medal, 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)!

Six days before he left this world, he gave order to have his tomb opened, and forthwith falling into an ague, he began with burning heat to wax faint, and when as the sickness daily increased, on the sixth day he commanded his monks to carry him into the oratory, where he armed himself with receiving the body and blood of our Savior Christ; and having his weak body held up by the hands of his disciples, he stood with his own arms lifted to heaven.

As he was praying in that manner, he gave up the ghost.

--Gregory the Great, Dialogues, book 2, c. 37.

On the occasion of his name's day, the Holy Father sent greetings to the monks of Monte Cassino with Paul Cardinal Poupard who recalled in his homily that the saint made a reality "the new law of Christ, accepted with an authentically Christian spirit," namely, "the law of love, which touches the human heart to make it truly great and worthy of friendship with the Creator" (

Abbot Primate on Monastic Life

Abbot Primate Dr. Notker Wolf OSB spoke recently to Vatican Radio about Benedictine monastic life in Italy. He mentions the difficulties the Italian monasteries have endured as the result of suppression and re-founding. Imitating the successful gatherings of abbots in German-speaking countries, the Benedictine abbots of Italy have realized how helpful it is when they meet to converse about common themes. The Abbot Primate will attend the next meeting of the abbots at Subiaco in the week after Easter. Abbot's Notker's remarks are available online as a Real Audio file: Listen.

Cardinal Visits Downside

On the occasion of the patronal feast of Saint Gregory and the beginning of the fourth centenary of Downside Abbey, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster celebrated Mass and preached a homily in the Abbey Church on Monday, 13 March. In his homily, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor praised the Rule of St. Benedict that he described as "a rock, but not something hard." He then expressed the wish that all would be able to see the rules and the doctrines of the Church as Saint Benedict saw his own Rule: "Like sweet encouragements to change and not like weights and burdens; like lessons in the school of love." Congratulating the monks of the abbey on their anniversary, the cardinal concluded with this exhortation: "Continue to make your monastery a place of joyful freedom, a sign of peace and a testament to the beauty of holiness -- and we all will be grateful to you. "

Election of New Prioress

The Sisters of St. Placid Priory, Lacey, Washington, elected Sister Maureen O'Larey OSB their seventh prioress on Sunday, 5 March 2006. Presently Sister Maureen is the treasurer of St. Placid's Priory, a member of the Federation's Juridic Committee and a Federation Chapter delegate. Installation of the new prioress will take place on Sunday, 30 April 2006.

Sister Margaret Michaud OSB, Saint Bede Monastery, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was facilitator for the discernment process. Sister Michaela Hedican OSB, President of the Federation of St. Benedict, presided at the election.

Grandmother Professes Vows

Robin Acton writes "Answering the Call" for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review (12 March 2006) about monastic life and the profession ceremony he witnessed at St. Emma Monastery, Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Sister M. Petra Littlejohn OSB made final profession before 100 friends and family that included a daughter, son-in-law and two small grandsons. In addition to Sister Petra's solemn profession, 25 February marked both the order's 75th anniversary in America and the Feast of St. Walburga, who died in 779 A.D. St. Emma Monastery was founded by Bavarian nuns from St. Walburga Abbey, Eichstätt, in 1931. The community moved from Latrobe to Greensburg in 1987.

The Best of Friends

Patricia Routledge, the actress who made Hyacinth Buckét famous for "Keeping Up Appearances," gives a wide-ranging interview about her current role as Dame Laurentia McLachlan OSB in the play, The Best of Friends. The text is based on Dame Laurentia's correspondence with George Bernard Shaw and Sydney Cockerell. "To research the part, Routledge spent four days at Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire, where Dame Laurentia lived for 69 years, rising to become abbess until her death in 1953." The Best of Friends runs at Hampstead Theatre until April 1.

Election at Saint Mary's

On Wednesday, 8 March, the monks of Saint Mary's Abbey, Morristown, New Jersey, elected Fr. Giles Hayes OSB to become their tenth Abbot. Abbot Giles was born in Newark, NJ, on 27 February 1939. He professed first monastic vows in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1965. Abbot Giles graduated from Delbarton School in 1956 and has served as General Chairman for the Delbarton Capital Campaign. He succeeds Abbot Thomas Confroy OSB, who celebrated his 75th birthday -- the age of retirement in the American-Cassinese Congregation -- on 4 March 2006 ( D20.2).

Second Prayer for Peace Day

Benedictines throughout the world join together on 19 March 2006, two days before the feast of the Passing of Saint Benedict, for the second Prayer for Peace Day. An Oblate, Elizabeth Jones, working with other Oblates throughout the country prepared the "Benedictine Prayer for Peace" and engaged numerous Benedictine monasteries in every time zone to join in this venture for justice and peace. The "Benedictine Peace Statement 2005" was sent to President Bush and to Dr. Condoleezza Rice on 21 March 2005 with 2,357 signatures from Benedictine men and women, Oblates of Saint Benedict, and others.

Lent Begins

Pope Benedict XVI has resumed the practice of opening the season of Lent with a Mass at 5 p.m. at the Dominican church of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill in Rome. Not far away, after a brief prayer service at 4:30 p.m. in the Benedictine Church of Sant'Anselmo, a penitential procession forms that the Holy Father leads to the Basilica of S. Sabina. This traditional beginning of Lent was revived by Pope John XXIII and continued by his successors until failing health led Pope John Paul II to abandon it reluctantly.

February 2006

New Cardinals

On Wednesday, 22 February, Pope Benedict XVI, announced the names of fifteen prelates raised to the rank of Cardinal. Among them is Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo , 80, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls that is staffed by Benedictines.

Four members of religious orders were also elevated: Fr. Albert Vanhoye S.J., 82, formerly rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute and secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission; Archbishop Franc Rode C.M., 71, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life; Archbishop Sean Patrick O'Malley O.F.M. Cap., 61, of Boston, Massachusetts; and Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun S.D.B., 74, of Hong Kong. All will be created cardinals in a consistory due to be held on March 24.

Peace in Jerusalem

"Yearning for Peace: Glimpses of the Holy Land," a photographic exhibition featuring the images of Father Johannes M. Oravecz OSB, a monk of Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, opened at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, on 11 February 2006. Fr. Johannes, a gifted photographer, whose photographs have been published in Europe, is exhibiting his photos of the Holy Land as a means to raise awareness of and support for Beit Benedict (House of Benedict) Interfaith Peace Academy located at the Dormition on Mt Zion in Jerusalem.

The exhibition, which includes images of a Palestinian soldier lighting a candle in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Jewish men in prayer at the Western Wall, and irenic scenes of the Sea of Galilee, was sponsored by Benedictine University, the Slovak American Cultural Society of the Midwest and the Honorary Consul of Slovakia of Illinois. Abbot Dismas Kalcic OSB of St. Procopius Abbey and Abbot Claude Peifer OSB of St. Bede Abbey attended the gallery opening and benefit dinner.

During the dinner, Fr. Johannes spoke of the charism of his community to be bearers of peace. "In 2006 we celebrate 100 years since the founding of the Benedictine abbey at the Dormition. Through the grace of God, our community has survived on the front lines of 3 wars, through military occupation and several uprisings. It seems miraculous that we remain as the Benedictine, Catholic presence on the site nearest to the Upper Room -- where the Risen Christ blessed the frightened apostles and all of humanity with His peace. Because of our history and our location, we Benedictines of the Dormition, led by our Abbot Benedikt Lindemann OSB, feel called to be an oasis of peace. Many in this troubled land have found us to be just that."

New Abbey in Nigeria

On Thursday, 16 February, the monks of Mt. Calvary, Awhum, Nigeria, elected their first abbot, Father Cyprian Doghudje OCSO. Abbot Cyprian had been temporary superior at Awhum from 1989 until 1994. With 64 members, Our Lady of Mt. Calvary Abbey is one of the largest in the Cistercian Order: 9 of the monks are priests, 47 are solemnly professed, 12 are junior professed, and 6 are novices.

On Saturday, 18 February, the community of the Holy Cross, Illah, Nigeria, was officially received into the Cistercian Order during a visitation by Abbot John Denburger OCSO. The monastery was founded 15 August 1982 as a diocesan institute under the jurisdiction of the local bishop. It grew and developed as such until the General Chapter of 2005 when it was received into the Order with the Abbey of the Genesee, Piffard, New York, as their father immediate. The arrangement is for a six year period after which time it will be reviewed by the General Chapter. The community consists of eighteen members ranging in age from twenty-seven to sixty-nine. There are eleven solemnly professed, five temporary professed and two novices.

Monastics and the Environment

In January 2006 heads of Benedictine monasteries from West African states including Senegal, Togo, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Benin met to discuss how to develop awareness of protecting their environment. In association with the Alliance of Religion and Conservation (ARC), Benedictines will "pioneer ambitious projects to increase environmental care in the developing world while at the same time attacking poverty and improving farm production" (ekklesia). The project is an extension of work the organization began based around an Eco Handbook ARC produced for South American communities in association with AIM-USA and the Benedictine Sisters in Erie, Pennsylvania. A model project will be set up at Katibunga Monastery in Zambia, that will promote organic farming, land management and forestry.

100 Years

12 February marked the 100th anniversary of the return of Benedictine monks to the Abbey of Kornelimünster that had been founded in 814 by St. Benedict of Aniane in honor of Pope Cornelius (d. 253). At the pontifical mass celebrating the event, Abbot Albert Altenähr OSB recalled a saying of Dom Thierry Pontevin OSB, President Emeritus of the Subiaco Congregation: "Monasteries do not expire because they have not secured enough material resources or because of diminished numbers, but when love dies in them " (

Sisters Flagged

A too zealous implementation of the "USA Patriot Act" led to the freezing of a bank account belonging to the Benedictine Sisters of Holy Name Monastery, St. Leo, Florida. It was discovered that the Social Security number and a copy of a photo ID for one of the Sisters who had originally opened of the account was not present as the "USA Patriot Act" now requires for new bank accounts. "I think the Patriot Act is unwise," said Sister Jean Abbott OSB, the Benedictine order's business manager.

Clear Creek Construction

In 2002, the Benedictine monks of the Solesmes Congregation at Lost City, Oklahoma, completed construction of a crypt for their abbey church, but continued progress awaits funding. A recent grant from the Warren Foundation of Tulsa, OK, however, will allow the monks to begin building a residence at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Assumption of Clear Creek later this year. Currently the monks inhabit pre-existing ranch houses.

Oblate Manual

Mother Véronique Dussud OSB, Prioress General of the Benedictines of Jesus Crucified in Brou-sur-Chantereine, France, has approved the Statutes of the Oblates of the Congregation of the Benedictines of Jesus Crucified. The text is available in English from the Mistress of Oblates for the USA: Sister Marie-Bruna OSB, Monastery of the Glorious Cross , 61 Burban Drive, Branford, CT 06405-4003.

Kylemore School Closes

"A decline in vocations is being blamed for the closure of internationally renowned Kylemore Abbey School. Sponsored by the Benedictine nuns, the school, one of the most prestigious girls' secondary schools in Ireland, is to close completely in August 2010" (The Galway Advertiser). Kylemore Abbey Boarding School closed June 2008.

90 Years Celebrated

Benedictine Academy celebrates 90 years serving the community in Elizabeth, New Jersey. "The future is positive as we close out our 90th year and move toward our Centennial Anniversary," Sister Germaine Fritz OSB, president and chief executive officer of Benedictine Academy, stated in remarks released during Catholic Schools Week, 29 January to 3 February 2006. The Academy is an apostolate of Saint Walburga Monastery.

Benedict and ScholasticaSaint Scholastica

On Friday, 10 February, Benedictines celebrate the holy life of Saint Scholastica of Nursia. Her twin brother, Saint Benedict, is the Patriarch of Western Monasticism.

"Whether or not the great Patriarch established a nunnery, it is certain that in a short time he was looked upon as a guide and father to the many convents already existing. His rule was almost universally adopted by them, and with it the title Abbess came into general use to designate the superior of a convent of nuns " (Cath. Encyclopedia).

Pope Saint Gregory, in Chapter 33 of Book II of his Dialogues, tells the story of the last meeting between the two siblings. He uses it to teach a lesson in the efficacy of prayer.

Saint Scholastica died shortly after their encounter, and Saint Benedict was soon thereafter laid to rest beside her in the crypt of Monte Cassino Abbey.

World Day of Consecrated Life

Celebrated in Rome on 2 February, or moved to a Sunday elsewhere, the first World Day of Consecrated Life was initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1997. The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples highlighted the contribution of women religious on the occasion of the World Day's 10th anniversary. At the end of 2003 there were 855,655 consecrated women in the world "at the service of the Church and brothers, especially the neediest" according to the Statistical Yearbook of the Church (Zenit).

In his homily on 2 February, Pope Benedict XVI said of religious that "Their way of life and work unequivocally expresses their adherence to the one Lord. Their complete abandonment in the hands of Christ and of the Church is a clear and powerful message, announcing the presence of the Lord in a language that can also be understood by our contemporaries " (VIS).

Die Grosse Stille (Into Great Silence)

In Germany, a documentary about daily life at La Grande Chartreuse has captured the attention of the more patient film-going public. After waiting 17 years for permission to film at the motherhouse of the Carthusians in France, director Philip Gröning seeks to convey the silence and repetition of Carthusian observance in his three-hour movie (162 minutes). By the film, he wants to create a space for the viewer to self-reflect. The movie won the Bavarian Film Award 2006 for Best Documentary, and it won the Special Jury Prize for World Cinema--Documentary at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival .

Benedictine Sisters Awarded for Green Power

The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri, have been named to the national Green Power Leadership Club for 2005. The Green Power Partnership is a joint effort between the Environmental Protection Agency and more than 600 organizations across the United States dedicated to the promotion of alternative energy. Green power is electricity that is partially or entirely generated from environmentally preferable renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and geothermal.

For an annual cost, a California wind farm delivers, in the Benedictine Sisters' name, wind energy equal to the Sisters' energy use in the regional electric grid. Power plants are required to use this alternative energy before utilizing conventional power methods. This displaces or prevents the use of an equal amount of polluting fossil fuel-generated electricity. The Benedictine Sisters are only one of two Missouri participants, the other is the state's Department of Natural Resources.

January 2006

+ Father Stanislaus Maudlin OSB

Founding member of Blue Cloud Abbey, Marvin, South Dakota, Fr. Stanislaus, died on 22 January. The rise of Fascism in Europe interrupted his study of theology in Rome. Instead of the predicted, serene life of a seminary faculty, his was a pioneer life in the wide Dakota prairies. Father Stan was with the search party from St. Meinrad's on the day in 1949 when the site was found for Blue Cloud. Five years later, he and the other St. Meinrad monks in the Dakotas transferred their stability from the Indiana monastery to the newly created Blue Cloud Abbey.

Bishop Paul Dudley, Sioux Falls, wrote to him: "You are sort of the 'patriarch' of Indian ministry in South Dakota. People of every faith respect you deeply. The Native Americans have an awesome reverence for your priestly ministry " (obituary).

The Saint John's Bible

On Tuesday 31 January, an exhibition of the hand-written Saint John's Bible opens at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The day before Sister Wendy Beckett, art commentator, received the 13th annual Colman J. Barry Award for Distinguished Contributions to Religion and Society given by Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. The private reception coincided with the opening of the international exhibition tour of "The Saint John's Bible: The Prophets" that will be displayed at the V &A through May 1.

Saint John's University has won a CINE Golden Eagle Award (professional non-telecast) for "The Word Made Flesh," a film produced by the university as an inspirational and educational tool for The Saint John's Bible project.

The film documents the process by which artists and theologians of Saint John's Abbey, University and Saint Benedict's Monastery, and The Saint John's Bible artistic director, Donald Jackson, work with each other to create illuminations for The Saint John's Bible. It focuses specifically on a major illumination titled "The Word Made Flesh," which is the frontispiece to the Gospel of John in The Saint John's Bible .

Business of Racing

Belmont Abbey College, North Carolina, wants to help give rise to the next generation of motorsports tycoons and will begin offering courses this fall for a bachelor's degree focused on the business of racing. Racing industry leaders welcomed the program, described by school officials as the nation's first four-year degree in racing business and management. "The racing industry, centered in the Charlotte region, has created more than 24,000 jobs in North Carolina with an average pay of about $70,000. Motorsports companies want managers who can take charge right away " (AP).

Rabanus Maurus Feted

4 February 2006 is the 1150th anniversary of the death of Rabanus/Hrabanus Maurus (ca. 780-856). In the dioceses of Mainz (where he was archbishop), Fulda and Limburg and also in St. Ottilien Archabbey there will be a year of special events, exhibitions, lectures, concerts, drama, etc. He became a monk at an early age, studying with Alcuin of York. Noted for his charity, feeding up to 300 poor at his house each day during the famine of 850, Rabanus, "Teacher of Germany," promoted the education of the clergy. He wrote bible commentaries, homilies, poetry and natural philosophy. He collected a stellar library for Fulda Abbey. The special exhibition in the Cathedral Museum of Mainz includes the return, for a time, from the Vatican to Mainz of a priceless manuscript, "In Praise of the Cross" (825/6) that was given to Rabanus on his accession to the see in 847.

Dom Guéranger OSB Slated for Sainthood

The first steps leading to the canonization of Dom Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875), Founder of the Solesmes Congregation and architect of the Liturgical Movement, have been taken at the diocesan level. Mgr. Jacques Faivre, bishop of Mans, opened the brief of beatification and canonization for the restorer of the Benedictines in France. Dom Guéranger's seminal book, The Liturgical Year, recalls the Maurist Benedictine tradition and paved the way for changes legislated at Vatican II. Dom Prosper's monastic observance and abbatial teaching were rooted in the Incarnation, where Divinity and humanity meet. He was able to pass with equanimity from the most solemn liturgical celebration to the mundane realities and concrete problems of the everyday life in the abbey.

Minnesota Memorial for McCarthy

On Monday, 23 January, Abbot John Klassen OSB will preside at a Memorial Mass for US Senator Eugene J. McCarthy who died at 89 on 10 December 2005. McCarthy graduated from both Saint John's Preparatory School and the University in Collegeville. He served as professor of economics and education at SJU from 1940 to 1943. He tried his vocation as a novice at Saint John's Abbey for part of 1942. Among others, former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale will eulogize the Senator at the end of the service broadcast live on the Internet beginning at 4 p.m. (Central; 22:00 UCT).

Oldest Monks

Father Theodore Heck OSB celebrated his 105th birthday on Monday, 16 January 2006. Although he is the oldest monk in the Benedictine Confederation, he is still quite active. He does not live in the infirmary at Saint Meinrad Archabbey. He attends every community function daily including Morning Office at 5:30 a.m. He was part of the group that made a retreat last week with Abbot Marcel Rooney OSB, and he attended every conference. He gets around by means of a scooter, but when necessary can be seen parking it in a convenient place and then walking the rest of the way with just a cane. Father Theodore made first profession on 8 September 1923 and became a priest in 1929.

Slightly younger in age, but older in years of profession, is Father Angelo Zankl OSB, who was born on 19 April 1901. He professed vows as a monk of Saint John's Abbey , Collegeville, in 1921 and was ordained a priest in 1926.

Library Gift

Dale and Darlene Latimer of New Alexandria, PA, have made a $1 million gift to the Saint Vincent College for the "renovation renovation, enhancement and endowment of the Saint Vincent Library," commented James F. Will, Vice Chancellor and President of Saint Vincent College. "I am also privileged to announce that our historic library building will be known as the Latimer Family Library in their honor." The original Saint Vincent Library collection began with fewer than 100 books which founder Abbot Boniface Wimmer OSB brought with him from Germany in 1846, 110 years ago. Through the leadership of librarians who were Benedictine monks, the Library has grown into an internationally-known collection that includes 271,000 books and periodicals, 99,000 microforms such as microfilm, microfiche and cards, 3000 musical scores and more than 100 rare books that are at least 1500 years old including a copy of The Canterbury Tales produced in 1478 by the first printer in England, William Caxton.

Pecos Problems

Simon Romero writes "A Ruling on the Status of Its Women Roils a Monastery" about the Olivetan Benedictine men and women at Pecos, New Mexico, for "Religion Journal" in The New York Times (7 January).

New Abbot for St. Gregory's

Abbot President Timothy Kelly OSB, presided at the election of Fr. Lawrence Stasyszen OSB, 41, by the monks of St. Gregory's Abbey, Shawnee, Oklahoma, on Friday, 6 January. Since 2000, Abbot Lawrence has served as president of St. Gregory's University. Abbot Lawrence professed solemn vows in 1988 and became a priest in 1994. He earned the STD at Sant'Anselmo in 1996 and has served the Abbey as Vocations Director and member of the Senior Council.

New Archbishop

On Saturday, 14 January, Mar Mathew Moolakkattu OSB, 52, will be installed as the Syro-Malabarese Archbishop of Kottayam, India. He was ordained a priest in 1978. In 1993 he joined the Benedictine Abbey of Vallombrosa and professed final vows on 5 December 1998. On 6 November 1998 he was nominated Titular Bishop of Hólar and appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Kottayam. On 12 May 2005 he was made Coadjutor Archbishop with the right of succession.

950 Years

The Austrian monks of Lambach Abbey have chosen a novel way to open the year celebrating the 950th anniversary of the arrival of Benedictines. At Vespers of Epiphany on 6 January, students of the school will perform a ten-minute dramatic sketch about the Three Kings, probably for the first time since the Middle Ages. The text and stage directions were discovered in a fragment of a manuscript written at Münsterschwarzach Abbey and brought by the founding monks in 1056.

An exhibition, "Im Fluss -- am Fluss," that opens on 20 March, will present many facets of the abbey's long history. It will recall the family of St. Adalbero who supported construction of the first monastic church in the Romanesque Style (1089). Since 2006 is also the Year of Mozart, some exhibits will be devoted to his frequent visits to the monastery. In 1766 Mozart dedicated his Symphony no 7a in G major, K Anh. 221 (45a) to Lambach. Ad multos annos.

Recent Deaths

+Abbot Robert Mawulawoe, 57, Abbot of Ascension Monastery, Dzogbégan, Togo, died on Tuesday afternoon, 3 January 2006, in a Bénin hospital because of an embolism after surgery for gastric problems on Christmas Day. Abbot Robert had been professed for 35 years and Abbot since 1993.M. Joanna OSB

On 30 December 2005, the Feast of the Holy Family, +M. Joana Calmon Villas-Boas OSB, founder, first superior and first conventual prioress of Salvador Abbey, died at Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The monastery belongs to the Brazilian Congregation.

In Belgium two well known former abbots, +Dom Michel Coune OSB, 72, from Saint Andries Abbey, Zevenkerken, and +Dom Ambroos Verheul OSB, 89, Affligem/Leuven, also died recently. Requiescant in pace.

Korean Changes

Abbot President Jeremias Schroeder OSB of the Ottilien Congregation released the following statement concerning recent changes:

Abbot emeritus Placidus Ri OSB, hitherto Apostolic Administrator of Hamheung Diocese and Tokwon Territorial Abbey, both in North Korea, submitted his resignation for health reasons. The Holy See has accepted this resignation. On 21 November 2005, Crescenzio Cardinal Sepe of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples appointed the bishop of Chuncheon (South Korea) as Apostolic Administrator of Hamheung Diocese.

The responsibility for the Territorial Abbey of Tokwon has on the same day been attached to the office of the abbot of Waegwan. Abbot Simon Ri OSB is, therefore, the new Administrator of Tokwon Territorial Abbey. As such, he is now also a member of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea.

I thank Abbot Placidus for his long service on behalf of the church in North Korea. I congratulate Abbot Simon, who has recently also been elected head of the South Korean Conference of Religious Major Superiors. The attachment of the Apostolic Administration to Waegwan Abbey is an expression of the confidence that the Holy See has regarding the role of Waegwan Abbey in the evangelization of North Korea.

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