Winter - Saint John`s Abbey

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Winter - Saint John`s Abbey
Contents
The Abbey Banner
Page 6
Cover Story
Magazine of Saint John’s Abbey
Volume 1, Issue 3
Winter 2001
The Christmas Crèches
of Collegeville
by Michael Kwatera, OSB
Editor
Daniel Durken, OSB
Editorial and
Production Assistant
Mary and Child of the
Christmas Crèche created by
Nathanael Hauser, OSB
Margaret Wethington Arnold
Designer
Pam Rolfes
Contributing Writers
Christy Arnold, Margaret
Wethington Arnold, Alberic
Culhane, OSB, Daniel Durken,
OSB, Joseph Feders, OSB,
John Klassen, OSB, Kenneth
Kroeker, OSB, Michael Kwatera,
OSB, Carol Marrin, Patrick
McDarby, OSB, Dolores Schuh,
CHM, Columba Stewart, OSB,
Allen Tarlton, OSB
Proofreader
Dolores Schuh, CHM
Circulation
Cathy Wieme
Mary Gouge
Printer
Palmer Printing
The Abbey Banner is published
three times annually by the
Benedictine monks of Saint John’s
Abbey for our relatives, friends
and Oblates. The Abbey Banner
brings the extended family of Saint
John’s Abbey together with feature
stories and news of the monastery.
The Abbey Banner is online at
www.saintjohnsabbey.org
Saint John’s Abbey, Box 2015,
Collegeville, Minnesota 56321.
320-363-3875
Features
4
Christmas Card Shopping at the
Mall of Jerusalem
by Daniel Durken, OSB
14
Benedictines Participate in
Alzheimer’s Study
by Kenneth Kroeker, OSB
9
The Abbey’s Cookie Christmas Tree
by Margaret Wethington Arnold
15
A Glossary of Monastic Terms
by Patrick McDarby, OSB
10
September 11 and the Cross
by Abbot John Klassen, OSB
16
You’ve Got Mail
by Dolores Schuh, CHM
11
Kelly Ryan, OSB: Secretary to
Three Abbots
by Alberic Culhane, OSB
18
Abbey Church Collections Affirm
Social Justice Work
by Margaret Wethington Arnold
12
Father Burton and His
Boys’ Home
by Margaret Wethington Arnold
20
John the Baptist: Patron of Advent
and Abbey
by Columba Stewart, OSB
Departments
3
From the Editor
From the Abbot
21
Vocation News
22
Strengthening Foundations
23
Banner Bits
30
Oblate News
31
Spiritual Life
Back Cover
Calendar of Events
Abbey Prayer Time
From the Editor and the Abbot
A Monastic
Christmas
On Hoping
by Daniel Durken, OSB
The word “hope” virtually
defines the Advent and
Christmas seasons. Each year
the Christian community
remembers the great gift of the
birth of Jesus, the gift of his
taking flesh. No matter how
difficult our situation personally or communally, the birth of Jesus is a reminder that
God breaks into our world in ways that are not predictable
or obvious.
by Abbot John Klassen, OSB
We fourteen novices of the
class of 1949-50 knew our
first monastic Christmas was
coming quickly when we
started singing the “O”
antiphons that framed Mary’s
Canticle during the seven days before the feast:
O Sapientia! O Emmanuel!
By Christmas Eve afternoon, however, there was no
sign of a Christmas tree. This Christmas would be bleak.
At four o’clock we traipsed down to the church for an
hour of meditation. Because novices served the evening
meal we ate our supper at five o’clock. Solemn Vespers
followed. Nothing bleak about the festive melodies and
ceremony. Supper for the community followed. We
served the food and cleared the tables.
Then we trudged back up to the novitiate. The hallway
lights were off. It was dark. Silent. Bleak. We prayed a
Hail Mary. And then . . . the lights went on! The lights
of a genuine Christmas tree!
SURPRISE! The thirty junior monks of the abbey
burst out of hiding and wished us “Merry Christmas!”
While we were making our meditation, they set up and
decorated our Christmas tree! Bleak had become beautiful.
Christmas is all about SURPRISE! God loves us so
much that God’s Son Jesus was sent into the bleak world
to save us from our sins. What a surprising gift God has
given us—becoming like us so we could become like God.
Our God Jesus is the Lord of surprises and disguises.
We are surprised when he comes disguised as the hungry,
the thirsty, the stranger, the ill, the imprisoned, especially
the poor, disguised in the bread and wine of the
Eucharist.
I wish you a Christmas and a New Year full of surprises.
+++
Thanks to the generous assistance of Thomas Gillespie,
OSB, all past and future issues of The Abbey Banner are
now and will be on the abbey’s website. You can access
the complete copy of each issue at
www.sju.osb.org/AbbeyBanner.
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
Despite the fact that our lives seem to be so firmly
planted on the earth, each day we give witness to the
Reign of God, to the present manifestation of that reign
as well as the future reality. We long for the day when
weapons of destruction are beaten into plowshares, when
tears of pain and sorrow are wiped away, when hurt and
harm are no more. Every day we pray, “Your kingdom
come” and we mean it.
Psychologist Gerald May (The Awakened Heart)
describes the difference between expectation and hope:
“Efficiency breeds expectation; love nurtures hope . . . .
In the abstract, hope is a wish for something; expectation
is assuming it is going to happen. Expectation refuses to
permit wondering or doubt, and so it is closed off, final,
frozen. When an expectation is not met, it dies.
Sometimes, with grace, hope is born from the rubble of
dashed expectations . . . . Expectation is brittle and can
only be shored up by delusion, but hope is soft and willing
to suffer pain.”
Hope is pliable and willing to change its goals in
relationship with the signs of the times, while expectation
remains locked to a certain vision of the future. Hope
embraces the future, while expectation tries to determine
it. With hope the imagination flourishes, exploring new
possibilities, yet never turning these into idols.
It is genuine hope that orients us to the meaning of the
Word made flesh and makes that meaning ever new and
fresh for our lives.
In the spirit of hope the monastic community prays for
the victims and families of the September 11th terrorist
attacks on our country. I invite you to read my reflection
on “September 11 and the Cross” on page 10.
3
FEATURE
This card incorrectly connects the Magi with Jesus
in the manger. But Matthew’s Gospel explicitly
states, “. . . on entering the house they [the Magi]
saw the child with Mary his mother” (2:11). The
shepherds came to the manger (Luke 2:16).
Christmas Card
Shopping at the
Mall of Jerusalem
by Daniel Durken, OSB
C
ome with me to the Mall
of Jerusalem to shop for
original Christmas cards.
We will visit four card
shops operated by Mark,
Matthew, Luke and John. To
popularize their faith portraits of
Jesus, these four energetic
entrepreneurs sell greeting cards
featuring key events in the life of
that same Jesus.
Moving on we notice a sign that directs
us to “Matthew’s Mountain-Top
Shoppe.” Trudging up a steep hill we
remember Matthew’s frequent mention
of mountains, from the “very high mountain” of Jesus’ third temptation and his
Sermon on the Mount to the commissioning of his disciples on a mountain in Galilee.
recall that the Old Testament Joseph of
“The Amazing Technicolor Dream
Coat” fame was called “the master
dreamer” for the dreams he interpreted.
He had protected and saved his family
just as Matthew’s Joseph had done.
Former tax collector Matthew
greets us with a friendly “Boqer tov—
Our first stop is at the Original Good day!” and shows us his
HallMARK Store. When we ask Christmas card collection. The first
card contains the family tree of
Mark to show us his original
Jesus. We notice familiar names like
Christmas cards, he surprisingly
Abraham and David and some
responds, “Christmas? What’s
strange ones like Amminadab and
Christmas?” We explain that
Zerubbabel. Several women such as
Christmas is the celebration of
Tamar, Ruth and, of course, Mary
Jesus’ birth. Mark tells us he
add a feminine touch to the largely
and his original audience were
not interested in the infancy and paternal pattern.
adolescent years of Jesus. He
Matthew is particularly proud of
says, “I decided to write a brief
account of Jesus’ life, concentrat- his unique line of Joseph cards.
They focus on Mary’s husband, the
ing on his death. I started with
dreamer who no less than four times
the adult Jesus—baptized by
is given directives in a dream. We
John, tempted by Satan in the
desert and immediately beginning his ministry. Sorry, I have
This Christmas card incorrectly
no Christmas cards. Try some of
associates the star of Bethlehem with the
the other Christian cards shops
shepherds whereas it was the Magi who
on the mall.”
saw and followed the star.
4
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
FEATURE
Matthew’s collection also
features one card containing the
beautifully lettered name
Emmanuel. Only Matthew gives
Jesus this distinctive Old
Testament name meaning “God
is with us,” from Isaiah’s prophecy. Matthew, moreover, has the
popular Three Kings (a.k.a.
Magi) card with the accompanying Star of Bethlehem. He is
considering adding a “Scratch
and Sniff” element to this card so
that the odor of frankincense can
be detected.
We next enter Luke’s TwoStory Emporium, named after
the manager’s two works, the
third gospel and Acts of the
Apostles. At last we find the popular Christmas scenes that most
delight us. They depict the
familiar “No Vacancy” sign at the
Bethlehem Inn and the manger
in which Mary lays her swaddled
firstborn son. Luke reminds us
that a manger is a feeding-trough
and that the French word
manger means “to eat.” Jesus
was born to feed us with his
body and blood.
Luke’s first visitors to the
infant Jesus are not the Magi of
Matthew but the shepherds who
came at the bidding of angels
singing, “Glory to God, . . .
peace on earth.” Luke also
shows us another Jesus’ Family
Tree card, considerably
different from Matthew’s.
Matthew’s tree starts at the roots
with Abraham and goes to the
top with Jesus, whereas Luke
starts at the top with Jesus and
goes to the very root with Adam,
the first “son of God.”
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
Our final
shopping stop is
at John’s
Unique
Boutique.
John’s response
to our request
to see his
Christmas cards
is similar to
Mark’s. He
said, “As a
Johnny-comelately to the
greeting card
business, I do
not compete
with Matthew’s
and Luke’s collections. All I
have is this decorative banner
that reads, ‘The
WORD
became FLESH
and made his
dwelling among
us.’”
Our tour
completed, we
review the cards
we purchased.
We are amazed
at how different
these four card shops are. We thought
that when we had seen one Christmas
card shop we had seen them all. Not so!
The tour has made us appreciate the
unique contribution of each gospel. We
resolved to be more aware of the differences in depicting the original Christmas
scenes. We will look carefully at the
Christmas cards we send and receive and
note where they come from.
This biblically correct picture of the
shepherds and angel of Luke’s Gospel is from
the collection of Christmas cards from the Hill
Monastic Manuscript Library at Saint John’s.
To view this collection and order its cards
visit the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library
website at www.hmmlshop.org.
5
COVER STORY
Abbey Church Crèche
Photos by Andra Van Kempen
The
Christmas
Crèches of
Collegeville
by Michael Kwatera, OSB
W
From El Salvador, Arca Artium Collection
6
here did you get your first
inklings of the Christmas
mystery? I got mine kneeling
before nativity scenes in my parish
church and in my family home. I have a
photo of myself as a tiny tot standing
before our crèche; my hands are folded
reverently in prayer, my face aglow with
wonder before the arrangement of worn
plaster figures from at least two different
sets. In our household, the three Magi
didn’t wait until Epiphany to present
themselves before the infant Jesus.
Thus, different skin colors, occupations,
social classes, and even disabilities and
diseases have been represented in the
figures at the manger. For when we place
ourselves before the crèche, we are taken
back to the moment when the eternal
Son of God
entered our
human time and
space so that we
might enter one
day into heaven’s eternity.
No matter whether they are simple or
elaborate, historically accurate or wildly
imaginative, crèches bring us humans to
Bethlehem
and
Bethlehem to
us. Christians
across many
eras and
cultures have
known that
words alone
cannot tell the
Christmas
story; it needs
to be seen,
sung, even
touched.
Saint Francis
of Assisi was
only borrowing
from the
medieval
nativity pageants for his
famous
Christmas Eve
From Tanganyika, Africa,
Arca Artium Collection
observance at
Greccio, Italy,
in 1223. So that he might, in his words,
“enact the memory of the infant born at
Bethlehem,” he prepared a manger, a
live cow and donkey, and a wooden or
plaster image of the infant Jesus (though
a living baby may have been used, and it
was even reported that the Christ Child
himself had appeared in Francis’ arms).
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
COVER STORY
Thus Francis visualized, for prince and
peasant alike to see, the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. The word “crèche”
is probably a French derivative of
“Greccio.”
bit to
biblical narrative in
this and later
Neapolitan
presepi.
As the live actors and animals of the
medieval nativity plays gave way to threedimensional representations, the crèche
spread throughout Western Europe and
the New World. Several reasons for the
development and popularity of the
crèche include the surpassing joy and festivity of the Christmas celebration in the
Middle Ages and beyond; the medieval
flowering of art depicting the nativity of
Jesus and the epiphany, along with
increased devotion to the newborn and
crucified Jesus; and nativity and Magi
plays that led to dramatizing the Savior’s
birth in painted and sculptured images.
In the Christmas crèche, religion, art and
theater joined together.
This lavish style is
also found in the
santons of Provence,
the delicately sculptured and painted
clay figures found in
homes, churches
and villages at
Christmas. When
the French
Revolution forbade statues in churches,
artists began fashioning tiny clay figures
for use at home. The Provencal santons
resemble actual people, since contemporary villagers are depicted in addition to
the traditional nativity figures. Even
unsavory characters such as thieves and
convicts find a place in these scenes
which remain the essence of the French
Noël.
This mix of piety and art became so
powerful in Naples
that here the crèche
acquired the name
presepio used
throughout Italy.
The presepi crafted
for the nobility of
Naples were sumptuous displays. For
example, in 1478
Giacomello Pepi
bargained with two
artists to create a
crèche for the
church in that city.
Pepi stipulated that it
must include the
Christ Child, our
Lady wearing a
crown, Saint Joseph,
an ox, an ass, three
shepherds, twelve
sheep, two dogs,
four trees, eleven
Nathanael Hauser, OSB, with a
angels, two prophets and two
nativity scene he created adapting an
sibyls (ancient Greek or Roman
eighteenth-century Neapolitan
prophetesses or oracles). Clearly
tradition by dressing the figures like
dramatic imagination has added a
twentieth-century Americans
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
The work
of Nathanael
Hauser,
OSB, at
Saint John’s
Abbey similarly blends
the ancient
and modern.
In the
Nativity
scene he
created in
1989, the
heads, hands
and feet of
the figures
are made of
fired ceramic
clay. The
From Peru, Arca Artium Collection
bodies are made of wire so that
they can be posed in various postures.
Nathanael has adapted the
eighteenth-century Neapolitan tradition by dressing the figures like
twentieth-century Americans.
Thus, the shepherds and townspeople are sporting sweatshirts
and sweaters; Joseph wears blue
jeans and Mary wears a soft
continued on the next page
Shepherds and sheep by
Nathanael Hauser
7
COVER STORY
bathrobe; the angels, as divine
messengers, wear deacons’ dalmatics. All of Nathanael’s figures, and
his entire scene, give us what he
believes our age needs to regain:
“sheer delight in the creation that
our Savior chose to share with us.”
Saint John’s Abbey is fortunate to
possess a large number of nativity
sets from many different countries,
in many different styles and materials, especially those collected by
Frank Kacmarcik, OblSB. For the
monks of Saint
John’s, the appearance of crèches
A santon from Southern France, Abbey Collection
in the abbey
church and in
Some years ago a fire sparked by
Christ Child in his crib at Christmas must
various places
votive candles damaged the abbey
place him at the center of our lives every
throughout the
church’s crèche and all the figures
day. If we don’t, we fail to honor Christ
monastery sigexcept Saint Joseph lost their original
the Lord, present in ourselves and in
nals the time
burlap clothes. Liturgical vestment
other people, his sisters and brothers.
when Advent
designer Mechthild Mueller Ellis of
ceases and
Reference: Matthew Powell, O.P., The
Cold Spring, Minnesota, tailored new
Christmas
Christmas
Crèche: Treasure of Faith, Art &
outfits for the figures, but it must be
begins. The
(Boston:
Pauline Books & Media,
Theater
observed that Mary, Joseph and the
monks expect
1997)
80.
This
work
is an excellent historical
others now wear the more upscale
to see certain
survey
with
many
illustrations
of the crèche.
fabrics of the 1990s.
crèches in certain places, and
We couldn’t imagine a nativity
will note when From Ethiopia, acquired by
scene without the baby Jesus, and
Kilian McDonnell, OSB
the expected
rightly so. But how sad it is if we
one—Polish or
add Jesus to the nativity scene and
Mexican or African—has been
then fail to place him at the center of our
replaced by another one.
lives all year long. We who place the
From Tanzania, acquired by
Abbot Baldwin Dworschak
8
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
FEATURE
The Abbey’s
Cookie
Christmas Tree
by Margaret Wethington Arnold
B
efore you see it when you
descend the stairs to the
monastery’s basement
recreation room, you capture
the aroma of sugar and spice. Adjacent
to the fireplace stands a beautiful blue
spruce tree decorated with hundreds of
cookies. The abbey’s Cookie
Christmas Tree brings members of the
monastery together during the holiday
season to celebrate the birth of Christ
and the blessings of the New Year.
The Cookie Christmas Tree is the
brainchild of Leonard Chmelik, OSB, the
abbey’s refectorian and housekeeping
director. Brother Leonard got the idea to
decorate one of many Christmas trees in
the abbey with cookies after reading about
Christmas traditions in Germany and
Bavaria
where
Christmas
trees were
decorated
with pastries.
“After all,
Saint John’s
was originally
a German
house,” said
Leonard.
Brother Leonard in
the kitchen
photo by Daniel Durken, OSB
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
The tree is
loaded with
twelve varieties of
cookies.
Nearly 1,200
cookies are
baked each year. After more than fifteen
years of coordinating the assembly of
the Cookie Christmas Tree, Leonard has
a very organized system to create his
masterpiece.
Leonard, who loves to read cookbooks
for recreation, collects cookie recipes
throughout the year and enters the
recipes into his computer. He also
receives recipes from members of the
monastery. Once he has decided on
which recipes to use, he begins baking at
the end of October with the help of a few
confreres. The baking usually takes place
on Saturdays throughout November. His
goal is to have all the cookies baked and
in the freezer by Thanksgiving.
Although the cookies vary each year,
there are a few traditionals such as gingerbread people (including Adam and
Eve) and sugar cookies. “Any cookie that
people enjoy can potentially be a good
cookie for the tree,” Leonard noted.
“However, the best cookie is a
really ‘doughy’ cookie.” Leonard inserts
ornament hooks through the cookie
dough and the cookies are baked with
the ornament hooks in them.
The tree, a nine-foot blue spruce taken
from the woods at Saint John’s, is put up
around December 19. “I prefer the
The Cookie Christmas Tree is
decorated with hundreds of cookies
baked by Brother Leonard.
photo by Fran Hoefgen, OSB
shape of the blue spruce and the
strength of its branches to hold the
heavy cookies,” said Leonard. This
tree is selected, labeled, cut and
delivered along with all the other
trees that are decorated for the
abbey and the university. “Then
there is only one mess to clean up,”
he said. (As head of housekeeping
for fifteen years, he is keenly aware
of the extra work cookie crumbs
and pine needles create.)
The novices are responsible for
decorating the tree after Evening
Prayer on December 22 or 23. “I
like to have the tree decorated as
close to Christmas Eve as possible,”
said Leonard. His only instruction
to the novices is that all varieties of
cookies be displayed on the tree
and only half of the cookies in the
boxes, which are labeled and
wrapped in tin foil, should go on
the tree.
continued on the next page
9
FEATURE
The tree usually needs to be
replenished for the community’s
Christmas party that follows an early
January monastic meeting. After the
feast of the Baptism of Jesus on the
second Sunday of January the tree is
taken down. Leftover cookies are
eaten by members of the monastery
or later put in the monastic garden
for the winter birds.
As refectorian for the past eight
years, Leonard is also responsible
for coordinating the abbey’s feast
day menus with Dining Service. The
Cookie Christmas Tree is only one
of his creations. Unlike the cookie
tree that is only seen by members of
the monastic community, lay people
can see his creativity reflected in the
Christmas decorations in the Great
Hall, Sexton Commons and the
student dining room.
Leonard can envision local parishes creating cookie Christmas trees
and putting them in gathering
spaces for people to enjoy after
midnight Mass. “I really encourage
people to do this at home with their
kids or other community spaces,”
he said. “My only caution is that
people, especially parents of toddlers, remember to take the hooks
out before eating the cookies.”
“Every member of the monastery
makes a contribution,” said
Leonard, who has been in the community since 1965. “This is a thank
you from me to the community.
It’s fun and it smells great!”
September 11 and the Cross
This is an excerpt from the homily given to the Saint John’s community by Abbot John
Klassen, OSB, on September 14, three days after the life-altering events of September 11.
I
n the wake of Tuesday’s events, there is a growing chorus for retaliation with
violence. We wouldn’t know whom we are killing in relationship to what
happened, but let’s just kill somebody—randomness for randomness.
Biblical scholar Walter Wink has done some seminal work on the myth of
redemptive violence in his book, Engaging the Powers. He writes, “The myth of
redemptive violence is the simplest, laziest, most exciting, uncomplicated, irrational, and primitive depiction of evil the world has ever known. All of us, especially boys and men, are socialized into this myth of redemptive violence. This
myth presumes that evil, when encountered, can be overcome by direct action.”
It is precisely this myth that Jesus never accepts—he refuses to call down a legion of
angels, refuses to gather his own army, and refuses to use the weapons of his time.
We see Jesus denying his disciples the use of a sword for the resistance of
arrest. Instead, he goes to his death refusing the use of violence. Contrast those
who arrest Jesus, armed with clubs and swords, ready to use force if necessary and
Jesus’ nonviolent response. Jesus is taunted, “If you are truly the Messiah, come
down off that cross.” Or, “He saved others, himself he cannot save.”
Jesus teaches non-violence: “Blest are the peacemakers. They shall be called
children of God.” He speaks of love in the place of vengeance.
Jesus never tells women or men, much less poor or oppressed people, to
knuckle under and accept their impoverished situation as God’s powerful will for
them. Rather the highest place will be for the poor, for widows and orphans, the
not-so-religious, the outcast and those considered expendable. He resists evil
every day, in every form. That’s why he dies on a cross and not in bed.
What about us? How do we become non-violent? Surely, I have to root out
the sources of violence in my own life, I have to understand my anger and resentment, my need for vengeance, my desire for control, my need to blame others
when things go wrong, my ability to project my issues onto others. Surely it
means coming to terms with my fear of others, it means humility, seeing myself as
others see me.
Meanwhile Jesus hangs on the cross, stubbornly refusing to fight at all. He has
taken into himself all the violence flung against him, and he will not give it back.
Abused, he will not abuse. Condemned, he will not condemn. Abandoned, he
remains faithful.
By choosing to die rather than to retaliate, he disarms the myth of redemptive
violence, wrapping himself around it to protect us from its horror. It kills him in
the process, but that is how we know he was triumphant. The violence stopped
with him. It caused his death, but got none of his life. For his life belonged to
God, who has given him the name that is above every name, so that at Jesus’ name,
every knee must bend, in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every
tongue proclaim, to the glory of God the Father, JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!
10
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
FEATURE
photo by Andra Van Kempen
Kelly Ryan, OSB–
Secretary to
Three Abbots
by Alberic Culhane, OSB
B
rother Kelly has served as secretary
to the last three abbots of Saint
John’s, namely, Jerome Theisen,
Timothy Kelly and now John
Klassen. He is also the longtime recorder
of the minutes of the Corporate Board of
Directors (Senior Council) meetings. He
is one of the monks who, often unsung,
make the abbey infrastructure hum
almost soundlessly.
A high school graduate from
Hutchinson, Kansas, Kelly came to
Collegeville in 1960 when a family member supported his education. He professed his first vows in 1963, earned
degrees in philosophy and Spanish by
1965 and began teaching that language at
Saint John’s Preparatory School. He
also served as department chair and
dormitory prefect. From 1985-91 he was
the first non-ordained monk to be the
abbey’s subprior (third in the chain of
command after the abbot and prior).
Kelly was appointed the abbot’s
secretary in 1992. Along with its being at
the center-of-it-all, the office was fully
equipped; no piece of electronic paraphernalia was missing. Kelly found this
useful in scheduling the abbot’s appointments, detailing the lists of abbey activities
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
and personnel, receiving the abbot’s
visitors, taking telephone calls, posting bulletin board announcements, and so on.
“But our computer world hasn’t cut
down on paper use for items such as
files, notices, prayer requests and so
forth,” he observes. “Abbot Jerome was
elected Abbot Primate three months
after I took this job. Then came the first
of two abbatial elections (Abbot
Timothy’s and Abbot John’s) which
were, well, let’s say very memorable.
I was the official election secretary.
“When I began as secretary,” he
continued, “I was irritated by the many
interruptions—phone calls, e-mails,
requests for schedules, so many of the
‘What time is Midnight Mass?’ sort of
thing. But fairly quickly I understood
that is what the job is all about. I take
care of interruptions.
Kelly is also the amiable tender
of cacti and other plants in his
office. He finds time to collect
pertinent quotations to add to
each day’s outgoing e-mails and to
copy humorous cartoons to post
in his office and send with
mailings to confreres. He keeps
trim with nature walks or 5 a.m.
treadmill sessions before Morning
Prayer.
Nearing sixty, Kelly has started
jotting down suggestions for his
successor. Among them are the
following: “Most people are very
appreciative of whatever this office
can do for them” and “For those
who seek inside information from
me, my reply is a truthful, ‘I’m
sorry; that’s not my job.’”
“The abbot’s office is simply the center
of activity for myriad appeals from many
people. I have learned to appreciate the
demands on an abbot’s time and attention. Except for his social commitments,
I keep the abbot’s daily schedule. He is
the most obedient monk among us, subject to the varied demands and needs of
everyone.”
11
FEATURE
Burton (rt., third
row) stands in front
of the Fundacion
Burton Bloms, an
orphange for boys
ages 12-17 in
Tlaplan, Mexico.
Father Burton and His Boys’ Home
by Margaret Wethington Arnold
C
hristmas is the season
for children. For
Burton Bloms, OSB,
Christmas is the time of
year when he celebrates the
anniversary of teaching and ministering to children in Mexico as a
missionary for fifty-five years.
Even though Father Burton is
retired and living at Saint John’s
Abbey, he returns to Mexico
often, recently for a three-week
visit, to an orphanage that is
named after him—Fundacion
Burton Bloms. He built it with
the help of many former students
and life-long friends. The
orphanage in Tlalpan, Mexico,
has an enrollment of nearly fifty
boys, ages 12-17, who live there
and go to school during the week
and return home to parents or a
guardian on weekends. The stu-
12
dents are either without parents or adequate parental care.
“Our place is their home from Sunday
evening to Friday afternoon—schooling,
boarding, uniform, transportation are our
responsibility,” said Burton. “The boys
come from homes that have problems—
financial, marital, mental and social.
Something has been lacking for normal
emotional and psychological development of the student. Many have come
from the streets and abandoned conditions.”
After years of gathering socially and
talking about a social work project,
Colegio Tepeyac alumni, taught by
Burton in the 1940’s, formed a foundation in 1991 with the desire of helping
fund an orphanage. The foundation’s
focus is to help needy and qualified
orphans continue their studies after
finishing grade school. Several of the
alumni serve on the board of directors
for the foundation and assist in fundraising, building projects and staffing.
The orphanage, now in its fourth
location, grew out of a need to have
students at existing grade school orphanages run by groups of Mexican sisters
continue their secondario or high school
education. The orphanage is the only
“welfare” or Institute of Private Welfare
(IAP) boarding and secondary school
for boys in Mexico City.
According to Burton, the government
is surprised that the school has so many
boarders. “We will try to expose our
secondary school boys to a greater
variety of trades—work that will generate
personal interests.” His goals have been
to give the students a Christian education and help them get good grades so
they can enter vocational school.
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
FEATURE
Father Burton celebrates the Eucharist for the
students and staff.
“While in college at Saint John’s, I
realized I wanted to become a missionary,” said Burton. “During a retreat I
went to confession to Father Basil
Stegman, OSB, and asked him what he
thought. I explained that Saint John’s had
given me a free ride. He said, ‘If God
wanted you to become a missionary, he
would have gotten you to a different
school.’” Burton replied, “Well, I’m
here. So God must want me here.”
But on
December 17,
1946, his wish to
become a missionary came
true. Burton, a
prefect and history teacher at
Saint John’s
Preparatory
School at the
time, remembers
he was making a
skating rink when
he heard he was
going to Mexico.
Later Abbot Alcuin said, “Yes, you’ll be
going, and I dare say, young man, don’t
think you’ll be coming back every year.”
my life and I want you to know
that I am grateful. I still remember the time that I wanted to quit
school to go to work because of
economic reasons and you wrote
to me at home and convinced me
to go back. I have often spoken
to my wife and children about that
experience as an instance of
God’s providence.”
As an education missionary, Burton
has seen many generations of young
people go through the schools where he
was director, teacher and coach. In 1994
he received a letter from a former
student who wrote: “I admire you a lot,
Father Burton, and during the past thirty
years have often thought about you with a
great deal of gratitude . . . . God used
you as an instrument to give direction to
As he prepares to write a
Christmas letter he sends to
friends each year, with photos of
his boys in Mexico, he reflects on
the season for children and his
half-century of mission work.
Burton, who just turned an
active and energetic 82, has
written a history of his mission
work for abbey archives. His
hope is to continue to help other
needy orphanages, especially
those who have the grade schools
for future students.
Burton,
third from left, front
row, surrounded by
Colegio Tepeyac
alumni, the Sociedad
de Ex-Alumnos de los
Colegios Benedictinos
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
13
FEATURE
Benedictines Participate in Alzheimer’s Study
by Kenneth Kroeker, OSB
T
his year marks the
beginning of the eighth
year that the Benedictines
of Saint John’s Abbey and
Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St.
Joseph, Minnesota, have participated in the Rush Alzheimer’s
Religious Orders Study.
In 1993 Dr. David Bennett
presented to these monastic
communities the goals of the
Rush Study. He asked monastics
who were 65 years old and older
to become part of an annual
clinical and psychological
information gathering session
conducted by the staff of this
Chicago- based research
program.
To date there have been fortythree members of Saint John’s
Abbey (thirty-five living, eight
deceased) and ninety-nine
members of Saint Benedict’s
Monastery (ninety-three living, six
deceased) who belong to this study.
Thanks to the distinctive Benedictine
vow of stability which bonds monastic
men and women to a specific, stable
community throughout their lives, participation in this long-term study is quite
feasible. Such a study that would have to
depend on the general population would
run the greater risk of losing track of
participants over the years because our
society is a very mobile one. But the
monastics who consider Saint John’s or
Saint Benedict’s their permanent home,
despite being assigned elsewhere for a
time, make for ideal participants for this
study of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of the
brain characterized by progressive memory loss, loss of cognitive skills (difficulty
communicating, recognizing objects and
faces, using objects and managing
finances), anxiety, depression, agitation,
aggression and personality changes.
The disease afflicts about ten percent
of persons over the age of 65 and nearly
half the persons over the age of 85. The
brain itself shrinks in size and weight
during the progress of the disease. The
brain tissue is affected by the spread of
plaques and clumps of tangled fibers
which disrupt the ability of the brain cells
to communicate with each other.
The goal of the Rush Study is to obtain
reliable clinical and psychological
information as well as a brain autopsy
from the participants. The annual testing
of participants includes such exercises as
listening to a story and repeating it,
putting scrambled letters and numbers in
their proper sequence, listing names of
vegetables and animals, identifying the
definition of a word, picking up pegs
and placing them in holes, matching
various forms, reacting to stimuli applied
to the feet, and maintaining one’s balance
while being gently pulled from behind.
All participants agree to a brain donation
at death. A neurologist reviews with
each participant the results of the
yearly evaluation.
The majority of the monastics
participating in the Rush Study are
retired or semi-retired. They are
able to be involved in an activity
which may some day contribute to
a better understanding of or even
to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s
disease.
photo by Greg Becker
14
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
FEATURE
These images in the
monastic dining room
are drawings by
Clement Frischauf, OSB,
in the early 1930s
and depict the
monastic life.
A Glossary of Monastic
Terms
by Patrick McDarby, OSB
W
ith family and friends,
students and visitors, we
monks often find ourselves
explaining our in-house
terminology. Here, then, is the beginning of a glossary to let our readers know
the monastic vocabulary we members of
Saint John’s Abbey use regularly but
which may seem confusing or arcane to
our friends, let alone strangers. Look for
more terms in future issues.
People Terms
Monk: a man who commits himself to
live with a community of
like-minded men at
Saint John’s under
the Rule of Benedict.
His purpose:
seeking God.
His means:
living with
these men in obedience to their abbot
and one another.
Father: a monk who
has been ordained a
priest—at Saint
John’s, about
two-thirds of
us
Brother: a
monk who has not been ordained a
priest. Since monks often use
“family” as a metaphor for their
community, they are all brothers
with a small “b.” How can you
tell if a monk is a Father or a
Brother? Ask him.
Confrere: a monastic
colleague, comrade or just
another monk
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
Abbot: the boss
monk or the good
shepherd of the
flock. All monks
committed to the
community for life
elect the abbot by
secret ballot from
among their number.
He has almost all
administrative and
spiritual power in the
community. So when a monk vows
obedience, the abbot is The Man. The
word “abbot” comes from the Aramaic
abba, father, the word Jesus used when
he taught his disciples to pray.
Prior: a kind of vice-abbot, as in vicepresident. Saint Benedict was wary of
priors and thought they were liable to get
proud and arrogant; so he makes them
completely dependent on the abbot for
tenure and delegated power. The prior
takes the abbot’s place when the latter is
absent.
Candidate: a man who has expressed
interest in joining the community, has
been screened by a committee of monks,
and now runs for election. Less
figuratively, the abbot allows a candidate to live, pray and work
with the community for
several months. If he still
wants to join, he applies
for admission and the
monks vote on whether or
not to accept him. A positive vote and he becomes a
...
Novice: a man in monastic
boot camp. Not in vows
yet, the novice lives in the
novitiate under the guid-
The drawings were
photographed by
Hugh Witzmann,
OSB.
ance of the director of formation
and prays, works and plays with the
community for a year. He learns
through classes, lectures, experience and reflection about life in this
monastery and about himself. If
after a year he decides that this
community is for him, and the
community
decides by vote
that he is for it,
he professes temporary vows for
one to three
years (sometimes
longer) and
becomes a . . .
Junior Monk:
Sometimes pretty
senior chronologically, he just has not
made final vows. Still
under the direction of
the director of formation, he continues
study of monasticism
and theology and works in community enterprises. After three years
he decides whether he wants to
make lifetime vows, or he asks to
extend his temporary vows. The
community decides by vote whether
to accept him into full monkhood.
15
FEATURE
Mary Gouge checks student work
schedule each day.
photos by Dolores Schuh, CHM
You’ve Got Mail
by Dolores Schuh, CHM
F
irst-time visitors to
Collegeville often ask,
“Where’s the town?”
Their tour guide says simply, “This is it. What you see is
what you get: abbey, university,
preparatory school, publishing
house, and a U. S. Post Office.”
But students, faculty and staff
know that most people who
study and work in Collegeville do
not get their mail at the U. S.
Post Office. Some seldom set
foot in the building.
Tucked between Saint Mary
Hall and Sexton Commons is the
Campus Mail Center (CMC), a
very busy place any given week
of the year but
especially during
the holiday season. One might
wonder why this is
true when we’ve
come to depend
on e-mail for our
daily business and
social correspondence, and often
even for our need
to send an animated greeting to a
friend.
16
But what about the several pieces of
mail (junk and first class) that appear in
our mailboxes every day? Someone has
to put them there. At Saint John’s, there
are about 1,800 student mailboxes, 200
pigeonholes for mail for the monks in
the abbey, and 40 antiquated combination lock boxes for subscribers at the
U.S. Post Office, located in the Guild
Hall (Old Gym or “Rat Hall” to all the
oldtimers reading this).
Mary Gouge, director of the CMC and
the Duplicating Center, has been at Saint
John’s since 1982. After working in the
Dining Service for six years, she was
appointed director of the Duplicating
Center in 1988 and given the additional
responsibilities of the CMC in 1993.
With a staff of thirty students, Mary
supervises the processing of well over a
million pieces of bulk mail, approximately a quarter of a million pieces of firstclass mail, and more than six thousand
packages annually: a real challenge considering that often half of her workers are
new on the job each year.
On the morning I visited the CMC,
five students were stuffing 27,000
envelopes to be posted the next day. A
few days earlier, the fall issue of The
Abbey Banner was prepared for mailing.
In addition to the high volume of mail
that must be processed and taken to the
U. S. Post Office, the CMC handles all
the mail that is picked up and delivered
between offices, departments, buildings
and campuses (Saint John’s University
and the College of Saint Benedict). Pickups and deliveries are made twice a day
to and from the major offices on campus.
Keeping student work and delivery
schedules running smoothly, maintaining
the sophisticated mail processing
equipment, and directing the Duplicating
Center operations which are in a
different building on campus can be a
challenge, but one that Mary handles
very efficiently.
Student work Kristin Bromenshenkel processes
letter at CMC.
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
FEATURE
The thousands of pieces of mail
processed and bagged at the CMC each
day are taken by van to the U.S. Post
Office where postmaster John Jonas
and/or part-time clerk Barbara
Katterhagen check them in and prepare
them for pick-up by U.S. Postal Service
drivers.
John began working at the Collegeville
post office in September, 1972, and Barb
in February, 1981, between them closing
in on almost fifty years of service in
Collegeville. A first-class letter could be
mailed for eight cents when John started,
and eighteen cents when Barb came on
board.
Barb or John, and both during the
busy holiday season, begin their day at 6
a.m., sorting incoming mail so that the
CMC can pick up student, departmental
and office mail at 7:30; individual box
holders can get their mail at 8:00 a.m. or
shortly thereafter. The rest of the day at
the “office” is spent
serving customers at
the window, checking
the bulk mail bags
brought in from the
CMC, and maintaining countless records
required by the
U. S. Postal Service.
Barb and John
know most of their
customers by name
and enjoy a few minutes of friendly,
cheerful chit-chat
with those who pick
up their mail, buy
stamps or mail parcels. They both like
this part of their job best and agree that
sorting the mail each day is the least fun.
Student worker Martin Ahlijah makes
daily deliveries on campus
and at Saint Ben’s.
Due to the popularity of e-mail, the
volume of first class mail has slowly
declined since the early 1990s, and the
volume of bulk mail has increased.
But Mary, John and Barb will still see
that thousands of Christmas cards and
letters are sorted into hundreds of
individual mail boxes this month. And
all three enjoy the smiles on the faces
of their customers when they get packages, notes, letters, or even just postcards from family or friends.
So whether you hear it from the
“electronic voice” of
your AOL server, or
from the friendly and
very much alive employees who handle the volumes of mail at Saint
John’s, you should be
pleased with and appreciate those now familiar
words: “You’ve Got
Mail.”
Barb Katterhagen enjoys serving
customers at the window.
John Jonas makes sure each
piece of mail gets in the
right box.
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
17
FEATURE
Dennis Beach, OSB, chair of the
Justice and Peace Committee of the
abbey, brings the Sunday collection
basket to the altar.
photo by Andra Van Kempen
Abbey Church
Collections Affirm
Social Justice Work
by Margaret Wethington Arnold
T
chaired by Dennis Beach, OSB. Each
year donations averaging $500 to $1,000
per week are made to various organizations that meet the following criteria.
Saint John’s University. “We also try to
have a knowledgeable relationship with
the groups that we support. We try to be
locally involved but not just locally.”
On December 30, Saint John’s
Abbey Justice and Peace Committee will complete another year
of Sunday collections in the abbey
church that go to help those in
need.
First, the organization should serve the
basic material needs of people—food,
clothing or shelter—or provide spiritual
care. Secondly, the mission of the organization should reflect the overall message
of the gospel and the mission of the
Church. Finally, special concern is given
to monastic initiatives in developing parts
of the world. The criteria are periodically
revised and provide the committee with a
consistent way to review all requests.
Many of the organizations have a Saint
John’s connection—whether it is a monk
involved in a mission in South America,
an alum serving on a board of a nonprofit organization in the Twin Cities, a
friend of Saint John’s who is involved in
a special project or a student volunteering
his or her time during spring break. “It’s
not just a handout. We want to support
people who are connected to Saint
John’s and are involved in social justice
work,” said Dennis. “Our support of
these organizations says, ‘We believe in
what you are doing and we are willing to
support you as an encouragement.’”
he Christmas season is a
time for giving and receiving. It is also a time of
special concern for those
who are less fortunate and for
spreading God’s love to all people
on earth.
The offering began in 1985 when
a group of monks proposed having
a collection during the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist.
The collection is part of the work
of the Justice and Peace Committee
18
“We try to provide donations to
organizations that have low overhead and
provide direct aid,” said Brother Dennis,
an assistant professor of philosophy at
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
FEATURE
Abbey Church Collection
Recipients 2001
The following is a sample of this
year’s recipients. Weekly collections
average between $500 and $1000.
The collections at Baccalaureate
and Christmas Masses are often
three times this amount.
Avon Food Shelf, Avon, Minnesota
Earthquake Relief in El Salvador
and Western India
Catholic Bishop of Northern
Alaska
Catholic Chaplaincy at St. Cloud
Correctional Facility
Benedictine Ministry to Poor in
Nairobi, Kenya
Covenant House, New York City
photo by Placid Stuckenschneider, OSB
Dennis said there is a catechetical
dimension to having the collection as
part of the Sunday liturgy. “There is a
‘teaching moment’ of consciousnessraising towards people who are needy
and there is a social justice dimension of
the liturgy itself that builds solidarity with
people around the world and in our
area.”
Of the fifty-three collections of 2001
(fifty-two Sundays plus Ash Wednesday),
only one collection per month goes to
support the worship and upkeep of the
abbey church. A description of the
collection recipient is printed each
Sunday in the worship leaflet. “We’ve
learned that people like to know more
about the organization that will receive
the collection,” said Dennis. “We also
have found that the collection really varies
depending on the need or program.”
The Abbey Justice and Peace
Committee prioritizes the growing
number of requests each year. “We have
far more requests than we can do in a
year,” said Dennis. “Nearly half of the
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
annual collections are for organizations
that the abbey will give to each year—
these are high priority organizations. We
also have medium priorities and low priorities as well as one-time donations.”
The Justice and Peace Committee is
also responsible for other charitable
donations that the abbey makes, such as
the yearly $22,000 contribution to the
Native American parish at Red Lake,
Minnesota, formerly staffed by priests
and brothers of the abbey. The abbey
also contributes a check to the regular
Sunday collection.
Native American Missions at Red
Lake and White Earth,
Minnesota
Missions and projects where
recent SJU and CSB graduates have
been working as volunteers
Catholic Relief Services in
Jerusalem, the West Bank and the
Gaza Strip
St. Theresa School, Kenya, and
Franciscan Sisters’ Orphanages for
Girls in Egypt
Alliance of the Streets and Sharing
and Caring Hands, Minneapolis
Sick, disabled and elderly Tibetan
monks and nuns living as refugees in
India, Nepal and Bhutan
Drought Relief in Central America
St. Cloud Area Habitat for Humanity
A letter from the abbot accompanies
the contribution and states why the abbey
is making the donation: “As monks, we
know that we cannot live apart from the
world, but rather as an integral part of
the world. We are very grateful that there
are people and organizations who strive
to make concrete in our community the
gospel vision of justice.”
Saint Cloud Crisis Pregnancy
Center
Campaign for Human Development
St. Paul-Minneapolis
Archdiocesan AIDS Ministry
St. Stephen’s Homeless Shelter,
Minneapolis
Dorothy Day Center and Listening
House
Our Lady of Perpetual Help,
Chimbote, Peru
19
FEATURE
Doris Casear’s bronze statue of John the Baptist
in the baptistery of the abbey church.
photo by Andra Van Kempen
John the Baptist:
Patron of Advent and Abbey
by Columba Stewart, OSB
Jesus’ ministry, he preceded him in violent death.
J
ohn the Baptist stands at the
door of the gospels, lean and
sometimes mean, calling
everyone, whether highborn
or low, to repentance. This
cousin of Jesus is called the
“forerunner,” the one who
prepared the way for Jesus’ Good
News. He is the model of the
Advent season.
The gospels present John as a
fierce man, roughly attired in a
garment woven from camel’s hair,
subsisting on a desert diet of
insects and wild honey. He made
others uncomfortable by insisting
they change their lives, and he
finally paid the price for upsetting
the powerful. Forerunner of
20
John also stands at the
door of the Abbey Church,
in sculptor Doris Caesar’s
remarkable bronze work.
Elongated like a figure in an El Greco
painting, John seems edgy in the tranquil
setting of the baptistery. His very posture
speaks the urgency of the message of
metanoia, change of heart, that he
preached until his imprisonment and
execution. The Baptist has always
appealed to monks, reminding us of the
birth of monasticism in the desert, and
challenging us to be, like him, a sign of
contradiction in a world often intent on
chasing after what will not last.
When Saint Benedict took his followers
to Monte Cassino in the early 500s, he
dedicated their first church to John the
Baptist, a tradition followed by our
founders when they arrived in Saint Cloud
in 1856. Their first chapel was dedicated
on the Feast of Saint John the Baptist of
that year (24 June). They chose John as
their patron both for his Benedictine
associations and his traditional role as
patron of the Church’s missions.
When the monks moved to our present property (“the Indianbush”) in 1864,
and then to the monastery’s current site
two years later, their patron came with
them. The great Romanesque church
they built, now the Great Hall, was
dedicated to John the Baptist when it was
completed in 1882, as was the new
Breuer church across the way some
eighty years later.
Though he has always also been patron
of the abbey’s schools and of our local
parish, from 1867 to the early 1880s the
Baptist gave way to French king Saint
Louis as the monastery’s patron. The
romantic title of “Abbey of Saint Louis
on the Lake” was meant to honor King
Ludwig I of Bavaria, a strong supporter
of the Minnesota Benedictine foundations. But it just wouldn’t stick. Saint
John’s we already were, and Saint John’s
we still are. May we be faithful to the life
and witness of our great patron.
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
VOCATION NEWS
Monk mentors inspired these Saint John’s
University graduates to enter Saint John’s
Abbey: l. to r., Matthew Luft (1995),
Christian Breczinski 1998)
and John Brudney (1986).
photo by Andra Van Kempen
Building
Relationships—
Nurturing
Vocations
by Joseph Feders, OSB
F
or the first two decades of my
life, I often found myself in
the company of priests and
religious men and women. I
grew up in a Franciscan parish and was
taught by the School Sisters of Notre
Dame in grade school, Benedictine Sisters
and Christian Brothers in high school, and
diocesan clergy at a large Catholic university in the Twin Cities. These men and
women, living lives of service dedicated to
God, made an enormous impression on
me. Their inspiring work was forefront in
my mind as I considered entering Saint
John’s Abbey in 1992.
Unfortunately, my experience is not
typical for many young people today.
When I give vocation talks at schools and
ask, “Do you personally know a priest,
brother or sister?” few hands go up. My
own experience, as well as work with
men interested in the abbey, has shown
that personal contact with and encouragement by men and women religious is one
of the primary reasons why young people
consider religious life.
At Saint John’s, our university and
preparatory school students have a
unique opportunity to relate one-on-one
with monks, either in the dorms where
they serve as monk residents or in the
classrooms. But even with this possibility
for daily contact, life behind the
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
monastery walls remains a great mystery
for many students.
munity for evenings of Eucharist,
dinner and Evening Prayer.
Realizing the importance of nurturing
one-on-one relationships, Abbot John
Klassen, OSB, has appointed a Vocation
Programming Team to assist me in
meeting the needs of people interested in
learning more about monastic life.
Zachary Wilberding, OSB, will serve as
vocation programming coordinator, and
Leonard Chmelik, OSB, and Fran
Hoefgen, OSB, will assist him. A
primary charge of the team is to expand
our current program of introducing men
to our community with the hope that
some of these men will consider joining
us as candidates.
The Vocation Programming
Team will also address the needs of
those outside of Collegeville. A
team of monks will be assembled to
respond to requests for talks in
schools, parishes and for special
supporters of vocations such as the
Serrans and Knights of Columbus.
If you would like a monk to share
his vocation story with your group,
please contact me through our web
page: www.saintjohnsabbey.org.
For our university students this
programming will include monastic livein experiences. Plans for the current
school year include live-ins before the
start of spring semester, during spring
break, and immediately after the school
year ends. The spring break monastic
experience will include service work in
the Saint Cloud area, and theological
reflection on this work and its relationship to Benedictine values. Other plans
include inviting students to join the com-
In related news, an Undergraduate Priesthood Group has
been established through Saint
John’s University’s campus ministry
for young men thinking about
priesthood at any level of interest.
Nine students responded to the
initial invitation at the beginning of
this school year. Led by our
Anthony Ruff, OSB, and Greg
Mastey, a parish priest of the Saint
Cloud Diocese, the group will meet
every two weeks for prayer, presentations by priests on relevant topics,
fellowship and support.
21
STRENGTHENING FOUNDATIONS
photo by Greg Becker
A Room with
a View
by Margaret Wethington Arnold
A
contemplative room like
the reflection of Lake
Sagatagan, a grouping of
furnishings like the
texture and modesty of the
monastery, a deep resonant of
bells like the rhythm of the
day—a space for guests that is
inseparable from the monastic
surroundings.
How appropriate, then, that the
Saint John’s Abbey Guest House
has been called a “monastery for
lay people” or a “college for
monastic studies” by monks who
have been involved in the
project. With thirty guest rooms,
the Guest House will
accommodate up to
sixty people
who visit for a
day or a week.
The guest rooms
will be on all three
levels of the building
and each will include a
private bath, two single
beds or a queen-size bed,
a desk, a side chair and
closet space. Each room will
enjoy an expansive view of the
lake and property.
22
“The Guest House was designed with
two audiences in mind—retreatants and
friends and family members of community members,” said Fran Hoefgen, OSB,
abbey guest master. “The building is
designed to make it comfortable for both
types of guests.” According to
Father Fran, sixty percent of Saint
John’s Abbey guests are
retreatants and forty percent are
friends and family members.
Last year, Saint John’s welcomed 1,200 guests from forty
states and fourteen countries.
lounge, a meeting room and dining
rooms.
Located between the abbey church and
the prep school, the 36,000 square foot
building will have an underground
connection to the church for use by
guests during inclement
weather. Guests
or retreatants
who are at
Saint John’s for
the Benedictine
Day of Prayer or
spiritual direction
or a visit with a
In the architectural drawmonk will have
ings, the “retreatant” zone
access
to the Guest
or quiet zone is a twoHouse meeting
level space that has twenty-four
guest rooms. This zone intersects Family suite floor plan spaces and lounges
while they are at the
with a “family” zone that is one
abbey
to
pray,
strengthen
their faith life
level and has three guest rooms
or spend time in quiet reflection.
and two family suites. The
zones converge in the middle
In June, the monastic community
of the building with dining
approved
the schematic drawings for
spaces (including a silent
the building with the hope of breaking
dining room) and entry
ground in the spring or summer of 2004.
lobby. Each zone has
The Guest House, a long-held dream
easy access to a meditation room, a library or of the abbey, will be a welcoming space
where all guests will have a room with
a view and may feel the presence
of God.
Guest room floor plan
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BANNER BITS
sketches were displayed after his
funeral in an exhibit of some of his
personal contributions. While
serving as associate pastor and
superintendent of St. Boniface
Church, high school and grade
school in Cold Spring, Minnesota,
in the early 1950s, he designed the
popular pilgrimage Chapel of the
Assumption of Mary. Better
known as “The Grasshopper
Chapel,” the original frame structure had been erected in gratitude
for the intercession of the Blessed
Virgin Mary during a late nineteenth century grasshopper plague.
A tornado later demolished the
chapel. The hill on which it once
stood was empty until the 1952
dedication of the new chapel.
Obituaries
Athanase Fuchs, OSB
1914 – 2001
E
ven though Father Athanase
was drawn to the monastic
way of life at Saint John’s because
he liked the idea of living in a
community, he spent almost the
whole of his priesthood at
assignments that took him away
from the abbey. After his
ordination in 1941 he was sent to
teach for a couple of years at St.
Peter’s Abbey in Muenster,
Saskatchewan, Canada. During
World War II he served as a
chaplain in the U.S. Army with a
tour of duty in the Philippines.
There he cared for Japanese
prisoners of war and published a
Japanese catechism to help him
in his ministry. His pastoral
assignments included churches in
Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Cold Spring and
Stillwater.
Father Athanase with parishioner
at the shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
Athanase spent half of his sixty years as
a priest ministering to members of the
Ojibwa tribe of native Americans at St.
Joseph’s Church, Ball Club, on the
Leech Lake Indian Reservation in north
central Minnesota. Never one to confine
his sacerdotal services to the sanctuary,
he promoted the financial stability of the
community by organizing the Indian
Mission Enterprises, a successful
business run by and for native
Americans. Tribal members produce
and market maple syrup, honey, Indian
bead work and pure, authentic wild rice
harvested in the traditional method.
Even though Ball Club is hardly more
than the proverbial “bump in the road”
along Highway 2, the Catholic church
there boasts of this country’s largest
Indian bead-work mural. Measuring 12
x 7.5 feet, it is made of over 63,000
beads and decorates the rear wall of the
church’s sanctuary.
Indian bead-work mural designed by Athanase
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The mural is a tribute to Athanase’s
artistic talent. Samples of his pencil
Athanase promoted devotion to
Kateri Tekakwitha, the seventeenth
century native American who was
beatified in 1980, the first
American Indian to be so honored.
He designed an outdoor shrine in
the shape of a teepee that now
graces the grounds of the Ball Club
church.
After his retirement in 1999 he
had no problem adjusting to the
monastic daily routine. He
accepted the duties of the abbey’s
distributor of Mass stipends and
found time to play golf with other
monastic duffers.
He was hospitalized with pneumonia for only a few days before
his death on August 14, the Vigil of
the Assumption of the Blessed
Virgin Mary, to whom he had a
lifelong devotion. His six decades
of faithful, unselfish service gave
him sure reason to join Mary in
proclaiming the greatness of the
Lord and to rejoice in God his
savior.
May he rest in peace!
23
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Gall Fell, OSB
1905-2001
A
s a young boy, Leonard Fell
wanted to be a priest and a missionary when he grew up. One day during
Mass, when he saw the priest elevate the
host, he thought, “If I could become a
priest I could show other people Jesus.”
As the youngest of ten children of Anton
and Anna Maria Fell, growing up in a village in western Germany, he attended a
school that had originally been a
Benedictine monastery. His education
was an exception. Less than one percent
of his neighbors had gone to school
beyond the lower grades.
Gall Fell, OSB
Leonard’s persistence led to his
studies in philosophy at the Catholic
University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
Through a priest friend of the Fargo,
North Dakota Diocese, he was accepted
by the bishop of that diocese for studies
at Saint John’s Seminary. He was
ordained in 1933 and served the diocese
for fourteen years as pastor of three
successive parishes and their mission
churches.
In 1946, at age forty, he returned to
Saint John’s to seek admittance into the
monastic community. He received the
name of Gall, made his first vows in 1947
and was assigned to pastoral duties. One
day he entered the office of Abbot
Alcuin Deutsch who promptly asked
him, “What would you say if I sent you
to the Bahamas?” Here at last was his
invitation to become a missionary. Later
he learned that on that Monday morning
the abbot had decided to send the first
priest to enter his office to the Bahamas.
Father Gall was the first.
For twenty years Gall labored in the
Benedictine missions of the Bahamas.
He served a five-year term as pastor of
the two churches on San Salvador where
Christopher Columbus is alleged to have
landed in 1492. He particularly enjoyed
his duties as an auxiliary chaplain to
United States Air Force, Navy and Coast
Guard personnel in the Caribbean. He
was guest master at St. Augustine’s
Monastery and chaplain and teacher at
St. Augustine’s College in Nassau.
When Gall
returned to the
States he served
in parishes, hospitals, retirement
homes and convents until his
retirement to the
abbey in 1981.
As an inveterate
photo by Placid
Stuckenschneider, OSB
24
walker and talker he roamed the
Collegeville campus, always ready
to converse with visitors and students and to share his enthusiasm
for the monastic and academic life
of Saint John’s.
Gall’s genuine missionary spirit
was confirmed by his death on
October 19, just two days before
the Church’s annual World
Mission Sunday. The Mass of
Christian Burial was celebrated for
him on October 22 with burial in
the abbey cemetery.
May he rest in peace!
Rememb
ber our lo
oved ones
who
o have go
one to theiir restt:
Father Bernardin Patterson,
OSB, Saint Maur Priory,
Indianapolis, Indiana, former member of Saint John’s Abbey, August 18
Richard Coy, Oblate and brotherin-law of Father John Kulas, OSB,
August 30
Dorothy Connolly, mother of
Brother Isaac, September 5
Victims of the terrorist attacks,
September 11
Richard Freund, brother of
Father Melchior, September 15
Bishop Raymond Lucker,
Diocese of New Ulm, September 19
Father Everardo Stueber, OSB,
Abadia del Tepeyac, Mexico, brother of Father Edwin and former
member of Saint John’s Abbey,
October 2
Victor Tholl, long-time employee
of Saint John's, October 8
Veronica Crombie, sister of
Father Angelo Zankl, October 9
Dolly Miller, mother of Father
Gregory, October 25
Bring them and all the
departed into the light of your
presence, O Lord.
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BANNER BITS
Matthew Luft, OSB,
Professes First Vows
B
rother Matthew completed
his initial year of monastic
formation and made a three-year
commitment to the Benedictine
way of life on September 14, the
Feast of the Holy Cross. He
professed his vows of obedience,
stability and fidelity to the
monastic manner of life before
Abbot John Klassen, OSB, the
abbey community and his family
and friends.
After high school in Des
Moines, Iowa, Matthew earned
bachelor degrees in Spanish and
elementary education at Saint
John’s University. Intending to
prepare for the priesthood for
the Diocese of Des Moines, he
studied theology for a year at
Saint John’s School of Theology
•Seminary and then for two
years at The Catholic University
of America in Washington, D.C.
witnessed the monastic community’s
inspiring preparations for the election of
a new abbot in November 2000. When
the community chose Father John
Klassen, Matthew could relate to the
“novice abbot.” A year of well regulated
prayer, study and work allowed Matthew
to experience the reality of monastic life.
Matthew’s positive experience
of community life at Saint John’s
eventually convinced him that he
did not want to live the “Lone
Ranger” life of the diocesan
priest. He requested a leave of
absence to further discern his
vocation and spent two years
teaching in an elementary school
in Arizona.
His parents, Dennis and Sarah Luft,
two sisters and three brothers wholeheartedly support his
decision to become a
monk. They were
overwhelmed by the
ceremony of profession and delighted to
see their son and
brother so happy.
Returning daily to his apartment where his only companion
was his uncommunicative pet
fish, Matthew concluded that he
needed the stable prayer life and
support of a community. He
returned to Saint John’s to seek
entrance into the abbey.
Matthew’s main task
during the next three
years is to continue to
integrate his professional life with
William, 49, grew up in
William Schipper, OSB
community life. He has
Cincinnati, Ohio, made his first
photo by David Manahan, OSB
been assigned to teach
profession of vows at Saint
Spanish and to assist the
Meinrad Archabbey in 1990 and was
Dean of Students at Saint John’s
ordained to the priesthood in 1994.
Preparatory School.
He served there as director of enrollment
and associate dean of students.
Calling his year as a novice
“a great experience,” Matthew
R. to l., Brother Matthew Luft, OSB,
his parents: Sarah and Dennis,
Abbot John Klassen, OSB
photo by Robin Pierzina, OSB
William Schipper,
OSB, Transfers to
Saint John’s
T
he request of Father
William to transfer his
monastic commitment from
Saint Meinrad Archabbey in
Indiana to Saint John’s Abbey
was approved by the monastic
chapter on September 11.
He was formally welcomed
as a permanent member of
the Collegeville community
during Morning Prayer on
September 14.
continued on the next page
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
25
BANNER BITS
William Schipper, cont.
Since coming to Saint John’s in
1997, William has held such
positions as associate director of
campus ministry, instructor in the
department of theology and
moderator of men’s spirituality
groups, faculty resident in student
housing and the Benedictine
representative for the staff and
students of the university’s athletic
department. He recently was
appointed assistant corporate
treasurer.
Saint John’s gratefully welcomes
this hardworking and affable
confrere.
Four Novices Begin Monastic Life
A
fter completing a three-month
introductory program as candidates
for the monastic life, four men began
their year of initial formation on
September 11 when they were formally
accepted into the community and clothed
with the monastic garb. They are:
Christopher Szarke, 37, of St. Cloud,
Minnesota, graduated in 1987 from St.
Cloud State University in psychology and
speech communication. In 1996 he
received the master’s degree in culture
and creation theology from Holy Names
College, Oakland, California. He has
worked for faith-based ministries in
Washington, D.C., Seattle and San
Francisco that assist people with
HIV/AIDS, coordinated the Lutheran
Volunteer Corps in Minneapolis and
operated a private practice in massage
and acupressure.
Wolfgang (Mark) Krueger, 27, of
Rhinelander, Wisconsin, a 1996 graduate
of the University of Wisconsin-Eau
Claire with a degree in fine arts in
printmaking and drawing. He was a
volunteer with the L’Arche communities
in Cork, Ireland, and Cleveland, Ohio,
and an instructor at a Chicago home for
adults and children with developmental
disabilities.
Cassian (Duong) Nguyen, 26, of Ho
Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon),
Vietnam, moved with his family to San
Jose, California, in 1990. His parents,
two brothers and he became U.S. citizens
in 1995. He graduated last year from the
University of San Diego in philosophy
and theology and has worked as a final
tester for a computer firm.
Christian Breczinski, 25, of Marshall,
Minnesota, is a 1998 graduate of Saint
John’s University in mathematics. After
studying bio-mathematics for a year in
Raleigh, North Carolina, he did volunteer service at the Benedictine Monastery
of the Transfiguration in the Philippines.
This largest class of novices since 1996
is under the direction of Columba
Stewart, OSB, and his assistants, Peter
Habenczius, OSB, and Bradley
Jenniges, OSB.
Columba Stewart, OSB, director of
formation; second row, l. to r., Novices
Christian Breczinski and Cassian Nguyen;
back row: Novices Wolfgang Krueger and
Christopher Szarke
photo by Andra Van Kempen
“
26
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
BANNER BITS
photo by James Dean
Gunther Rolfson, OSB,
Honored
I
n recognition of his many years of service to Saint John’s
University as teacher and administrator, Father Gunther
was honored at a luncheon, hosted by University President,
Brother Dietrich Reinhart, OSB, on October 9.
The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of a
Bela Patheo portrait of Gunther which will be placed in
the Peter Engel Science Center where the popular prof
once taught botany. Gunther also served in a multitude of
assignments including registrar and director of admissions,
founder and director of the counseling center, vice president for academic affairs, monastic superior of the abbey’s
junior monks, chaplain of Saint Benedict’s Monastery and
College and pastor of St. Catherine’s Church, Farming,
Minnesota. Since his retirement last year he resides in
Saint Raphael’s Retirement Center at the abbey.
Abbot John Klassen, OSB, is greeted by
Archbishop Harry Flynn on September 10, 2001
at the Residence of the Archbishop in Saint Paul,
Minnesota. Abbot John hosted three presentations on the Saint John’s Abbey Guest House in
September including one at the Archbishop’s
residence.
photo by Margaret Wethington Arnold
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
Dietrich Reinhart, OSB,
president of Saint John’s
University, at the August 30
dedication ceremony of Saint
Maur and Saint Placid houses.
The two new residence buildings join a group of buildings
on campus that are named
after famous people. Saint
Maur and Saint Placid were
two of Benedict’s earliest
monks. “Let us dedicate these
two buildings as their two
young patrons would surely
have us do, learning across
fifteen centuries of the story
of their lives and praying to
the God who holds us, just as
he holds them, close to his
heart,” said Brother Dietrich.
photo by Greg Becker
27
BANNER BITS
The new Sexton Commons Plaza with a
gradual slope, a fountain in the center
and tables, chairs and umbrellas for
outdoor meeting and eating
photo by Daniel Durken, OSB
“
Recent
Construction and
Renovation
Projects
by Daniel Durken, OSB
A
late summer whirlwind golf-cart
tour of the campus with
Brother Linus Ascheman, OSB,
Corporate Physical Plant Manager,
provided a review of new construction and renovation projects on
campus.
approach, and six round tables with
chairs and umbrellas offer space for outdoor eating and visiting. The third and
fourth floors of the Commons now provide office and conference space. The
generosity of Bill Sexton covered the cost
of these improvements.
Saints Maur and Placid Houses,
completed and dedicated August 30
and occupied by 104 students in
four- and six-person apartments,
each with private bedrooms and
baths and airconditioned for use
during summer conferences.
Ground Floor Mary Hall has become the
Personal and Professional Development
Center with offices for the Outdoor
Leadership Center, the Peer Resource
Program, the Career Resource Center
and the Counseling Center.
Sexton Commons Plaza where a
gradual slope of a half-inch per foot
replaces the main entrance steps, a
rectangular fountain graces the
Peter Engel Science Center Plaza has a
new handicapped entrance ramp, extended entrance stairs, improved site
drainage, and a cluster of ginko trees.
The Pellegrene Auditorium of the
Center has been renovated and supplied
with multi-media, high tech sound and
projection equipment.
First Floor of the Quadrangle has been
partially restored with the removal of wall
plaster, the exposure of the original brick
from the Collegeville kilns and the
addition of central air conditioning.
New windows installed in the “cold corridor” outside the Great Hall and Alumni
Lounge.
Some 25 minor renovations and
improvements around the campus have
also been completed.
2001 Harvest Report
U
rban Pieper, OSB, abbey
gardener, reports that 2,850
pounds of vine ripened tomatoes
were harvested this season. Brother
Urban called it “a good crop.”
apples, almost four bushels of
crab apples, and two bushels
of plums. Brother George
said, “It was a very
good year.”
George Primus, OSB, custodian
of the abbey orchard, and his
helpers picked 160 bushels of
28
The Abbey Banner Winter 2001
BANNER BITS
The Holy Twins:
A Book Review
by Carol Marrin
T
omie dePaola, an author and
illustrator of over 200 children’s
books and Kathleen Norris, best known
for Dakota and Cloister Walk, have
collaborated on a children’s book about
Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica.
G.P. Putnam’s Sons has just released
The Holy Twins: Benedict and
Scholastica.
This delightful book for children may
be a book that parents find themselves
reading over and over again. The
biography of Benedict and Scholastica,
followed by tales of miracles that
surround Benedict’s life, are simple and
uncomplicated. Tomie dePaola’s illustrations are in muted earth tones, using
color to suggest various moods. His
signature page border gives the various
elements their place and context.
In a recent phone conversation, Kathleen
Norris said, “I was trying to write a book
for children and liberate the material
about Benedict and Scholastica, which is
really only available from scholarly
sources.
“I tried to create two believable characters, not inventing them from whole
cloth, but taking what is in Pope Saint
Gregory’s Dialogues and scholarship
about the Rule. I tried to humanize that
material and make characters who would
be believable to young boys and girls who
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love their brothers and sisters dearly but
can’t help fighting and arguing with
them.”
This is a book to be given, to be
read aloud, and to lead a reader to
other books.
The book concludes with a full page
describing “The Amazing Rule of Saint
Benedict” and illustrations of four of the
chapters found in the Rule. In addition
Norris and dePaola offer other readings,
some of which are authored by members
of Saint John’s Abbey or published by
The Liturgical Press.
The Holy Twins: Benedict and
Scholastica
Written by Kathleen Norris
Illustrated by Tomie dePaola
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $16.99
The Holy Twins is available at the
Saint John’s University Bookstore. You
can also find excerpts from Gregory’s
Dialogues on the Life and Miracles of
Saint Benedict at www.osb.org/gen/greg.
29
OBLATE NEWS
A national conference
of Benedictine Oblate
Directors and Oblates
was held at Saint
John’s Abbey and
Saint Benedict’s
Monastery in St.
Joseph, Minnesota,
from July 27 through
August 1.
photo by Robin Pierzina,
OSB
National Conference of Benedictine
Oblate Directors and Oblates
by Allen Tarlton, OSB
B
iennially, two Benedictine
monasteries (one male/one
female) co-host the national
conference of the North
American Association of Oblate
Directors and Oblates. These meetings, begun in 1949, were originally
open only to Oblate directors; since
1997, however, Oblates have also
been in attendance.
This year the gathering was truly
a Minnesota event. The host communities were Saint Benedict’s
Monastery and Saint John’s Abbey.
But these two institutions were ably
assisted by Saint Paul’s Monastery,
St. Paul; Mount Saint Benedict
Monastery, Crookston; and Saint
Scholastica’s Monastery, Duluth.
of the conference consisted of a series of
major presentations, several large and
small group discussions on various topics,
optional workshops on several evenings,
and times for “gettin’ down and hangin’
loose.”
The whole operation was choreographed by the Coordinator of the Oblate
Directors, Sister Jean Frances Dolan, a
Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adoration,
Clyde, Missouri. Under her guidance,
Sister Mary Anthony Wagner, Oblate
director of Saint Benedict’s Monastery
and Father Allen Tarlton, Oblate director
of Saint John’s Abbey, marshaled the
nitty-gritty details on the homefront.
Both directors and Oblates attended all
the major presentations. Father Hugh
Feiss and Rita Tybor collaborated on
Forming a Diverse Community: Benedictine
Theory, Practice and Attitudes. They
From July 27 to August 1 approx- looked at three ways Oblates witness to the
imately 140 directors and Oblates
formation they have received: reverence for
focused on the theme: Formation in the diverse pieties of sincere Christians;
Benedictine Spirituality. The format receptivity toward the differences found in
30
the Body of Christ, and recognition of the
Spirit at work among all people, even in
our differences.
Dr. Janet Buchanan focused on the
theme of her doctoral dissertation:
Monks Beyond Walls: Benedictine
Oblation and the Future of Benedictine
Spirituality. She contends that with the
decline in the number of monks and
nuns, we are confronted with both a
challenge and an incentive to spread our
Benedictine spirituality beyond the
monastery. Many long for monastic
wisdom for their own life journey.
Columba Stewart, OSB, centered on
humility in the Rule of Benedict—the
chapter on humility. He discoursed on
the process of conversion as outlined in
this chapter.
On Sunday morning a panel of six
Oblates from Saint Benedict’s and Saint
John’s related what the Oblate program
meant to them. Later there was time for
various sightseeing excursions, a cookout
and an evening concert.
The conference was summed up when
a participant remarked, “The Spirit was
really working overtime!”
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SPIRITUAL LIFE
Christy Arnold and her
three-week old son, Sam
photo by Fran Hoefgen, OSB
The Birth of Hope,
The Advent of Faith
by Christy Arnold
D
uring Advent last year, my
husband and I were expecting
our first child. In my seventh
month of pregnancy I felt the
size and weight of the little one growing
within me. As I reflect on that time,
and its relationship to Advent, my mind
goes first to what I learned about the
ambivalence of expectation.
To me, new things are wrapped in a
package of fear and hope. With a new
life growing inside me, I learned about
the slow burn of fears an expectant
mother has. I was secretly concerned
with my baby’s health every day of my
pregnancy. Later I learned from other
women that I was not alone in this
unspoken fear.
son’s health as he
grew inside me
have only been
replaced by other,
darker fears—fears
of injury or loss.
But hope is
blossoming, too—a proud moment when
I watch my child crawl months earlier
than expected, and wonder in what other
ways he will be prodigious. Mostly, my
hope is that whatever he becomes, Sam
will be a man of faith, growing, like the
young Jesus, “in wisdom and age and
favor” before God and the people (Luke
2:52).
However, there was more to learn: the
birth of hope, the advent of faith. I recall
the first time I felt the baby move. I was
visiting my mother in Florida, and being
with her made the moment all the more
meaningful. I will not forget the way it
opened my heart to expectation. That
little flutter is a deepening of relationship.
These two sides of expectation, fear
and hope, are apparent in Mary’s Advent
walk as well. Luke’s Gospel tells the
story of one bewildered at the angel
Gabriel’s greeting, but nevertheless
resolved to be God’s servant. In these
early days of the liturgical year, we rejoice
with Mary at the coming joy of
Christmas, setting aside for a time the
pain of Good Friday.
This combination of fear and hope is
the beginning of the bittersweet work of
parenting. The fears I had about my
One may wonder how reflecting on
being pregnant during Advent could be
useful to others. As Mary responds to
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her cousin Elizabeth, she begins,
“My soul proclaims the greatness of
the Lord” (Luke 1:46). In a certain
sense, pregnancy is a witness to this
great proclamation of Mary: a
pregnant woman’s body proclaims
the greatness of the Lord. It is a
sign to others, a reminder of their
own openness to life and a witness
to God’s care.
When I think of this little life I’ve
watched grow in the past year, I
know my capacity to love has
increased. Sam has assaulted my
selfishness right from the early days
of pregnancy when it became clear
that a new life was now entwined
with mine. I suppose this was
Mary’s experience as well. Her
“yes” changed the world. Of
course, it changed her, too. This is
where we can all join Mary: by
entering into the expectation of
Advent.
31
Calendar of Events
December 9—
February 8
Pottery Exhibition featuring the
work of Richard Breshnahan at
Alice R. Rogers and Target
Galleries, Collegeville
December 7, 8 p.m.;
December 8, 2 p.m.
Saint John’s Boys’ Choir
Christmas Concerts
December 24,
11:15 p.m.
Christmas Concert and Midnight
Mass of Christmas, Abbey Church
January 19, 8 p.m.
CSB/SJU Fine Arts Series,
Claudia Acuna, Stephen B.
Humphrey Theater
March 15-17 & 22-24
Prep Players present “Joseph
and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat”
March 28, 8 p.m.
Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of
the Lord’s Supper
March 29
Monthly Benedictine Day of
Prayer
March 29, 3 p.m.
Good Friday of the Lord’s
Passion
March 30, 9:30 p.m.
Easter Vigil and Mass of Easter
January 20, 2 p.m.
Sixth Annual Ecumenical
HymnFest
January 25
Monthly Benedictine Day of
Prayer (call 320-363-3929)
February 13
Ash Wednesday
February 16, 8 p.m.
CSB/SJU Fine Arts Series, Alison
Brown Quartet, Stephen B.
Humphrey Theater
7 a.m.
12 p.m.
5 p.m.
7 p.m.
February 22
Monthly Benedictine Day of
Prayer
* Saturday Eucharist, 11:30 a.m.
Sunday Eucharist, 10:30 a.m.
Abbey Prayer Time
Visitors are welcome to join the monks for daily prayers
and Eucharist. Seating: choir stalls west of altar. Seating
for Sunday Eucharist is in the main body of the church.
Morning Prayer
Noon Prayer
Daily Eucharist*
Evening Prayer
Nonprofit
Organization
U.S. Postage
PAID
Saint John's Abbey
Saint John’s Abbey
PO Box 2015
Collegeville, MN 56321-2015
www.saintjohnsabbey.org
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED