Synod of Abbots President

Abbot Primate Gregory Polan, O.S.B. convoked the annual Synod of Presidents at Sant’Anselmo from September 6-11, 2021. Among those present was our own Abbot President John Klassen, O.S.B. (Collegeville). The Abbot Primate gave a report of the State of the International Benedictine Confederation. Rector  Bernhard A. Eckerstorfer O.S.B. gave a report on the enrollment and programs of the three faculties of the Pontifical Athenaeum S. Anselm. Prior Mauritus Wilde, O.S.B. gave a report on collegiate life. Dom Gerardo Gonzalez y Lima, O.S.B. gave the annual financial report as well on recent renovations. Status reports of the various congregations were delivered by the respective abbots president; A statistical report on the confederation extracted from the newly-digitized Catalogus Monachorum prepared by Fr. Patrick Carter, O.S.B., of Clear Creek Abbey was discussed. A presentation of the Traditionis Custodes apostolic letter issued by Pope Francis in July was offered by Abbot President Philippe Dupont, O.S.B. and Abbot President Guillermo Arboleda, O.S.B. A discussion of Book VI of the Code of Canon Law as it relates to unauthorized spending by a superior, was led by Fr. Laurentius Eschlböck, O.S.B. of Schottenstift. A review of the attempt to renew the Benedictine Proper Calendar of Saints, was promoted by Abbot Philippe Dupont, O.S.B. A decision to support an initiative to request from Pope Francis the possibility of having brothers as abbots and conventual priors concluded the presentations. The Synod also decided to postpone the next Congress of Abbots until September 2024. Finally, the Abbots President elected a new council for the Abbot Primate. The new council includes Abbot President Maksymilian Nawara, O.S.B., Abbot General Antony Puthenpurackal, O.S.B. and Abbot President Jeremias Schroeder, O.S.B. of the St. Ottilien Congregation who was also re-elected a vicar to the Abbot Primate.

Priors’ Meeting

Benedictine Claustral Priors from various monasteries in the United States gathered at St. Benedict’s Abbey Retreat Center in Benet Lake, WI from July 15-18, 2021.  Father Joel Rippinger, O.S.B., a noted author and monastic scholar from Marmion Abbey, gave the conferences.  Brother Anselm Broom, O.S.B. from Conception Abbey in Missouri coordinated the meeting.