Abbey News

March-April 2017

Published: Category: News

Holy Week began on April 9th with the pontifical Mass for Palm Sunday. The complete schedule of liturgies for the Easter Triduum can be found here.

On April 11th, Fr. David Kessinger and Abbot Placid celebrated the Chrism Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Charlotte with Bishop Jugis and the priests of the diocese.

The abbey and college communities welcomed nearly 900 youth to campus for the annual Bishop’s Youth Pilgrimage for the Diocese of Charlotte on April 1st. Abbot Placid celebrated Mass for the participants in the morning. There were talks and presentations during the day, which closed with Bishop Peter Jugis addressing the participants and leading a holy hour and Eucharistic Procession with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

On March 30th, the college’s annual Cuthbert Allen Lecture, named in honor of Father Cuthbert Allen, O.S.B., was given by Dr. Stephen Barr on the topic the relation between science and religion.

The abbey community celebrated the Solemnity of the Dedication of the Basilica on March 28th. That evening, Abbot Placid, Father Christopher and Father Elias assisted at the Lenten penance service sponsored by the students in the college.

The Benedict Leadership Institute at Belmont Abbey College presented the first Benedict Leadership Award to Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, for his work in aiding Christian refugees in the Middle East on March 24th. The celebration began with Solemn Vespers of the Annunciation and continued with dinner and an address by Mr. Anderson.

On March 21st, Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte and priests of the diocese, together with the Sisters of Mercy and members of the college community joined the monks to celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Benedict with Mass and a luncheon.

Brother Augustine joined students from the college for an Alternative Spring Break service project with the Missionaries of the Poor in Jamaica.

Father Elias assisted with the visitation of the dependent priory of Assumption Abbey in Tibatí, Colombia.

Abbot Placid and Father Christopher presented the annual parish mission for St. Aloysius Parish on March 12th and 13th in Hickory, NC.

The monastery and college communities began Lent on March 1st with Mass for the distribution of ashes.

January 2017

Published: Category: News

On January 5, the monastic community together with members of the college faculty and administration joined the Board of Trustees for dinner during their annual board retreat.

Brother Gregory Marshall, O.S.B. made his Solemn Profession at the Conventual Mass on Sunday, January 15. Bishop emeritus William Curlin and priests of the Charlotte Diocese joined the monastic and college communities and oblates for the celebration.

Father Elias was one of the speakers for Belmont’s annual Unity Day Celebration, held on Monday, January 16.

December 2016

Published: Category: News

Father Edmund McCaffrey died in Louisville, KY, on Sunday, November 13, 2016. Father Edmund and alumnus of the college and former monk of Belmont Abbey, and had served the community as abbot from 1970-1975. He had subsequently been incardinated into the Diocese of Charleston, SC. The funeral was celebrated on Monday, November 28, at St. Michael’s Church, Murrells Inlet, SC, where Father McCaffrey had been the founding pastor. Father David Kessinger and Abbot Placid represented the abbey at the funeral. The same day, the Conventual Mass at the abbey was offered for Father McCaffrey. May he rest in peace.

Abbot Placid was a guest of St. Andrew Parish Community in Clemson, SC, for the celebration of their 80th anniversary on November 30. The original chapel had been designed by Father Michael McInerney, a monk of Belmont Abbey.

Abbot Placid, Father Christopher, Father David Brown, and Father Elias joined the students on December 1 in the abbey basilica for the “United by Praise” Advent service of adoration and reconciliation. Father Matthew Kauth of the Diocese of Charlotte was the homilist.

The Abbey Players presented the annual “Christmas at the Abbey” celebration in the Haid Theater on December 3.

Abbot Placid attended the installation of Bishop Michael Burbidge, formerly the Bishop of Raleigh, as the fourth Bishop of Arlington, VA, in the Cathedral of Saint Thomas on December 6.

The monastic and college communities celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception with pontifical Mass on December 8. The day was also a holiday for the college. That evening many of the monks were president for the President’s Christmas Reception in the Haid ballroom.

The Abbey Chorus presented their annual Christmas Concert in the basilica on December 9.

September 2016

Published: Category: News

The monastic community helped welcome the largest entering class ever, over 430 new students, to Belmont Abbey College on Friday, August 19.

The Matriculation Ceremony for Belmont Abbey College’s Class of 2020 was held in the abbey basilica on Saturday evening, August 20. The college faculty join the monastic community for Solemn Vespers, along with the new class. During the service, the new class is formally handed over from the Admissions Office to the college faculty.

The monastic community began consideration of a new Customary at a community meeting on August 24.

Abbot Placid departed on September 4 for Rome to participate in the Congress of Benedictine Abbots at the International Benedictine College, Sant’ Anselmo, Sept. 4-16. This gathering held every four years, brings together all the abbots of the Benedictine Confederation from around the world. The most significant item on the agenda this year is the election of a new Abbot Primate for the Benedictine Order.

August 2016

Published: Category: News

Novice Augustine Basque made his first profession of vows on July 11. Brother Augustine serves as sacristan for the abbey basilica. He will be taking courses in the college’s Theology Department in the fall.

In June, Father Elias preached the Forty Hours retreat at Immaculate Conception Parish in Hendersonville, NC.

Abbot Placid attended the abbatial blessing of Archabbot Kurt Stasiak, O.S.B., at St. Meinrad Archabbey, IN, on July 26.

Father David Kessinger visited Mary Mother of the Church Abbey, Richmond, VA, July 30-August 13, where he assisted the community by celebrating the Conventual Mass.

Our four Benedictine Volunteers for this year left for Africa on Sunday, August 14. They will be working at Benedictine communities in Tanzania for the next nine months. They were commissioned and sent forth with a blessing by the monastic community at Lauds on the 14th after spending a week with us in the monastery.

Abbot Placid, Father Elias, Brother Gregory, Brother Anselm, Brother Ephrem, Brother George, Brother James and Brother Augustine attended the opening retreat for college faculty, staff and administrators on Monday and Tuesday, August 8-9, to begin the new school year.

Father Christopher, Brother Anselm, and Brother Ephrem will be teaching in the college this fall. Brother Edward will resume his duties in Campus Ministry, Brother Paul will continue his responsibilities in the Athletic Department, and Brother James will be working again this year in the Residence Life Office. Brother Gregory, Brother James and Brother Augustine will be attending classes in the college.

July 2016

Published: Category: News

Abbot Placid joined the Federal Association of the Order of Malta on April 27 through May 4 for the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, France.

Belmont Abbey College celebrated its graduation exercises for the Class of ’16 on May 14. Bishop Victor Galeone, Bishop emeritus of St. Augustine, FL, was the baccalaureate homilist. Honorary degrees were awarded to Bishop Galeone and to Mr. Michael Snyder (’62).

On May 22, Abbot Placid attended the centennial celebration of St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Mount Olive, NC. Bishop Michael Burbidge or Raleigh presided at the Mass, the pastor, Father James Garneau, Monsignor John Williams, and Abbot Placid concelebrated. The celebration also included a visit to the original church, blessed a century ago by Bishop Leo Haid, O.S.B., the first abbot of Belmont Abbey and Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina. The celebration concluded with a festive luncheon.

Father Christopher led a retreat for a community of the Sisters of Mercy in Jamaica on June 5-10. Father Christopher is Chaplain for the Sisters of Mercy at Sacred Heart Convent in Belmont.

On June 14-18, Father Elias, the Formation Director, attended a meeting of formation directors from Benedictine Communities of men held at Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas.

Abbot Placid and Father David Kessinger attended the ordinations to the priesthood for the Diocese of Charlotte at Saint Mark Parish in Charlotte on June 18. One of the men ordained, Cory Catron, is a 2010 alumnus of Belmont Abbey College.

On June 19, Abbot Placid and Father Elias concelebrated Father Cory Catron’s Mass of Thanksgiving in the abbey basilica. Abbot Placid preached the homily.

Belmont Abbey hosted for the first time the General Chapter of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monasteries on June 19-24. The Chapter was attended by abbots and one elected delegate from each of the nineteen abbeys of the Congregation. The Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation, Abbot Notker Wolf, O.S.B., and the Prior of Sant’ Anselmo, Father Elias Lorenzo, O.S.B., attended from Rome. During the course of the Chapter, Father Elias Lorenzo, O.S.B., was elected President of the American-Cassinese Congregation. This was the first time a President was elected who had not previously served as an abbot. Abbot President Elias received the abbatial blessing in the abbey basilica from Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey on Thursday afternoon, June 23.

Father Christopher attended a planning session on June 26-30 for the Priors’ Workshop at Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana.

Father Elias preached at the Forty Hours Devotion for Immaculate Conception Parish in Hendersonville, NC on June 28-30.

On June 30, Abbot Placid attended the Chartering Mass and Dinner for the new Charlotte Chapter of Legatues. The Mass the celebrated at Saint Patrick Cathedral by Bishop Peter Jugis. Abbot Placid is chaplain of the Charlotte Legatus Chapter.

April 2016

Published: Category: News

Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte designated the abbey basilica as a pilgrimage church with a Holy Door for the Jubilee Year of Mercy for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19. The abbey and college communities made a jubilee year pilgrimage Friday evening, March 18, with Mass, dinner and the solemn opening of the Holy Door at First Vespers of Saint Joseph.

The annual Bishop’s Youth Pilgrimage for the Diocese of Charlotte was hosted by the abbey on Saturday, March 19, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph with about a thousand middle and high school students attending. Abbot Placid presided at the Mass together with priests of the diocese. Bishop Peter Jugis addressed the gather later in the day and presided at the Eucharistic procession and Benediction.

The monastery and college communities began Holy Week with the celebration of Palm Sunday on March 20.

Seven men from our college community joined the monastic community for the annual Easter Triduum Retreat from Wednesday, March 23 through Easter Sunday.

At the Easter Vigil on March 26 one of our students was baptized and confirmed and received the Eucharist, and another made a profession of faith for full communion with the Catholic Church and was likewise confirmed and received the Eucharist.

On Friday, April 1, the monastery and college communities celebrated the dedication of the new renovations to the Abbot Vincent Taylor Library in the college.

Tuesday, April 5, was the celebration of St. Benedict’s Day, transferred from March 21 this year because of Holy Week. Bishop Peter Jugis and priests of the diocese, along with the Sisters of Mercy, joined the monastery and college communities for Mass and a luncheon.

On Wednesday, April 6, Belmont Abbey College welcomed Dana Gioia, internationally renowned poet, for the annual Cuthbert Allen Lecture. Mr. Gioia talk was entitled: “Why Beauty Matters: Not Just in Art but in Faith and Society”. The lecture series is named in memory of Father Cuthbert, a monk of the abbey and leader in the college, who died in 1977.

Dr. William Thierfelder and Abbot Placid dedicated the new lights at the baseball field on Friday evening, April 8.

Brother Gregory presented a paper entitled “Malory’s Enigma: Arthur, Lancelot, and Fate in Le Morte Darthur” at Longwood University’s (Farmville, VA) 10th Annual “Meeting in the Middle” Undergraduate Research Conference in Medieval Studies on April 8.

On April 9, Brother Anselm presented a paper “Reflecting on the New Jerusalem: Perfecting Man’s Political Nature” at the spring conference of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, which was held at Belmont Abbey College. Brother Ephrem served as moderator for the session during which Brother Anselm presented his talk.

On Monday evening, April 18, Belmont Abbey College hosted a lecture by Brother Colmán Ó Clabaigh, O.S.B., of Glenstal Abbey, Co. Limerick, Ireland. Br. Colmán is a leading scholar of medieval Ireland. His lecture on Monday was on the subject of “Saints, Shrines and Sinners in Late Medieval Ireland”. The event is sponsored by the St. Gregory the Great Program in Christianity and Culture at the college.

February 2016

Published: Category: News

Abbot Placid attended the annual Abbots’ Workshop, held this year at Saint Joseph’s Abbey, Covington, LA, from Jan. 29-Feb. 2.

The monastic community hosted Monsignor Mauricio West, V. G., Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese of Charlotte, for dinner on Friday February 5, to recognize and thank him for his recently completed service as Chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees.

Abbot Placid, Father Elias and Brother Augustine attended the Mass at Saint Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte celebrated by Bishop Peter Jugis on Saturday, February 6, to honor consecrated religious in the diocese. The bishop hosted a luncheon for the religious after the Mass.

The monastery and college communities joined together to mark the beginning of Lent on Wednesday afternoon, February 10, with Mass and the distribution of ashes.

Abbot Placid, Father Christopher, Father Elias, Father David Brown and Brother Paul attended the spring meeting of the Board of Trustees of the college on February 11.

The abbey celebrates its secondary patrons during the month of February: Our Lady of Lourdes on February 11 and Saint Walburga on February 25.

Abbot Placid, Father Elias, Brother James and Brother Augustine joined the monks of Mary Mother of the Church Abbey in Richmond, VA, on February 16 to celebrate the first profession of Brother Ambrose Okema, O.S.B. Brother Ambrose made his novitiate at Belmont Abbey.

On February 19-20, the monastic community held a continuing education program presented by the President of Saint Luke Institute on recognizing and supporting confreres in community who are dealing with emotional or psychological issues.

Father Christopher is teaching this spring in the formation program for the permanent deacons of the Diocese of Charlotte.

December 2015

Published: Category: News

On December 1, Abbot Placid, Father Christopher, Father David Brown and Father Elias joined the college students for the United by Praise Advent Penance Service. The students arranged for a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament and a talk in addition to Confessions.

Members of the monastic community joined Dr. and Mrs. Theirfelder at the annual President’s Christmas Reception for the college at Stowe Manor in Belmont on the evening of December 5.

On the morning of December 8, the monastic and college communities celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the 50th anniversary of the solemn closing of the Second Vatican Council, and the opening of the Holy Year of Mercy with a pontifical Mass in the basilica.

Brother Anselm defended his doctoral dissertation in Philosophy at the University of Dallas on December 9, and was awarded his degree with honors.

Brother Tobiah and the monks in the formation program made their annual trip to the North Carolina mountains to get the Christmas trees for the monastery. The community will decorate the trees at the conclusion of the Advent retreat day on December 19.

July 2015

Published: Category: News

On July 11, Novice James Raber made his first profession of vows today as the community celebrated the Feast of Saint Benedict.

On July 10, Mr. Ronald Basque, who has lived with the community as a postulant for several months, was invested as a novice at Vespers and received the name Brother Augustine.

Brothers Anselm, Ephrem and George attended the annual juniorate formation program for junior professed monks of the Benedictine Confederation at Saint Benedict’s Abbey, Atchison, KS from June 19-28.

The Diocese of Charlotte held its annual “Quo Vadis” vocation discernment retreat for young men at the abbey on June 15-19.

Abbot Placid attended the annual meeting of the Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities at Benedictine College, Atchison, KS on June 7-9.

The monastic community held its annual retreat May 25-29. Father Albert Bruecken, O.S.B., of Conception Abbey, gave the retreat.

On May 25, the monastic community invited to Sisters of Mercy to the abbey for the annual Memorial Day picnic.

On May 16, Belmont Abbey College celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass and graduation exercises for the Class of ’15.

In April, Abbot Placid joined the Knights and Dames of Malta for their annual pilgrimage to Lourdes.