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May 28, 2009

Diaconate Ordination

Our Brother Bonaventure, OSB will be ordained a transitional deacon this Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 10:00 AM in the Archabbey Basilica.  All are invited to attend this special liturgy in the life of the Church and our community.
Saints Stephen and Bonaventure...pray for our Brother Bonaventure.

May 25, 2009

St. Bede, OSB

Born: c. 672 AD
Birthplace: Jarrow, Northumbria, England
Died: May 25-735 AD
Location of death: Jarrow, Northumbria, England
Cause of death: unspecified 
Gender: Male
Religion: Roman catolic
Nationality: England
Executive summary: Ecclesiastical History

English historian and theologian. Of Baeda, commonly called "the Venerable Bede", almost all that we know is contained in the short autobiographical notice which he has appended to his Ecclesiastical History: "Thus much concerning the ecclesiastical history of Britain, and especially of the race of the English, I, Baeda, a servant of Christ and priest of the monastery of the blessed apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, which is at Wearmouth and at Jarrow, have with the Lord's help composed, so far as I could gather it, either from ancient documents, or from the tradition of the elders, or from my own knowledge. I was born in the territory of the said monastery, and at the age of seven I was, by the care of my relations, given to the reverend Abbot Benedict (Biscop), and afterwards to Ceolfrid, to be educated. From that time I have spent the whole of my life within that monastery devoting all my pains to the study of the scriptures; and amid the observance of monastic discipline, and the daily charge of singing in the church, it has ever been my delight to learn or teach or write. In my nineteenth year I was admitted to the diaconate, in my thirtieth to the priesthood, both by the hands of the most reverend Bishop John (of Hexham), and at the bidding of Abbot Ceolfrid. From the time of my admission to the priesthood to my (present) fifty-ninth year, I have endeavored, for my own use and that of my brethren, to make brief notes upon the Holy Scripture, either out of the works of the venerable fathers, or in conformity with their meaning and interpretation." Then follows a list of his works, so far as at that date, they had been composed. As the Ecclesiastical History was written in 731, we obtain the following dates for the principal events in Bede's uneventful life: birth, 672-73; entrance into the monastery, 679-80; ordination as deacon, 691-92; as priest, 702-03.
The monastery of Wearmouth was founded by Benedict Biscop in 674, and that of Jarrow in 681-82. Though some 5 or 6 miles apart, they were intended to form a single monastery under a single abbot, and so Bede speaks of them in the passage given above. It is with Jarrow that Bede is chiefly associated, though no doubt from the close connection of the two localities he would often be at Wearmouth. The preface to the prose life of Cuthbert proves that he had stayed at Lindisfarne prior to 721, while the Epistle to Egbert shows that he had visited him at York in 733. The tradition that he went to Rome in obedience to a summons from Pope Sergius is contradicted by his own words above, and by his total silence as to any such visit. In the passage cited above, "monastic discipline, the daily charge of singing in the church, learning, teaching, writing", in other words devotion and study make up the even tenor of Bede's tranquil life. Anecdotes have been preserved which illustrate his piety both in early and in later years; of his studies the best monument is to be found in his writings. As a little boy he would take his place among the pupils of the monastic school, though he would soon pass to the ranks of the teachers, and the fact that he was ordained deacon at nineteen, below the canonical age, shows that he was regarded as remarkable both for learning and goodness.
For the rest, it is in his works that we must chiefly seek to know him. They fall into three main classes: (1) scientific; (2) historical; (3) theological. The first class comprises works on grammar, one on natural phenomena, and two on chronology and the calendar. These last were inspired largely by the Paschal Question, which was the subject of such bitter controversy between the Roman and Celtic Churches in the 7th century. They form a natural transition to the second class. In this the chief place is held by the Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation. By this Bede has justly earned the title of the Father of English History. By this almost exclusively he is known to others than professed students. It is indeed one of the most valuable and one of the most beautiful of historical works. Bede has the artist's instinct of proportion, the artist's sense for the picturesque and the pathetic. His style too, modelled largely, in the present writers opinion, on that of Gregory in the Dialogues, is limpid and unaffected. And though it would be wrong to call Bede a critical historian in the modern sense of the words, he shows a very unusual conscientiousness in collecting his information from the best available sources, and in distinguishing between what he believed to be fact, and what he regarded only as rumor or tradition. Other historical works of Bede are the History of the Abbots (of Wearmouth and Jarrow), and the lives of Cuthbert in verse and prose. The History of the Abbots and the prose life of Cuthbert were based on earlier works which still survive. In the case of the latter it cannot honestly be said that Bede has improved on his original. In the History of the Abbots he was much nearer to the facts, and could make additions out of his own personal knowledge. The Epistle to Egbert, though not historical in form, may be mentioned here, because of the valuable information which it contains as to the state of the Northumbrian Church, on which the disorders and revolutions of the Northumbrian kingdom had told with disastrous effect. It is probably the latest of Bede's extant works, as it was written in November 734, only six months before his death. The third or theological class of writings consists mainly of commentaries, or of works which, if not commentaries in name, are so in fact. They are based largely on the works of the four great Latin Fathers, Saints Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose and Gregory; though Bede's reading is very far from being limited to these. His method is largely allegorical. For the text of scripture he uses both the Latin versions, the Itala and the Vulgate, often comparing them together. But he certainly knew Greek, and possibly some Hebrew. Indeed it may be said that his works, scientific, historical and theological, practically sum up all the learning of western Europe in his time, which he thus made available for his countrymen. And not for them only; for in the school of York, founded by his pupil Archbishop Ecgberht, was trained Alcuin (Ealhwine) the initiator under Charles the Great of the Frankish schools, which did so much for learning on the continent. And though Bede makes no pretensions to originality, least of all in his theological works, freely taking what he needed, and (what is very rare in medieval writers) acknowledging what he took, "out of the works of the venerable Fathers", still everything he wrote is informed and impressed with his own special character and temper. His earnest yet sober piety, his humility, his gentleness, appear in almost every line. In history and in science, as well as in theology, he is before all things the Christian thinker and student. (Plummer's Bede, i. 2.) Yet it should not be forgotten that Bede could hardly have done what he did without the noble library of books collected by Benedict Biscop.
Several quaint and beautiful legends have been handed down as to the origin of the epithet of "venerable" generally attached to his name. Probably it is a mere survival of a title commonly given to priests in his day. It has given rise to a false idea that he lived to a great age; some medieval authorities making him ninety when he died. But he was not born before 672 (see above); and though the date of his death has been disputed, the traditional year, 735, is most probably correct. This would make him at most sixty-three. Of his death a most touching and beautiful account has been preserved in a contemporary letter. His last hours were spent, like the rest of his life, in devotion and teaching, his latest work being to dictate, amid ever-increasing bodily weakness, a translation into the vernacular of the Gospel of John, a work which unhappily has not survived. It was a fitting close to such a life as his.  He was canonized in 1899.
The Tomb of Saint Bede

May 24, 2009

Vocation Video Receives Five Awards

“I Only Show You The Cross,” a 20-minute video created for the Saint Vincent Archabbey Vocations Office by Fineline Multimedia of Greensburg, won five awards in four different awards competitions in 2008.

Planning began in the spring of 2007 and production began that July. The final edit was completed in the summer of 2008. Directed by Father Fred Byrne, O.S.B., Archabbey Vocations Director, and Fred Findley of Fineline Multimedia, the script for the video was written by Father Andrew Campbell, O.S.B. of the Archabbey Public Relations Office. It was narrated by David Safin, Director of Multimedia and Marketing at Saint Vincent College, with Dr. Ron Davis of the Communications Department at Saint Vincent College serving as the voice of founder Boniface Wimmer. Findley directed the photography, post-production and editing, while Alexander Byers assisted him with the lighting. Jared Bundy and Safin served as production assistants. Additional photography was done by Byers, Safin, Bundy and Jonathan McMahon. Bundy, Byers and McMahon are/were college students, so working on this video gave them valuable experience and a resume item.

The soundtrack included music sung by monks of the Archabbey. Archival material was provided by Father Brian Boosel, O.S.B., Archivist, and Kim Metzgar and Liz Cousins of the Archabbey Public Relations Office.

Monks interviewed in the video included junior monks Brother Elijah Cirigliano, O.S.B. and Brother Maximilian Maxwell, O.S.B.; Father Fred; Father Justin Matro, O.S.B., Seminary Rector; Father Wulfstan Clough, O.S.B., Associate Professor of English; Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, O.S.B.; Father Sebastian Samay, O.S.B., Novicemaster, and Father Edward Mazich, President of the Saint Benedict Education Foundation.

The video tracked a year in the life of the monastic community. In addition to interviews with monks, Findley and his crew filmed a priesthood ordination, funeral of a confrere, prayer and meals in the monastery, Mass, and the day to day activities of the monks, such as novices studying with Father Sebastian. 

The Aurora Awards competition is an international, independent film and video competition for cable programming, documentaries, industrial, instructional and corporate videos. The Saint Vincent Archabbey video won the Platinum Best in Show in the category of Religious Service, 2008. 

The Videographer Awards international competition is designed to recognize excellence in video productions, television commercials and rograms and new media. Entries are judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), an organization comprised of several thousand marketing, communication and video professionals. “I Only Show You the Cross” received an Award of Excellence in the category of Directing, 2008.

The Telly Awards honor the best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as video and film productions, and work created for the Web. The vocations video received a 2008 Bronze Award in the category of recruitment. The 29th Annual Telly Awards received over 14,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.

Entering its seventh year, The international Accolade competition is an international, non-traditional, virtual venue. Awards go to those videographers who produce fresh, standout entertainment, animation and compelling documentaries. 

“I Only Show You the Cross” received two Accolades, the 2008 Award of Excellence in the category of Editing, and a 2008 Honorable Mention in the category of Viewer Impact.

Pope visits Monte Cassino

Pope Benedict XVI visited the Abbey of Montecassino today, the Abbey of our Holy Father Saint Benedict.

May 23, 2009

Papal Ordinations

This year St. Vincent is blessed to have 3 of our Brothers ordained to the Holy Priesthood on 3 different continents.  Our Joseph, OSB was ordained a priest here at the Abbey (North America) last week.  Our Brother Benoit, OSB will be ordained in Italy (Europe) in a few weeks as well as our  Brother David, OSB in Taiwan (Asia).  Indeed God is good!

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service
VATICN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI ordained 19 priests and urged them to make sure their ministry is not contaminated by a worldly mentality.

Priests should dedicate their lives to prayer and service and never lose sight of the self-sacrifice of Christ, the pope said during the lengthy liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica May 3.

The Mass marked the annual celebration of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The new priests, who will serve in the Diocese of Rome, included 13 from Italy and six from other countries on four continents.

After prostrating themselves on the floor of the basilica as a litany of the saints was chanted, each of the candidates knelt before the pope as he imposed his hands on their heads, part of the ordination rite.

In his sermon, the pope quoted the First Letter of John, who contrasted the spirit of the Gospel with the spirit of the "world," a term he used to refer to all that is hostile toward God.

St. John said that "the world does not know us" because it did not know God, a lament that remains true today, the pope said.

"It’s true, and we priests experience this: the ‘world,’ in John’s meaning of the term, does not understand the Christian, does not understand the ministries of the Gospel — in part because, in fact, it does not know God, and, in part, because it does not want to know him," he said.

Accepting God would place this worldly attitude in "crisis," the pope said.
"Here we need to pay attention to a reality: that this ‘world,’ in the evangelical sense, threatens even the church, infecting its members and the ordained ministers themselves," he said.

"The ‘world’ is a mentality, a manner of thinking and living that can pollute even the church, and, in fact, does pollute it, and, therefore, requires constant vigilance and purification," he said. The Christian vocation, he said, is to be free from evil and different from the world, though living in the world.

The pope emphasized the centrality of prayer in the life of each priest. This prayer should be Christ-centered, and its highest form is the Eucharist, he said. From prayer comes the effectiveness of all other priestly ministry, he said.

"The priest who prays often and prays well becomes progressively expropriated from himself and increasingly united with Jesus, the good shepherd, and the servant of his brothers," he said.
The pope, who recently turned 82, looked good during the two-and-a-half-hour Mass. It was his last major liturgy before his departure May 8 on a weeklong pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Afterward, at his noon blessing, the pope urged the entire church community to pray for priestly vocations.

The pope recently proclaimed a year for priests that will run from June 2009 to June 2010. In recent years, Vatican statistics have shown that the number of priests and seminarians in the world is increasing somewhat, but not as fast as the general Catholic population.

May 21, 2009

A few Pics.

Here are a few pictures of our Father Joseph's, O.S.B. ordination to the Holy Priesthood.
Archabbot Douglas, Bishop Brandt, and the newly ordained Father Joseph, O.S.B.
Father Joseph, O.S.B. processes out of the Basilica
The Celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist
Father Joseph, O.S.B. and Archabbot Douglas exchange the sign of peace to Father Joseph's family
Archabbot Douglas congratulates Father Joseph, O.S.B.
Bishop Brandt lays hands on Father Joseph, O.S.B.
Father Joseph, O.S.B. poses with his classmates and friends, Deacons Michael Zavage and Daniel Langa of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  Deacons Mike and Dan will be ordained to the Holy Priesthood on June 27, 2009 at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  Please pray for these three young and zealous men of God.

May 17, 2009


Yesterday, our brother Joseph was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ in the Archabbey Basilica by our local bishop Lawrence Brandt.  Here is a prayer for all priests by the late Archbishop of New York, John Cardinal O'Connor:
Lord Jesus, we your people pray to You for our priests. You have given them to us for OUR needs. We pray for them in THEIR needs.

We know that You have made them priests in the likeness of your own priesthood. You have consecrated them, set them aside, annointed them, filled them with the Holy Spirit, appointed them to teach, to preach, to minister, to console, to forgive, and to feed us with Your Body and Blood.

Yet we know, too, that they are one with us and share our human weaknesses. We know too that they are tempted to sin and discouragement as are we, needing to be ministered to, as do we, to be consoled and forgiven, as do we. Indeed, we thank You for choosing them from among us, so that they understand us as we understand them, suffer with us and rejoice with us, worry with us and trust with us, share our beings, our lives, our faith.

We ask that You give them this day the gift You gave Your chosen ones on the way to Emmaus: Your presence in their hearts, Your holiness in their souls, Your joy in their spirits. And let them see You face to face in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread.

We pray to You, O Lord, through Mary the mother of all priests, for Your priests and for ours. Amen.

March, 1995

May 11, 2009

Br. Joseph Adams, OSB to be ordained to the priesthood!!!

We are happy yo announce that our Br. Joseph Adams, OSB will be ordained a priest of Jesus Christ this Saturday, May 11, 2009 in the Archabbey Basilica at 10 AM.  All are invited to attend this special event in the life of our community and of the universal Catholic Church.

May 9, 2009

Pope declares year of the priest to inspire spiritual perfection

By Carol Glatz 
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI declared a year of the priest in an effort to encourage "spiritual perfection" in priests.
The pope will open the special year with a vespers service at the Vatican June 19 -- the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the day for the sanctification of priests. He will close the celebrations during a World Meeting of Priests in St. Peter's Square June 19, 2010.

The pope made the announcement during an audience March 16 with members of the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.

He met with some 70 participants of the congregation's March 16-18 plenary assembly, which focused on the missionary identity of the priest and his mission to sanctify, teach and govern.

During this jubilee year, the pope will also proclaim St. John Vianney to be patron saint of all the world's priests. At present he is considered the patron saint of parish priests.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the death of this 19th-century saint who represents a "true example of a priest at the service of the flock of Christ," the pope said.

St. John Vianney is widely known to Catholics as the Cure (parish priest) of Ars who won over the hearts of his villagers in France by visiting with them, teaching them about God and reconciling people to the Lord in the confessional.

In his address, Pope Benedict said the priestly ministry consists of total adherence to the ecclesial tradition of participating "in a spiritually intense new life and a new lifestyle which was inaugurated by the Lord Jesus and which the apostles made their own."

Priestly ordination creates new men who are bestowed with the gift and office of sanctifying, teaching and governing, he said.
The pope underlined the necessary and "indispensable struggle for moral perfection which must dwell in every authentically priestly heart."

The pope said he was calling for the special year for priests in an effort to foster the priest's yearning "for spiritual perfection, upon which the effectiveness of their ministry principally depends."

"The awareness of the radical social changes over the past decades must stir the best ecclesial energies to look after the formation of priestly candidates," the pope said.

This means great care must be taken to ensure permanent and consistent doctrinal and spiritual formation for seminarians and priests, he said, specifying the importance of passing down, especially to younger generations, "a correct reading of the texts of the Second Vatican Council, interpreted in the light of all the church's doctrinal heritage."

Priests must also be "present, identifiable and recognizable -- for their judgment of faith, their personal virtues and their attire -- in the fields of culture and charity which have always been at the heart of the church's mission," he said.

"The centrality of Christ leads to a correct valuation of ordained ministry," he said, adding that, without priestly ministry, there would be no Eucharist, no mission and even no church.

Therefore, he said, it is crucial to make sure that new bodies or pastoral organizations are not set up "for a time in which one might have to 'dispense with' ordained ministry based on an erroneous interpretation of the rightful promotion of the laity."

"This would lay the foundations for further diluting the priestly ministry, and any supposed 'solutions' would dramatically coincide with the real
causes of the problems currently connected with the ministry," he said.

Pax et Gaudium

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness