From The Prior’s Desk

  • The Easter season has brought many blessings to the monks. The floor of the first phase of the new monastery in Monte is nearly complete and we are on schedule for our first Mass there June 4, Pentecost. We also are planning a formal inauguration...

The Easter season has brought many blessings to the monks. The floor of the first phase of the new monastery in Monte is nearly complete and we are on schedule for our first Mass there June 4, Pentecost. We also are planning a formal inauguration...

Happy Easter! Or, Buona Pasquetta ("little Easter"), as Easter Monday is called in Italy. While for most of the country it is a day of picnics and outings, for the monks it acts as a second chance to breathe and reflect deeply on the mystery of...

  Dear Friends, On this Feast, for several centuries, monks, clergy and citizens of Norcia have celebrated St. Benedict’s Transitus – his earthly death and birth into Heaven -- in a packed basilica with local townspeople in medieval costume. In the crypt of that basilica, the saint...

    Dear Friends, Since my last update, there is much to report. First, in preparation for the Feast of St. Benedict, the annual lighting of the Benedictine Torch took place. For those who don’t know, the torch has been lit in Norcia for the last 50 years as...

  Although aftershocks continue, we are doing our best to return to our normal monastic life. As we try, we are still responding to the ever-new and evolving challenges of life in a heavily earthquake-damaged region. The difficulty of this task was epitomized this past week...

  On the Feast of St. Scholastica on the 10th of February, locals have always been able to tell if Spring is coming, or if Winter will persist. If sparrows are chirping near the roof, Spring will come soon. So says the received wisdom. We hope Spring does...

  Dear Friends, As of this writing, an avalanche caused by earthquakes this week has so decimated a nearby ski resort that many have perished and others are still trapped inside. The continuing fury of the trembling earth below us means I return to writing what I...

  Dear friends, By the evening of the 5th, First Vespers of the Epiphany, 6 inches of snow had fallen at San Benedetto in Monte. This fluffy white coating, in the matter of a few hours, did what would have taken us years to accomplish: all the...

  "Ego Frater Maria Paulus” Uttering these simple words on Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, our newly professed Br. Paul made history by becoming the first monk to make vows at San Benedetto in Monte, less than 6 weeks after the epic earthquake which...

Dear friends, Last week, I took what would usually be a 90-minute drive to our monastery dentist. The drive took over 2 and a half hours because of detours due to road closures. On the way back I thought I would do something clever. I decided...