ABBEY BANNER - St. John's Abbey

ABBEY BANNER - St. John's Abbey

ABBEY BANNER - St. John's Abbey


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Art and Artifacts<br />

Collection, 4<br />

Elmer Eisenshenk, OSB:<br />

Water-Witch or Water-<br />

Finder?, 7<br />

Environmental<br />

Sustainability, 10<br />

Healthy menu for monks<br />

and others, 13<br />

Darwin’s Origin of Species:<br />

Theology or Science?, 15<br />

Monks in the Kitchen, 17<br />

Meet the Monks:<br />

Ninety-year-old<br />

avid readers, 18<br />

Update on Phoenix Rising<br />

fundraiser for Tanzania, 20<br />

Review: Uncommon<br />

Gratitude, 21<br />

The <strong>Abbey</strong> Chronicle, 22<br />

Obituaries, 25<br />

Banner Bits, 28<br />

Live out loud!<br />

Alleluia!, 31<br />

Volume 10 • Issue 1 • Spring 2010<br />

A B B EY B A N N E R<br />

Magazine of Saint John’s <strong>Abbey</strong><br />

Alan Reed, OSB (l.)<br />

and David<br />

Manahan, OSB<br />

Co-Curators of<br />

Art and Artifacts<br />


Contents<br />

Features<br />

4 The <strong>Abbey</strong>’s Art and Artifacts<br />

Collection by Alan Reed, OSB<br />

7 Fr. Elmer Eisenshenk, OSB:<br />

Water-Witch or Water-Finder?<br />

by Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

Articles<br />

Editorials<br />

3 From editor and abbot<br />

Monks in the Kitchen<br />

17 Caribbean roots yield fruit<br />

in Collegeville<br />

OSB Volunteers<br />

20 Update on Phoenix Rising<br />

fundraiser for Tanzania<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner<br />

Magazine of<br />

Saint John’s <strong>Abbey</strong><br />

Volume 10, Issue 1<br />

Spring 2010<br />

In the cover photo, Alan (l.) is holding<br />

a “Retablo” of San Martin of Tours by<br />

the New Mexican artist Charles M.<br />

Carrillo.<br />

David is holding an unidentified<br />

fragment of a very old statue of<br />

Saint Benedict.<br />

Pages 4, 5, 6<br />

Cover <strong>St</strong>ory<br />

The <strong>Abbey</strong>’s Art and<br />

Artifacts Collection<br />

10 <strong>Abbey</strong>’s Task Force for<br />

Environmental Sustainability<br />

by Isidore Glyer, OSB<br />

13 Reflections on a healthy menu<br />

for monks and others<br />

by Abbot John Klassen, OSB<br />

Review<br />

21 Uncommon Gratitude: Alleluia<br />

for All That Is<br />

The <strong>Abbey</strong> Chronicle<br />

22 Highlights of December, 2009,<br />

January, February, March, 2010<br />

Obituaries<br />

25 Mathias Spier, OSB<br />

Florian Muggli, OSB<br />

Paul Marx, OSB<br />

Editor: Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

ddurken@csbsju.edu<br />

Copy Editor and Proofreader:<br />

Dolores Schuh, CHM<br />

Designer: Pam Rolfes<br />

Circulation: Ruth Athmann, Cathy Wieme,<br />

Tanya Boettcher, Jan Jahnke, Mary Gouge<br />

Printer: Palmer Printing, Waite Park,<br />

Minnesota<br />

15 Darwin’s Origin of Species:<br />

Theology or Science?<br />

by Wilfred Theisen, OSB<br />

Banner Bits<br />

28 Drawings of Saints Benedict<br />

and Scholastica<br />

29 Liturgical Press goes for the gold<br />

30 Novices explore hermit’s life<br />

Spiritual Life<br />

31 Live out loud! Alleluia!<br />

NOTE: Please send your change of address to: Ruth Athmann at rathmann@csbsju.edu or P.O. Box 7222,<br />

Collegeville, Minnesota 56321-7222 or call 800-635-7303.<br />

Aelred Senna, OSB<br />

18 Meet the Monks: The <strong>Abbey</strong>’s<br />

Ninety-Year-Old Avid Readers<br />

by Dolores Schuh, CHM<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner is published three times<br />

annually (spring, fall, winter) by the<br />

Benedictine monks of Saint John’s <strong>Abbey</strong> for<br />

our relatives, friends and Oblates.<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner is online at<br />

www.saintjohnsabbey.org/banner/index.html<br />

Saint John’s <strong>Abbey</strong>, Box 2015, Collegeville,<br />

Minnesota 56321-2015

A Triple Treat<br />

by Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

February 14, 2010, was<br />

a Triple Treat Day:<br />

1. Valentine’s Day<br />

2. Chinese New Year 4708<br />

3. Annual Monks’ Day at Saint<br />

Benedict’s Monastery to celebrate<br />

the feast of Saint Scholastica.<br />

The original visit of our founders is recorded in Pope<br />

<strong>St</strong>. Gregory’s Life and Miracles of Saint Benedict. When<br />

Benedict was unwilling to talk all night with Scholastica<br />

about the joys of heaven, she prayed earnestly and a rainstorm<br />

kept her law-abiding brother from returning to his<br />

monastery—a triumph of love over law.<br />

Our celebration was highlighted by an inspiring DVD<br />

honoring the 80th anniversary of the Sisters’ mission to<br />

China and Taiwan. In 1930 the monastery was asked to<br />

send teachers to the Catholic University of Peking. Of<br />

the 992 community members, 109 volunteered. Six were<br />

chosen.<br />

Sisters’ letters describe conditions: “There is an abundance<br />

of wiggly, wooly centipedes along with scorpions,<br />

fleas and even a bed bug crawling on my scapular. The<br />

chapel is so cold that we can see our breath. There is little<br />

relief from homesickness.”<br />

After two years of language study the Sisters opened<br />

schools for young women. Their educational efforts were<br />

disrupted by the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1941),<br />

World War II and the Communist takeover. From 1941-<br />

1945 the Sisters were moved to concentration camps where<br />

they were safe but with very little food. They moved to<br />

Taiwan in 1948 and established a monastery which now has<br />

independent status.<br />

The Haehn Museum of Saint Benedict’s Monastery<br />

features this extraordinary exhibit: “1930-2010—Mission<br />

to China and Taiwan” from mid-March to December 23.<br />

I highly recommend it. I also recommend that when the<br />

Vatican-sponsored visitation of women’s religious life in<br />

American reveals the stories of thousands of these valiant<br />

and determined women, Cardinal Rodé should insist that<br />

Benedict XVI follow the current “A Year for Priests” with<br />

“A Year for Women Religious” and canonize hundreds<br />

of them. +<br />

Making a<br />

vision statement<br />

actionable<br />

by Abbot John Klassen, OSB<br />


In March 2009 the monastic<br />

community finalized a vision<br />

statement that takes us to 2015.<br />

One of the traps in such statements is that they can take on<br />

a life of their own. “If we edit this one more time, maybe<br />

we will get it perfect . . . .” The real question is, “Is the<br />

vision statement actionable?”<br />

Here are the results of a planning process we did last<br />

January. Each vision element (in bold) is followed by an<br />

actionable goal for fiscal year 2011.<br />

In our monastery we will:<br />

• strengthen our Catholic, Benedictine identity<br />

Beginning Ash Wednesday, each confrere commits to<br />

being present for five liturgies or meals per week above<br />

and beyond his current typical observance.<br />

• support our apostolates and vital ministries<br />

We will develop and solidify the recruitment, staffing,<br />

formation, placement sites and funding for a Benedictine<br />

Volunteer Corps for 20-25 SJU graduates for 2011.<br />

• practice environmental and sustainable stewardship<br />

We will serve one meat, one starch and two vegetables at<br />

the evening meal. We also removed desserts from all meals<br />

except on Sundays and feast days to reduce sugar sources.<br />

• create stronger working relationships with laity<br />

During 2010 we will develop an integrated volunteer<br />

program with a coordinator [or team] to assist in essential<br />

abbey operations.<br />

• serve the poor and under-resourced, locally and<br />

globally<br />

We will provide educational, cultural and social support<br />

to minority groups in transition, focusing especially on<br />

local Hispanics and Somalis.<br />

I appointed four confreres to coordinate the implementation<br />

of these five elements and to assure leadership and<br />

necessary resources in each area. Results will be reported<br />

at the January 2011 community workshop. It should be an<br />

exciting year! +<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 3

<strong>Abbey</strong> Archives<br />


The <strong>Abbey</strong> Art and Artifacts Collection<br />

by Alan Reed, OSB<br />

The <strong>Abbey</strong> Art and Artifacts<br />

Collection traces its beginning<br />

to a community museum<br />

established in 1901 and composed of,<br />

as an early report put it, “an enviable<br />

collection of specimens and curios,<br />

products of years and centuries gone<br />

by . . . Compared with other wellknown<br />

and elaborate museums of this<br />

country, this museum is still quite<br />

an (sic) humble one. In its own way,<br />

however, it follows its famous models<br />

in its well-arranged and well-labeled<br />

exhibits.”<br />

page 4 4 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

“The dignity of the artist is to keep awake the sense of<br />

wonder in the world.” (G. K. Chesterton)<br />

Some of the museum’s early<br />

exhibits include the following:<br />

• a variety of Native American items<br />

presented as gifts to the Benedictines<br />

working on Indian reservations in<br />

northern Minnesota<br />

• specimens of the Tlingit Indians<br />

and Eskimos of Alaska including two<br />

miniature kayaks, a miniature totem<br />

pole and basketry presented by a<br />

friend of the school<br />

• a set of stud-buttons of President<br />

John Quincy Adams<br />

1918 photo of the <strong>Abbey</strong> Museum<br />

• a sword of President Theodore<br />

Roosevelt in the sword and gun<br />

collection<br />

• conch shells, sponges, sea fans<br />

and other coral products from the<br />

Bahamas where the monks of Saint<br />

John’s labored for over a century<br />

• a duho, a carved, wooden ceremonial<br />

stool used by the pre-Columbian<br />

tribal chiefs of the Arawak people,<br />

earliest inhabitants of the Bahamas,<br />

and discovered in a cave by a Saint<br />

John’s missionary<br />

Paul Jasmer, OSB

Penitential hair shirt, pre-1940<br />

Snuff box with picture<br />

of Pope Leo XIII<br />

(pope 1878-1903)<br />

• a thousand stuffed birds, from the<br />

eagle and vulture to the extinct<br />

passenger pigeon<br />

• three large snake skins, the longest<br />

measuring 18 feet<br />

• a mounted buffalo and other<br />

animals, thanks to the taxidermist<br />

skill of Norbert Gertken, OSB<br />

12th century<br />

Madonna and<br />

Child, gift<br />

of Mary and<br />

James Mabon<br />

Duho: wooden, carved ceremonial stool<br />

of pre-Columbian tribal chief of Arawak<br />

people, earliest inhabitants of<br />

the Bahamas<br />

Front view of duho: discovered in Bahamian<br />

cave by Arnold Mondloch, OSB, missionary<br />


• collections of insects as well as<br />

geological and mineralogical<br />

specimens<br />

• coin, medal and stamp collections<br />

including a large bronze disc bearing<br />

the date MCCCCXLVI (1446)<br />

• art dating from the Medieval to<br />

contemporary by some notable and<br />

some less-than-notable artists<br />

Plate of Twin<br />

Towers of<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Church<br />

“Fiddle-back” chasuble, Mass<br />

vestment of detailed embroidery<br />

Paperweight, c. 1910<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 5


As the museum was moved from<br />

place to place to accommodate other<br />

facilities, the holdings fell on hard<br />

times. Many pieces came into disrepair,<br />

some were misplaced and<br />

others stolen by souvenir hunters.<br />

The museum became a kind of<br />

dumping area for the paraphernalia<br />

of deceased confreres.<br />

Beginning in 1979 a serious effort<br />

was made to recover, restore, and give<br />

the holdings proper storage on the<br />

ground floor of the Breuer wing of the<br />

abbey. A computerized inventory of<br />

these art pieces and artifacts has been<br />

created. Brothers Alan Reed, OSB,<br />

and David Manahan, OSB, the current<br />

co-curators of the collection, face<br />

the formidable task of continuing this<br />

effort to sort the genuine from the<br />

junk and thereby preserve the really<br />

valuable items related to the history<br />

of Saint John’s. +<br />

Brother Alan Reed, OSB, former art<br />

curator of the Hill Museum & Manuscript<br />

Library, is the co-curator of the <strong>Abbey</strong> Art<br />

and Artifacts Collection.<br />

Crucifixion painting of Georges Rouault,<br />

French artist (1871-1958)<br />

page 6 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

Drawing of original log cabin on Mississippi River, 1856<br />

College football team photo-printed<br />

stuffed pillow, c. 1915<br />

<strong>St</strong>. Florian, patron<br />

of firefighters, puts out<br />

a fire in the abbey church.<br />

Drawing of Saint<br />

John’s from across<br />

Lake Sagatagan by<br />

Julius Locnikar, OSB,<br />

1892<br />

Photos of art objects by Alan Reed, OSB

<strong>Abbey</strong> Archives<br />

Known and beloved as a Benedictine<br />

monk, teacher, pastor,<br />

convent chaplain and builder<br />

of a large church in Moorhead, plus a<br />

nursing home and additional school<br />

facilities in Cold Spring, Minnesota,<br />

and the one who in 1950 personally<br />

asked Pope Pius XII to permit school<br />

children to receive Holy Communion<br />

on school days without observing the<br />

Eucharistic fast, Father Elmer (1895-<br />

1976) has an additional claim to<br />

humble fame. He was a dowser.<br />

In the early 1800s geologists were at<br />

a loss to explain how certain individuals<br />

were able to locate underground<br />

water in areas where they themselves<br />

could not. Rather than study the unexplainable<br />

abilities of these individuals,<br />

geologists simply referred to these<br />

water-finders as “water-witches.”<br />

<strong>St</strong>ories of Elmer’s ability to locate<br />

underground water abound. When a<br />

small group of Benedictine women<br />

missionaries of Saint Benedict’s Monastery<br />

moved from China to Taiwan<br />


Fr. Elmer Eisenshenk, OSB:<br />

Water-Witch or Water-Finder?<br />

by Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

“Many knew Father Elmer for his uncanny performance<br />

as a dowser, locating underground veins of water.”<br />

(Obituary)<br />

in 1948, they invited Elmer to come<br />

to their foundation to locate water for<br />

their garden. He asked the Sisters to<br />

send him a photograph of their garden<br />

upon which he successfully designated<br />

a site of underground water.<br />

Despite his knowing that oil and<br />

water do not mix, Elmer was asked to<br />

find oil on the land of an Oklahoma<br />

friend. Using a state map, he pinpointed<br />

the place where soon there<br />

was a gusher of oil.<br />

“Gone but not forgotten” could<br />

be Elmer’s epitaph. His work as a<br />

dowser is kept alive by James and<br />

Carol Kuebelbeck of <strong>St</strong>. Joseph,<br />

Minnesota. They own and operate<br />

the Underground Water Locating by<br />

Dowsing business. Their motto is<br />

“Call Us BEFORE You Drill.”<br />

James was a youngster when his<br />

father Max hired a well digger to<br />

provide more water for his expanding<br />

dairy herd. The strenuous work<br />

of hand-digging a well was about to<br />

begin when Father Elmer drove up.<br />

He listened to the discussion about<br />

where the well should be dug, got out<br />

his dowsing rod (a Y-shaped willow<br />

branch), and walked in an expanding<br />

circle around the spot Max had<br />

marked for digging. At one point the<br />

end of the dowsing rod dipped toward<br />

the ground as though attracted by a<br />

magnet. It was there Elmer told Max<br />

to dig.<br />

When Max asked Elmer just how<br />

deep the crew would have to dig for<br />

water, Elmer again applied his rod to<br />

the site and replied, “If you dig 23 feet<br />

you’ll have all the water you need.”<br />

Max countered, “All the wells in this<br />

area are about 50 feet deep,” but he<br />

reluctantly agreed to start digging.<br />

Several days later he found a great<br />

supply of water at exactly 23 feet.<br />

This experience sparked the curiosity<br />

of young James and he was determined<br />

to discredit Father Elmer. But<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 7


Carol and James Kuebelbeck<br />

the more he talked with well diggers<br />

who depended on dowsers plus the<br />

research he did, the more he was convinced<br />

that Father Elmer had a Godgiven<br />

talent that could not be denied<br />

despite the many scientific studies that<br />

found no acceptable explanation for<br />

this phenomenon.<br />

The earliest known historical records<br />

of dowsing are 8,000-year-old cave<br />

drawings in France, Australia and<br />

Africa. Donald Jackson, illustrator<br />

of The Saint John’s Bible, includes a<br />

drawing of an aborigine using a dowsing<br />

rod in the creation scene of the<br />

Book of Genesis.<br />

The Book of Exodus, chapter 17,<br />

recounts the story of the Israelites’<br />

demand of Moses to “Give us water<br />

to drink.” The Lord directed Moses to<br />

“Go over there in front of the people,<br />

holding in your hand the staff with<br />

which you struck the river. . . <strong>St</strong>rike<br />

the rock, and water will flow from it<br />

for the people to drink.” This Moses<br />

page 8 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

did—and left us an<br />

ancient account of<br />

dowsing.<br />

Jim Kuebelbeck<br />

admits, “Never would<br />

I have guessed that<br />

my concerted efforts<br />

to discredit dowsing<br />

would lead to my<br />

full-time occupation.”<br />

During the past thirtyplus<br />

years, James and<br />

his wife Carol have<br />

located over 4,000<br />

satisfactory well sites.<br />

James’ filing cabinet is<br />

bulging with testimonials<br />

of gratitude from<br />

satisfied customers.<br />

The Kuebelbecks used<br />

to specialize in “last<br />

resort” cases but now<br />

they work for anyone<br />

in need of satisfactory<br />

groundwater supplies.<br />

■ A newly married couple decided<br />

to drill for water before building their<br />

home. A professional company drilled<br />

420 feet but found no water. Second<br />

and third drillings to 400 and 440 feet<br />

produced no water. The driller then<br />

suggested hiring the Kuebelbecks.<br />

Jim and Carol selected a site. The<br />

drillers found water at 57 feet with<br />

an output of 15 gallons per minute.<br />

■ A Foley, Minnesota, customer<br />

reported that area granite made drilling<br />

for water difficult and expensive.<br />

His original well of 450 feet into the<br />

granite only produced a gallon of<br />

water an hour. Jim located a likely<br />

spot and the well driller found water<br />

at 55 feet, directly over the granite<br />

and producing 12 gallons per minute.<br />

James Kuebelbeck and his dowsing rod

■ The builder of a hunting lodge<br />

in northern Minnesota hired a well<br />

driller who drilled five unsuccessful<br />

holes for water. The driller then called<br />

the Kuebelbecks who located three<br />

promising sites, one of which became<br />

a new 120-foot well producing 30<br />

gallons per minute.<br />

Saint John’s benefitted from the<br />

Kuebelbecks who located an abundant<br />

supply of water in November, 2004,<br />

near the abbey’s vegetable garden.<br />

This well and one other source continue<br />

to supply all the water for the<br />

Collegeville campus except for lake<br />

water for lawns. These wells pump<br />

an average of 238,630 gallons each<br />

day for a total of 87,100,000 gallons<br />

yearly.<br />

In the summer of 2006 Jim and<br />

Carol helped locate future water supplies<br />

for the Crazy Horse Memorial,<br />

the world’s largest mountain carving,<br />

near Custer, South Dakota. Recently<br />

they were informed that one of their<br />

sites has been drilled and the well is<br />

an artesian flowing at an estimated<br />

75 gallons per minute.<br />

The day Father Elmer found water<br />

for Max Kuebelbeck he took young<br />

Jim by the arm and said to him, “Hey,<br />

my boy, you can also do this. You are<br />

one of us.” As a prophet as well as a<br />

dowser, Elmer would surely confirm<br />

this statement of Jim: “I am a professional<br />

water dowser. It is my belief<br />

that everyone has been given special<br />

talents from God and it is our responsibility<br />

to try and discover these special<br />

gifts. I believe God gave me my<br />

special talent to carry out God’s will<br />

for the good of others so that those<br />

who see and benefit from my efforts<br />

will appreciate God even more.” +<br />

A cave drawing possibly<br />

showing a dowser with<br />

his rod appears on the<br />

second-last panel of this<br />

detail from Creation by<br />

Donald Jackson with<br />

contributions from<br />

Chris Tomlin, The Saint<br />

John’s Bible.<br />

The Lord tells Moses, “<strong>St</strong>rike the<br />

rock, and the water will flow from it<br />

for people to drink” (Exodus 17:6).<br />

Was Moses a dowser?<br />


Google Monica Bokinskie<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 99


page 10 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

Isidore Glyer, OSB, chair of Task Force for<br />

Environmental Sustainability<br />

The <strong>Abbey</strong>’s Task Force<br />

for Environmental<br />

Sustainability<br />

In his letter of June 6, 2008, Abbot<br />

John wrote, “As a Christian<br />

monastic community gifted with<br />

rich resources in land, lakes and forest,<br />

we are called to bear witness to<br />

our students and those who work with<br />

us, that we receive everything we<br />

have from the hand of God; that our<br />

journey on this earth is a short span of<br />

years and we are gone; that our commitment<br />

must be to leave our earth in<br />

such a condition that the next generation<br />

will be able to flourish. With this<br />

awareness, I wish to establish a Task<br />

Force for Environmental Sustainability<br />

with its focus on life in the<br />

monastery.”<br />

by Isidore Glyer, OSB<br />

“Care for God’s creation is an urgent<br />

call for the present generation.”<br />

(Abbot John Klassen, OSB)<br />

As chair of this Task Force I am<br />

grateful that the abbot gave us these<br />

goals:<br />

• to conduct an environmental audit<br />

of our monastic life in terms of energy<br />

used and waste generated that cannot<br />

be recycled;<br />

• to focus on the most basic elements<br />

such as reducing or eliminating<br />

our use of plastic in such areas as<br />

garbage bags, plastic water and soda<br />

bottles on campus and plastic picnic<br />

tableware;<br />

• to evaluate our use of cars with a<br />

view toward recommending changes<br />

that lessen the environ-impact;<br />

• to work with the refection committee<br />

towards the use of locally grown<br />

food;<br />

• to propose an education program<br />

for the monastic community that<br />

raises our level of awareness of environmental<br />

issues;<br />

• to insure that the abbey’s commitment<br />

to environmental sustainability<br />

is integrated into the core messages<br />

for vocations and the larger public;<br />

• to work with others on campus<br />

to enhance the overall awareness of<br />

creating and sustaining the beauty and<br />

integrity of our lands, forest and lakes;<br />

• to address sustainability issues in<br />

our new building construction and<br />

renovation projects;<br />

• to have representatives from the<br />

College of Saint Benedict and Saint<br />

John’s University engaged in work<br />

related to the Association for the<br />

Advancement of Sustainability in<br />

Higher Education.<br />

Aelred Senna, OSB


Live Simply. Be Green.<br />

Slowly but surely the Task Force<br />

has been looking at all aspects of<br />

our community life with a view to<br />

recapturing Saint Benedict’s spirit<br />

of moderation, simplicity and the<br />

elimination of superfluities. Our<br />

mantra is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”<br />

The message on a new abbey cloth<br />

shopping bag puts it this way:<br />

“Live Simply. Be Green.”<br />

An early examination of monastery<br />

trash revealed that 50% of it could<br />

be recycled but only 20% was actually<br />

being recycled. Small baskets for<br />

recyclable items are now available for<br />

monks to use in their private room.<br />

Incandescent light<br />

bulbs are being replaced<br />

by energy-saving, longer<br />

lasting fluorescent twister<br />

bulbs. The use of community<br />

cars has been<br />

reduced by establishing<br />

a once-a-week shopping<br />

trip to <strong>St</strong>. Cloud to buy<br />

various needed items.<br />

Paper napkins for meals<br />

in the monastic refectory<br />

have been replaced by an<br />

individual monk’s cloth<br />

napkin that is laundered<br />

weekly. Batteries are<br />

being recycled.<br />

At recent meetings of the Task<br />

Force, agendas included the following<br />

items:<br />

Household cleaners: Laundry detergents<br />

were to be phosphate-free as of<br />

January 1; individual cleaning chemicals<br />

are being tested to determine<br />

how effective these “greener” options<br />

might be.<br />

Lawns: Can we find organic methods<br />

to fertilize and treat for weeds?<br />

Compact fluorescent light bulb. $55.00 is<br />

saved in energy costs over the average rated<br />

life (10,000 hours) of this lamp compared to<br />

a 75-watt incandescent bulb.<br />

Aelred Senna, OSB<br />

Bee keeping: There is a desire to have<br />

sufficient bee hives to pollinate the<br />

apple orchard and garden and increase<br />

production. Is there a community<br />

member interested in this project or<br />

can a local bee-keeper be found who<br />

would be willing to place some hives<br />

here?<br />

Printer paper: The clean side of<br />

printed pages should be used instead<br />

of a new sheet. Better use of computer<br />

or projection generated notices will<br />

reduce the need to print copies for<br />

everyone.<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> church lighting: Is it time to<br />

change the lights in the church so they<br />

are more energy-efficient? On a practical<br />

level, what habits in our daily use<br />

of lighting can we change to decrease<br />

our electrical use?<br />

Food: At the conclusion of Abbot<br />

John’s remarks on a healthy monastic<br />

diet (see p. 13), he proposed such<br />

changes as these:<br />

• At the evening meal only one kind<br />

of meat (chicken, turkey, pork or beef)<br />

plus fish and vegetarian; one kind of<br />

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 11


carbohydrate such as brown rice, pasta<br />

or potato; two kinds of vegetables;<br />

vegetarian and meat-based soup; salad<br />

table; varieties of fruit; low-fat yogurt;<br />

• dessert only at mid-day and<br />

evening meals on Sunday and at the<br />

evening meal on special feast days;<br />

otherwise, eliminate desserts from<br />

lunch and supper in Ordinary Time<br />

and sweet rolls from breakfast; provide<br />

a variety of fruits such as apples,<br />

oranges, bananas and melons;<br />

• menus to be checked by a<br />

dietitian for overall balance and total<br />

caloric intake with regular attention<br />

to portion awareness.<br />

The items at the right are part of<br />

Saint John’s <strong>Abbey</strong>’s slow but certain<br />

readjustment to the simplicity of Saint<br />

Benedict’s vision of monastic life<br />

and our desire to accept and act on<br />

Pope Benedict XVI’s theme of World<br />

Peace Day of January 1, 2010: “If<br />

you want to cultivate peace, protect<br />

creation.” Our efforts towards environmental<br />

sustainability are motivated<br />

by our dream and our desire “that<br />

in all things God may be glorified”<br />

(Rule, chapter 57). +<br />

page 12 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

Household cleaning<br />

chemicals are being<br />

tested to determine<br />

how effective these<br />

“greener” options<br />

might be.<br />

Blue “We Recycle” baskets are now<br />

available for monks to use in their<br />

private rooms to recycle items.<br />

Aelred Senna, OSB<br />

Aelred Senna, OSB<br />

Brother Isidore Glyer, OSB, is assistant<br />

guest master and chair of the Task Force<br />

for Environmental Sustainability.


Reflections on a healthy menu for monks and others<br />

by Abbot John Klassen, OSB<br />

Monks at lunch in the monastery refectory<br />

In a fine book entitled In Defense<br />

of Food (The Penguin Press),<br />

Michael Pollan summarizes his<br />

thinking about nutrition with three<br />

short phrases: Eat food. Not too much.<br />

Mostly plants.<br />

Eat food. A comedian noted that he<br />

was going along a counter in a supermarket<br />

and came across a package<br />

labeled “cheese food.” Anytime we<br />

have to be reassured that something<br />

is food, it probably isn’t.<br />

Not too much. Eating slowly and<br />

having a good sense of portion control<br />

is essential to healthy eating. Each<br />

of us has an individual balance of<br />

exercise to eating that will keep us at<br />

a good weight. For me, it is probably<br />

A synopsis of Abbot John’s remarks to the monastic<br />

community on January 12, 2010<br />

25% exercise and 75% eating.<br />

Snacking in mid-morning and<br />

mid-afternoon with an apple, orange<br />

or banana is important to reduce<br />

overeating at mealtime.<br />

Mostly plants. Plants provide an<br />

enormous array of macro and micro<br />

nutrients. They are available in a<br />

highly unprocessed form so that most<br />

nutrients are still there. However,<br />

vegetables and other plant nutrition<br />

can be utterly ruined in the preparation,<br />

both in terms of taste and<br />

nutrition. Our dining service<br />

is working hard to<br />

improve the<br />

preparation of<br />

vegetables.<br />

What strikes me is how distant we<br />

are from the time of Saint Benedict in<br />

terms of:<br />

• how food is produced and<br />

distributed<br />

• the technical expertise and<br />

understanding of a healthy diet<br />

• the demands of our work as<br />

pastors, chaplains, educators,<br />

Simon-Hoa Phan, OSB<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 13

Aelred Senna, OSB Aelred Senna, OSB<br />


Fresh fruits and healthy snacks<br />

Meat and vegetables on the lunch<br />

buffet line of the monastery refectory<br />

administrators and multiple other<br />

things we do<br />

• the mobility and variety that are<br />

part of our lives. Only a few of us<br />

do daily heavy manual labor in<br />

which we can burn large doses of<br />

fat in the diet.<br />

From a nutritionist’s point of view,<br />

we orient the nutritional agenda for<br />

the day at breakfast. Nutritional input<br />

should be biased toward the front end<br />

of the day rather than with a big<br />

page 14 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

The salad bar of the refectory<br />

supper or evening snacking that are<br />

heavy in the fatty acids that locate<br />

themselves around our midsection.<br />

Benedict would say, “Don’t snack;<br />

you will lose your appetite for the<br />

main events.” Nutritionists say, “Do<br />

snack with good stuff because you<br />

will be less likely to overeat.”<br />

If a monk of Benedict’s time missed<br />

the main midday meal (followed by<br />

a siesta), he was in trouble because<br />

there was no other place to get food.<br />

The evening meal was probably the<br />

light fare of the Mediterranean culture.<br />

By contrast, we have a tradition<br />

of fairly substantial meals at midday<br />

and in the evening. With very few<br />

monks working side by side anymore,<br />

we generally see each other only at<br />

meals and at scheduled prayer times.<br />

We need to come to a clearer understanding<br />

of the spiritual, theological<br />

and social significance of our dining<br />

together, for we are communitycentered<br />

cenobites, not self-centered<br />

sarabaites (see Rule, Chapter 1, “The<br />

Kinds of Monks”).<br />

Given Benedict’s admonitions<br />

regarding the eating of meat, I do not<br />

know how we came to have such an<br />

intensely meat-centered diet. It is time<br />

for us to seriously question our focus<br />

on meat. For one thing, most meat in<br />

this country is produced under factory<br />

farming conditions with containment<br />

and forced feeding procedures.<br />

In addition, raising meat is a resource-intensive<br />

activity in terms of<br />

fossil fuel and water. For example, it<br />

takes 16 pounds of grain and soybeans<br />

to produce one pound of beef,<br />

6 pounds of grain and soybeans to<br />

produce one pound of pork, 4 for one<br />

pound of turkey and 3 for one pound<br />

of chicken. This is not to mention the<br />

use of antibiotics, growth hormones<br />

and other strategies to improve the<br />

efficiency of converting grain into<br />

meat on the humble animal body.<br />

Changing our diet around meat will<br />

dramatically change the way we are<br />

plugged into a system that I believe is<br />

unsustainable. +<br />

Aelred Senna, OSB

Darwin’s Origin of<br />

Species: Theology<br />

or Science?<br />

by Wilfred Theisen, OSB<br />

“The antithesis that some assume exists<br />

between the concept of creation and<br />

evolution is absurd.” (Pope Benedict XVI)<br />

Charles Darwin’s Origin of<br />

Species is the most significant<br />

scientific work of the past 350<br />

years. Quite an achievement for a man<br />

whose father told him, “You care for<br />

nothing but shooting, dogs and ratcatching<br />

and you will be a disgrace to<br />

yourself and all your family.”<br />

Darwin (1809-1882) was confident<br />

that natural selection was the chief<br />

means for explaining the origin of<br />

species. But biologists of his time<br />

were convinced that the contemporary<br />

species of plants and animals were<br />

directly created by God. Consequently<br />

the Origin argues that natural selection<br />

is the only explanation for the<br />

origin of species, not special creation.<br />

Darwin had to address a fundamental<br />

theological concept—God as creator<br />

of the world.<br />

Before the religiously conservative<br />

Darwin could convince others, he had<br />

to be certain that special creation must<br />

be rejected as an explanation for the<br />

existence of species. He was a great<br />

Charles Darwin<br />

admirer of the works of William<br />

Paley, especially his Natural<br />

Theology.<br />

Natural theology is the belief<br />

that one can infer the existence and<br />

wisdom of God from the order and<br />

beauty of the world, implying that<br />

every detail of the physical world was<br />

carefully designed by God: the hand<br />

for grasping, the eye for seeing, the<br />

ear for hearing. The key word here is<br />

design. When he began his roundthe-world<br />

voyage on the Beagle,<br />

Darwin was prepared to find<br />

evidence confirming this belief.<br />

Instead, he found many facts that<br />

seemed to contradict it. When he<br />

returned from his voyage he wrote a<br />

note to himself: “Permanence of species<br />

doubtful.”<br />

The plan of the Origin is simple.<br />

Darwin first gives facts that can be<br />

explained through his theory of descent<br />

with modification by means of<br />

natural selection but are incompatible<br />

with belief in special creation. Then<br />

he shows that the belief in special<br />


creation is incompatible with these<br />

facts. For example, in chapter 11 he<br />

deals with the issue of geographical<br />

distribution of plants and animals<br />

throughout the world. He was amazed<br />

to find distinct species of finches and<br />

mocking birds on the various islands<br />

of the Galapagos Archipelago, even<br />

though these islands are proximate.<br />

In chapter 13 Darwin points out the<br />

similarity in basic structure between<br />

“the hand of a man, the leg of the<br />

horse, the paddle of the porpoise and<br />

the wing of a bat. Why should they all<br />

be constructed on the same pattern?<br />

Nothing can be more hopeless than to<br />

attempt to explain this similarity of<br />

pattern. . . On the ordinary view of the<br />

independent creation of each being,<br />

we can only say so it is, that it has so<br />

pleased the Creator to construct each<br />

animal and plant. On the theory of<br />

natural selection, we can satisfactorily<br />

answer this question. The old argument<br />

of design in nature, as given by<br />

Paley, which formerly seemed to me<br />

so conclusive, fails, now that natural<br />

selection has been discovered.”<br />

Google<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 15

Google<br />


Darwin’s The Origin of Species<br />

But Darwin could not completely<br />

suppress Paley’s ideas of design, defining<br />

natural selection as the “preservation<br />

of favorable variations and the<br />

rejection of injurious variations.” This<br />

definition implies that natural selection<br />

is an “active agent that preserves<br />

and rejects, always ready to act, daily<br />

and hourly scrutinizing, throughout<br />

the world, every variation, even the<br />

slightest; rejecting that which is bad,<br />

preserving that which is good, . . .<br />

working at the improvement of each<br />

organic being.”<br />

Yet natural selection<br />

is not the cause of<br />

the preservation of<br />

favorable variations<br />

and the rejection of<br />

injurious ones, but the<br />

consequence. Darwin<br />

really means that<br />

natural selection is the<br />

result of “the survival<br />

of favorable and the<br />

disappearance of unfavorable<br />

variations.”<br />

page 16 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

Darwin’s critics lampoon him.<br />

There was a strong religious reaction<br />

to the Origin. Atheistic societies<br />

rejoiced, claiming that the Origin<br />

had done away with the need of a<br />

creator. Religious leaders saw it as<br />

a direct attack on the veracity of the<br />

biblical account of creation. Cardinal<br />

Henry Manning called Origin “a<br />

brutal philosophy, to wit, there is no<br />

God and the ape is our Adam.” His<br />

sentiments were shared by Cardinal<br />

Nicholas Wiseman. However, Cardinal<br />

John Henry Newman did not find<br />

it difficult to believe that humans had<br />

non-human ancestors.<br />

On the whole, the official reaction<br />

of the Roman Catholic Church has<br />

been quite restrained and careful to<br />

defend its belief in the inerrancy of<br />

the bible, the dogma of original sin<br />

and the uniqueness of humans. As<br />

late as 1941 Pope Pius XII insisted<br />

that Catholics must hold that Eve was<br />

physically taken from Adam’s body.<br />

But in his 1951 encyclical On the Human<br />

Race, the pope allows Catholics<br />

to accept the theory of evolution.<br />

More recently Pope John Paul II<br />

praised the work of scientists that<br />

supported evolution but restated that<br />

the soul is directly created by God.<br />

Benedict XVI<br />

stated, “The<br />

belief in the<br />

Creator does<br />

not exclude<br />

accepting<br />

the theory of<br />

evolution . . .<br />

and the antithesis<br />

that some<br />

assume exists<br />

between the<br />

concept of<br />

creation and<br />

evolution is<br />

absurd.”<br />

Google<br />

The handwritten title page of Darwin’s<br />

manuscript of Origin of Species<br />

Cardinal Walter Kasper in an<br />

address at Saint John’s last year was<br />

very positive: “Darwin is not a new<br />

doctor in the church or evolution a<br />

new dogma. Evolution is and remains<br />

a scientific theory . . . and not a matter<br />

of faith. So those who believe they<br />

have the evidence can deny evolution,<br />

but they cannot do it in the name of<br />

Christian faith.”<br />

The official Catechism of the<br />

Catholic Church is very positive:<br />

“The question about the origins of the<br />

world and of man has been the object<br />

of many scientific studies which have<br />

splendidly enriched our knowledge of<br />

the age and dimensions of the cosmos,<br />

the development of life forms and the<br />

appearance of man.” It is therefore<br />

clear that these are scientific issues,<br />

not biblical ones. +<br />

Wilfred Theisen, OSB, is professor<br />

emeritus of physics at Saint John’s<br />

University. This article is a condensed<br />

version of his “Sunday at the <strong>Abbey</strong>”<br />

lecture on January 17, 2010.<br />


Aelred Senna, OSB<br />

Brother Neal prepares rolls of fresh bread<br />

for the monastic community.<br />

Born and reared in San Fernando,<br />

Trinidad, Neal Laloo,<br />

OSB, learned to cook from<br />

his mother. She made sure that her<br />

two daughters and five sons learned<br />

to cook, clean and do laundry, teaching<br />

them that there is no such thing as<br />

men’s work and women’s work.<br />

From an early age, Brother<br />

Neal learned by trial and<br />

error to marinate and cook<br />

meat, gather herbs for<br />

seasoning and bake bread<br />

and cakes. There were no<br />

Caribbean roots yield<br />

fruit in Collegeville<br />

by Aelred Senna, OSB<br />

cookbooks, just recipes that his<br />

mother passed along with loving<br />

care to her children.<br />

Food preparation methods in<br />

Trinidad are somewhat unconventional<br />

and used to prepare<br />

“poor man’s dishes.” Methods<br />

of outdoor cooking are popular<br />

such as placing planks of green<br />

wood that imparts a smoky flavor<br />

over a charcoal fire so that meats<br />

are cooked directly on the wood<br />

rather than on a grate. Fish are<br />

placed within a large piece of foldedover<br />

chicken wire that is turned over<br />

to grill both sides.<br />

In 1984 Neal went to Kingston,<br />

Jamaica, and worked for five years<br />

Jerk Chicken (serves 4-6)<br />

1 onion, coarsely chopped 4 oz. grated fresh ginger<br />

6 cloves garlic Zest and juice of 1 orange<br />

1 T. fresh thyme leaves or salt/pepper to taste<br />

1½ t. dried thyme ½ c. olive oil<br />

¾ c. white vinegar 4-6 boneless skinless<br />

8 whole cloves chicken breasts<br />


with the Missionary Brothers of the<br />

Poor. He helped run a soup kitchen<br />

by collecting donations of soup from<br />

local hotels. He befriended the chef<br />

at the Four Seasons who inspired him<br />

with her knowledge of foods and her<br />

easy way of bringing out the best in<br />

those who worked with her.<br />

Coming to Collegeville in 1990 via<br />

<strong>St</strong>. Augustine’s Monastery in Nassau,<br />

Bahamas, Neal now serves as the<br />

abbey’s refectorian, sharing his<br />

culinary skills with the monks and<br />

students of Saint John’s. +<br />

Aelred Senna, OSB, is the administrative<br />

assistant to the abbot and prior<br />

and assistant monastery<br />

refectorian.<br />

• Place all ingredients except chicken in blender and process to a puree.<br />

• Pierce chicken pieces all in several places with fork and place in zip lock bag or<br />

baking dish. Pour marinade over chicken and coat well. Marinate overnight.<br />

• Heat grill to 350˚F. Place disposable aluminum pan on grill to preheat for several<br />

minutes; begin cooking chicken on pan, keeping oily marinade from causing<br />

flare ups.<br />

• After a few minute, chicken can be removed directly to grill grate and basted<br />

with drippings from pan.<br />

• Marinade can be made ahead and stored in tightly closed jar in refrigerator.<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 17

Daniel Durken, OSB<br />


The <strong>Abbey</strong>’s Ninety-Year-Old Avid Readers<br />

by Dolores Schuh, CHM<br />

When I lived on the Saint<br />

John’s <strong>Abbey</strong>/University<br />

campus from 1974-2004,<br />

I occasionally visited the retired<br />

monks in Saint Raphael Hall. I retired<br />

in Iowa but when I get to Saint John’s<br />

twice each year I spend at least a<br />

few minutes with the monks in<br />

Saint Raphael’s.<br />

Edwin <strong>St</strong>ueber, OSB<br />

Edwin <strong>St</strong>ueber . . .<br />

On one recent visit I learned that<br />

Father Edwin, an avid reader, could<br />

read several languages. This intrigued<br />

me so I decided to visit Edwin. What<br />

a delightful experience!<br />

When I entered Edwin’s room I<br />

immediately recognized the mellow<br />

voice of Dean Martin singing “That’s<br />

Amore.” To my amazement, on a<br />

small table right inside the door was<br />

an old phonograph spinning a twelve-<br />

page 18 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

inch vinyl record (remember those?).<br />

Edwin enjoys good music.<br />

This gentle monk was raised by an<br />

aunt and uncle in New Ulm, Minnesota,<br />

when his mother died at age 39.<br />

His father suffered from chronic ill<br />

health most of his life but ironically<br />

lived to the ripe old age of 109.<br />

Edwin attended<br />

Catholic schools<br />

in New Ulm and<br />

followed his older<br />

brother Everardo to<br />

Saint John’s to study<br />

for the priesthood.<br />

His first pastoral assignment<br />

was Saint<br />

Bernard’s parish in<br />

Saint Paul. It was<br />

here he developed an<br />

interest in languages.<br />

In the early 1960s<br />

a Learn-A-Language<br />

record service in<br />

Saint Paul fascinated<br />

Edwin. He said it<br />

was a cheap way of<br />

getting an education as each course<br />

consisted of four long-playing records<br />

and each record cost only $1.10!<br />

Over the next fifty years Edwin<br />

learned to read Arabic (most difficult),<br />

Dutch, German, Greek, French,<br />

Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Norwegian,<br />

Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish,<br />

Swahili, and Swedish. There are<br />

bibles and other spiritual books in<br />

various languages on his bookshelves.<br />

He has read Leo Tolstoy’s War and<br />

Peace in English and in Russian!<br />

Remember the size of that volume?<br />

Although his eyesight is remarkably<br />

good at age 93, Edwin doesn’t read<br />

much anymore. He is not familiar<br />

with John Grisham, <strong>St</strong>even King or<br />

Nicholas Sparks. He loves to listen to<br />

music. Well organized is his sizeable<br />

collection of records, cassettes, and<br />

CDs by artists such as Johnny Cash,<br />

Luciano Pavoratti, Nat King Cole,<br />

Patsy Cline, and Floyd Kramer. He<br />

can fill almost anyone’s request for a<br />

classical hit song (not rock n’ roll) or<br />

a symphony.<br />

I left Edwin’s room feeling inspired,<br />

entertained and informed.<br />

Fintan Bromenshenkel, OSB<br />

Fintan Bromenshenkel . . .<br />

Another avid reader is 91-year old<br />

Father Fintan. This soft-spoken monk<br />

grew up in Sauk Centre, Minnesota,<br />

with his parents and eight siblings.<br />

He graduated from Saint John’s Preparatory<br />

School and University, made<br />

monastic profession in 1940 and was<br />

ordained in 1945.<br />

Daniel Durken, OSB

In 1961 Fintan started work on the<br />

brand new main computer frame and<br />

was involved with the development of<br />

computer services at Saint John’s for<br />

the next thirty years.<br />

Fintan was assigned to Saint Augustine’s<br />

Monastery in Nassau, Bahamas,<br />

in 1990. He worked in the business<br />

office of the school (grades 9-12), and<br />

also spent many hours each week pulling<br />

weeds on the campus.<br />

Fintan developed a love of reading<br />

in grade school. Spiritual books, novels,<br />

biographies, histories are all now<br />

on Fintan’s reading list. He likes thick<br />

books with lots of pages so he doesn’t<br />

have to go to the library so often! He<br />

is reading the bible in English and<br />

Spanish and enjoys works by Thomas<br />

Merton, Flannery O’Connor, Helen<br />

Prejean, and Walker Percy. One of<br />

his favorites is The Long Walk: The<br />

True <strong>St</strong>ory of a Trek to Freedom by<br />

Slavomir Rawicz.<br />

<strong>St</strong>ill an outdoor lover, Fintan can<br />

often be found pulling weeds in the<br />

monastery garden in the summertime<br />

and splitting logs for the fireplaces on<br />

campus in the fall and winter months.<br />

It can be said that he doesn’t let the<br />

weeds grow under his feet.<br />

George Wolf. . .<br />

George Wolf, OSB (l.) and Don LeMay, OSB<br />

The oldest member of Saint John’s<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> is also an avid reader. Father<br />

George, 94 years young, spends most<br />

of every day reading; that is, when<br />

he isn’t out for his mile or more daily<br />

walk!<br />

George does spiritual reading each<br />

morning and prefers the works of<br />

Columba Marmion, a Belgian Benedictine<br />

abbot who did extensive<br />

writing on the Holy Spirit.<br />

Along with spiritual books,<br />

George finds good biographies<br />

and nonfiction works<br />

in the abbey library. The<br />

story of Our Lady of Fatima<br />

is one of his favorites and<br />

he prefers a mix of light and<br />

heavy reading but doesn’t<br />

like comedies.<br />

Don LeMay . . .<br />


Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

Not eligible for the nonagenarian<br />

club for a couple years, Father Don,<br />

too, enjoys reading and has several<br />

books going at one time. Recently<br />

he enjoyed The Horse Whisperer<br />

by Nicholas Evans; Fifteen Days of<br />

Prayer with Alphonsus Ligouri by<br />

Jean-Marie Segalen et al; The Code of<br />

the Wooster by P.G. Wodehouse; The<br />

Good War: An Oral History of World<br />

War II by <strong>St</strong>uds Terkel.<br />

With the computer and the Kindle<br />

rapidly becoming America’s methods<br />

of reading the works of both old and<br />

new authors, it is refreshing to know<br />

there are still readers who enjoy turning<br />

the pages of a good book. More<br />

power to these avid readers in the<br />

monastery. +<br />

Sister Dolores, CHM, was the executive<br />

associate of the Collegeville Institute<br />

for Ecumenical and Cultural Research<br />

at Saint John’s for thirty years. She now<br />

lives with the Sisters of the Humility of<br />

Mary in Davenport, Iowa, and serves<br />

as copy editor and proofreader for<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner and a proofreader for<br />

Liturgical Press.<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 19


Over two years have passed<br />

since Lew Grobe and I<br />

hatched the idea of Phoenix<br />

Rising, a 900-mile bicycle safarifundraiser<br />

through Tanzania, East<br />

Africa. I initially wrote off the idea as<br />

ludicrous. Did we really need to go<br />

to such extremes to raise educational<br />

funds for poor Tanzanian youth?<br />

Why not? So we took off on what was<br />

an unforgettable two weeks. We never<br />

imagined that our efforts would result<br />

in 23 Tanzanian students now being<br />

well on their way to graduating.<br />

Gloria Sanga, student of <strong>St</strong>.<br />

Laurent’s Primary School, happily<br />

holds her scholarship certificate.<br />

This past summer I returned to<br />

Tanzania as the leader of a service/<br />

immersion trip for university students.<br />

Revisiting the village of Hanga where<br />

I spent three years with the Benedictine<br />

Volunteer Corps, I checked<br />

in with the recipients of the Phoenix<br />

Rising Scholarships. I am thrilled to<br />

page 20 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

Update on the<br />

Phoenix Rising bicycle<br />

safari-fundraiser for Tanzania<br />

by Paul Conroy<br />

report that seven of the original 23<br />

have graduated and all the others are<br />

diligently continuing their studies.<br />

One recipient is 19-year-old Neema<br />

Msanga who spent three years working<br />

as a maid for a relative who had<br />

lured her away from home with the<br />

false promise of sending her to school.<br />

Neema was able to reconnect with<br />

her sister who approached me to help<br />

Neema fulfill her dream of going to<br />

school. Each student’s story is equally<br />

moving and their lives have truly been<br />

forever changed.<br />

Our original expectations for Phoenix<br />

Rising have been greatly surpassed<br />

by the $23,000 raised to date. These<br />

funds are sufficient to support all<br />

currently studying scholars for their<br />

remaining years of secondary school,<br />

and for this we thank our generous<br />

donors.<br />

<strong>St</strong>ephen Komba, student of the Hanga<br />

Vocational Training School, displays his<br />

scholarship certificate.<br />

Paul Conroy with <strong>St</strong>. Benedict’s Secondary<br />

School scholars<br />

Charlie McCarron awards Shaibu Nyoni<br />

at <strong>St</strong>. Benedict’s Secondary School his<br />

scholarship certificate.<br />

We invite <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner readers to<br />

join us in our ongoing safari of giving<br />

the gift of education through the Phoenix<br />

Rising Scholarship. Please use the<br />

attached remittance envelope to send<br />

your tax deductible donation. +<br />

Paul Conroy is a supervisor in a student<br />

residence of Saint John’s University.

Monica Bokinskie<br />

Sometimes a book is the end<br />

point of an author’s early planning<br />

and long labor. But sometimes<br />

a book explodes in a moment<br />

of unexpected insight, of surprise.<br />

Uncommon Gratitude is of this second<br />

sort.<br />

Sister Joan Chittister, OSB,<br />

recounts that moment when she and<br />

Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams<br />

of Canterbury were talking about the<br />

spiritual life as they know it—and are<br />

always learning it.<br />

“Finally I asked him directly, ‘What<br />

really interests you most about the<br />

spiritual life?’ He said, ‘I find myself<br />

coming back again and again to the<br />

meaning of alleluia.’ And then we<br />

were off.”<br />

These two soon realized that God<br />

is calling them not to the easy task of<br />

praise for all things wonderful, but to<br />

a much tougher assignment: how to<br />

find the meaning of alleluia in “moments<br />

that do not feel like alleluia<br />

moments at all.”<br />

The wide range of topics is daunting:<br />

faith, doubt, differences, conflict,<br />

sinners, saints, life, crises, death,<br />

future, to name a few. Most chapters<br />

are written by Chittister. There is no<br />

attempt to blend the styles of the two<br />

A Review —<br />

Uncommon Gratitude:<br />

Alleluia for All That Is<br />

by Patrick Henry<br />

How to find the meaning of alleluia.<br />

authors, but there is deep resonance<br />

between their understandings of how,<br />

as John Lennon put it, “Life is what<br />

happens to you while you’re busy<br />

making other plans.” Or, as Joan’s<br />

very wise mother used to tell her, “Of<br />

two possibilities, choose always the<br />

third.”<br />

I can best explain why I recommend<br />

the book by pointing to two of the<br />

chapters in which I found the authors’<br />

message especially intense.<br />

Rowan Williams’ riff on “Friday”<br />

is one of the freshest things I’ve read<br />

on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.<br />

Monica Bokinskie<br />

Chittister is an<br />

international<br />

lecturer and<br />

author of some<br />

40 books.<br />

Williams is an international<br />

theological<br />

writer, scholar<br />

and teacher.<br />

Monica Bokinskie<br />

REVIEW<br />

He begins with Friday as in “Thank<br />

God it’s,” harks back to creation when<br />

God rested on Saturday, marvels at<br />

the wisdom of the Jewish reverence<br />

for the Sabbath, and takes us deep<br />

into the experience of Christ and his<br />

disciples in those culminating hours<br />

of Holy Week. Williams helps me see<br />

what it means that one fully human<br />

and fully divine was on the cross.<br />

Throughout the book Chittister<br />

makes skillful use of her own story,<br />

most poignantly in “Darkness.” Her<br />

mother was afflicted with Alzheimer’s<br />

for many years, an excruciating<br />

estrangement from one to whom Joan<br />

was so close. Only toward the end<br />

did Joan come to “understand that<br />

God is at work in our lives even when<br />

we believe that nothing whatsoever<br />

is going on.”<br />

A friend has paraphrased an observation<br />

of novelist Gail Godwin: our<br />

lives can keep on making more of us.<br />

Uncommon Gratitude is a guidebook<br />

for that journey.<br />

Order this 136-page, hardcover<br />

book from Liturgical Press, Box<br />

7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-<br />

7500; email: sales@litpress.org;<br />

phone:1-800-858-5450. $16.95 plus<br />

postage/handling. +<br />

Patrick Henry is the former director of<br />

the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical<br />

and Cultural Research.<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 21

Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

THE <strong>ABBEY</strong> CHRONICLE<br />

Minnesota and Collegeville<br />

lost their winter bragging<br />

rights to places like Boston,<br />

New York City, Atlanta, and Waco,<br />

Texas, that made our snow total of 22<br />

inches look wimpy compared to their<br />

accumulations of 40 to 50 + inches.<br />

During January we had 15 days of<br />

below-zero temperatures with -24 on<br />

the 3rd the lowest. March leaped in<br />

like a lamb and stayed long enough for<br />

us to revel in a welcome early spring<br />

of above-freezing temperatures and<br />

plentiful sunshine.<br />

The Wimmer family and relatives of<br />

Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, OSB<br />

page 22 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

Early spring arrivals<br />

What’s Up?<br />

The <strong>Abbey</strong> Chronicle<br />

by Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

December 2009<br />

“The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an<br />

example of the external seductiveness of life.”<br />

■ Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe,<br />

Pennsylvania, has the most boasting<br />

rights to Archabbot Boniface Wimmer,<br />

founder of Benedictine life in<br />

the United <strong>St</strong>ates and first abbot of<br />

the Latrobe community. However, the<br />

great-great-great grandnephews of<br />

Boniface settled in our area and operate<br />

Wimmer Opticians in <strong>St</strong>. Cloud.<br />

They were invited to celebrate the<br />

200th anniversary of their great-greatgreat<br />

granduncle’s birthday (January<br />

14, 1809) at<br />

Saint John’s.<br />

Jeff and Deb<br />

Wimmer and<br />

Joel and Annette<br />

Wimmer<br />

with son Ryan,<br />

a SJU senior<br />

and All-American<br />

middle line<br />

backer on the<br />

2009 football<br />

team, and daughter Lindsay, a CSB<br />

junior, joined the monastic community<br />

for dinner on December 7.<br />

(Jean Giraudoux)<br />

■ How do you get a 27-foot tall, 20foot<br />

wide white spruce tree through the<br />

8 x 8-foot entrance to the Great Hall<br />

to set up Saint John’s Christmas Tree?<br />

With a lot of pulling by a team of volunteers.<br />

These photos are from a video<br />

by Ben DeMarais, former Benedictine<br />

Volunteer to Tanzania and current SJU<br />

supervisor in student housing. See the<br />

whole show at: http://www.youtube.<br />

com/watch?v=Rd-XigVFVTY.<br />

1-2-3 PULL!<br />

Ben DeMarais

Aelred Senna, OSB<br />

Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

■ Directed by Michael Bik, OSB,<br />

chaplain for retired and ill confreres, a<br />

“Secret Santa” program began in Advent.<br />

Monks randomly picked names<br />

of <strong>St</strong>. Raphael Hall residents and<br />

secretly gave them small, inexpensive<br />

gifts during pre-Christmas weeks. Just<br />

before Christmas the “Secret Santas”<br />

gave their final gift and revealed their<br />

identity. Presents included a 2010<br />

calendar with pictures of Saint Augustine’s<br />

Monastery in Nassau, Bahamas<br />

for George Wolf, OSB, who worked<br />

there for over 60 years; a “memory<br />

jar” full of notes that confreres had<br />

written of their memories of the recipient;<br />

several murder mysteries and a<br />

CD of favorite music.<br />

<strong>St</strong>. Raphael Hall residents meet their<br />

“Secret Santas.”<br />

■ Your roving editor walked through<br />

the monastery and counted 65 poinsettia<br />

plants that brightened the church<br />

and cloister with their brilliant red.<br />

Italians call this colorful plant stella di<br />

Natale, “star of Christmas.”<br />

A shelf of poinsettias in the monastic<br />

refectory<br />

■ Almost 15 inches of snow fell<br />

before, during and after Christmas Day<br />

to force the cancellation of the Saint<br />

John’s Boys’ Choir’s appearance at<br />

Midnight Mass. Enough intrepid<br />

travelers<br />

plowed over<br />

snow-covered<br />

roads to<br />

nearly fill the<br />

main floor<br />

of the abbey<br />

church.<br />

In his Christmas homily,<br />

Abbot John considered the<br />

mystery of the incarnation: “When I<br />

reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ, I<br />

can’t help but begin with the God who<br />

is not contained in this vast universe<br />

of 100 billion galaxies. When God first<br />

thought of the incarnation, God must<br />

have burst out laughing. It is so exactly<br />

what we would NOT have done<br />

as human beings if it had been<br />

up to us. We tend to go toward<br />

muscle, control, perfection. God<br />

goes toward frailty, weakness,<br />

vulnerability and the messiness of<br />

human decisions. And so a child<br />

is born, a Son is given to us. . .”<br />

■ The 2009 Christmas Midnight<br />

Mass from Saint John’s <strong>Abbey</strong> is<br />

archived and available by following<br />

this link: http://saintjohnsabbey.org/schola/christmas.html<br />

■ The abbey<br />

received a gift of<br />

hand-carved wooden<br />

statues of Mary,<br />

Seat of Wisdom,<br />

holding the Christ<br />

Child, and Joseph,<br />

holding a miniature<br />

church as Protector<br />

of the Church, both<br />

created by Gerald<br />

Bonnette, a 1953<br />

art and philosophy<br />

graduate of Saint<br />

John’s who died in<br />

1988. The statues<br />

Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

Aelred Senna, OSB<br />

Hand-carved wooden<br />

statutes of the Holy Family<br />

by Gerald Bonnette, the<br />

gift of Fr. James Notebaart<br />

THE <strong>ABBEY</strong> CHRONICLE<br />

were given by Father James Notebaart<br />

of the Saint Paul/Minneapolis<br />

Archdiocese, in memory of the late<br />

Aelred Tegels, OSB, editor of Worship<br />

magazine and liturgy professor in the<br />

School of Theology•Seminary.<br />

■ The Saint John’s Fire Department<br />

purchased a 1991 Grumman 102-foot<br />

ladder truck with a platform/bucket<br />

that allows a number of people to be<br />

evacuated from a location.Without it<br />

the department would have to wait for<br />

help from a nearby fire hall that could<br />

mean a 20-minute delay in the rescue<br />

effort. Bought in Alabama, the truck<br />

has a service-life of 25 years.<br />

The Saint John’s Grumman ladder truck<br />

with platform/bucket.<br />

As it begins its 61st year of service<br />

to the campus, the Saint John’s Fire<br />

Department includes <strong>St</strong>eve Berhow,<br />

fire chief, assistant chiefs Bradley<br />

Jenniges, OSB, and John Brudney,<br />

OSB, drivers Dennis Beach, OSB,<br />

and Neal Laloo, OSB, 15<br />

certified SJU students and<br />

three laymen.<br />

Aelred Senna, OSB<br />

■ Nathanael Hauser, OSB,<br />

was featured in the December<br />

issue of Minnesota Monthly<br />

magazine. Entitled “Puppet<br />

Master,” the article describes<br />

Nathanael’s practice of the<br />

Neopolitan art of crèche-dollmaking.<br />

His Christmas scene<br />

of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, a<br />

kneeling shepherd and three<br />

winged angels graced the<br />

cover of the winter 2008 issue<br />

of <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner and was<br />

displayed in the Great Hall.<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 23

THE <strong>ABBEY</strong> CHRONICLE<br />

The figure pictured above is at the<br />

entrance to the <strong>Abbey</strong> Gift Shop.<br />

January 2010<br />

Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

One of the Epiphany magi<br />

by Nathanael Hauser, OSB<br />

■ The annual community workshop,<br />

held January 4 and 5, concentrated on<br />

converting the abbey’s Vision <strong>St</strong>atement<br />

into goals and action steps. For a<br />

concise description of the agenda see<br />

Abbot John’s column on page 3 of this<br />

issue.<br />

■ To conclude the annual Week of<br />

Prayer for Christian Unity on Sunday,<br />

January 24, the Rev. Katherine<br />

Wallace was the homilist at the<br />

community Eucharist. Katherine,<br />

a priest of the Diocese of Ottawa in<br />

the Anglican<br />

Church of Canada,<br />

has been<br />

pastor of rural<br />

and city parishes<br />

for 21 years.<br />

An Oblate of<br />

Saint John’s,<br />

she represented<br />

Oblates last<br />

October at the<br />

International<br />

Rev. Katherine Wallace<br />

Benedictine<br />

Oblate Congress<br />

in Rome.<br />

page 24 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

Jerome Tupa, OSB<br />

February 2010<br />

■ A busload of monks thoroughly<br />

enjoyed the annual celebration of the<br />

feast of Saint Scholastica with the<br />

Benedictine women of the Monastery<br />

of Saint Benedict on Sunday, February<br />

14. The editor’s “A Triple Treat”<br />

column on page three describes the<br />

highlight of the occasion.<br />

Benedictines pray in the oratory of Saint<br />

Benedict’s Monastery.<br />

■ In his homily during the abbey/<br />

university Ash Wednesday Mass,<br />

Abbot John focused on the theme of<br />

ashes: “We are a walking, talking,<br />

thinking, doing package of dust and<br />

ashes. So why do we bother signing<br />

ashes on each other’s foreheads?<br />

Because God has given us a way out<br />

of this continuous loop of ‘Ashes to<br />

ashes and dust to dust.’ It is the way<br />

of the Cross. . . We renew ourselves<br />

in that sign of the cross, to re-commit<br />

ourselves to God and the way that<br />

God’s Son has shown us.”<br />

■ The devastating earthquake in<br />

Chile on February 27 turned our<br />

prayers and concerns to our two Benedictine<br />

Volunteers, David Allen and<br />

James Albrecht, stationed in Santiago.<br />

In his e-mail of March 2, David wrote,<br />

“James and I were awakened by large<br />

tremors. James yelled, ‘Dave, get up!<br />

This is an earthquake.’ Our entire<br />

house shook for about a minute as<br />

things around the house were crashing.<br />

My bed literally moved across<br />

the room. The earthquake could not<br />

have occurred at a worse time for the<br />

children of Chile because their school<br />

year is starting this week. Please keep<br />

us all in your prayers and thoughts,<br />

especially the people of Concepcion,<br />

Constitution and Talca that have<br />

particularly been damaged.”<br />

March 2010<br />

■ The Lenten theme of ashes took<br />

a different twist on March 2 and 3 as<br />

a crew from the Chemical Agency<br />

Deployment Accounts of Ham Lake,<br />

Minnesota, cleaned out a deposit<br />

of ashes 40-feet deep and 12feet<br />

in diameter from the base<br />

of the powerhouse chimney. A<br />

high powered vacuum cleaner<br />

appropriately named “Super<br />

Sucker” piped the ashes into a<br />

large container that was taken to<br />

a landfill at Big Lake, Minnesota. This<br />

chimney sweep is done every three to<br />

five years.<br />

The crew and the “Super Sucker” remove<br />

ashes from the powerhouse chimney.<br />

■ March showers may bring early<br />

flowers and certainly the start of<br />

another maple syrup season. The<br />

Community Tapping Day commenced<br />

the morning of March 13 when 150<br />

student volunteers put out 800 sap-taps<br />

in two hours. The absence of belowfreezing<br />

nighttime temperatures got<br />

the sap dripping off to a slow start. +<br />

The sap-to-syrup season begins with<br />

tree tapping.<br />

Saint John’s Arboretum<br />

Daniel Durken, OSB

Mathias Arnold Spier,<br />

OSB<br />

1931 – 2010<br />

The fourth of the six children<br />

of John and Genieve<br />

(Schmeing) Spier of nearby<br />

Freeport, Arnold came to Saint<br />

John’s Preparatory School in 1945 to<br />

determine if he had a vocation to the<br />

priesthood. Indeed he did as proved<br />

by the forty-five years Father Mathias<br />

(the name given him as a novice)<br />

served God’s people in Minnesota<br />

parishes.<br />

Ordained in 1958, Mathias was the<br />

associate pastor and pastor of parishes<br />

in Albany, <strong>St</strong>. Paul, Medina, Richmond,<br />

Northeast Minneapolis, <strong>St</strong>.<br />

Joseph and Jacobs Prairie and chaplain<br />

of nursing homes in New Hope<br />

and Cold Spring.<br />

On the occasion of his silver anniversary<br />

of ordination, Mathias<br />

reflected on his assignment as pastor<br />

of Holy Name Parish in Medina: “The<br />

day before I arrived the old altars and<br />

carpets in the church were removed,<br />

and for the first month I offered Mass<br />

in a makeshift surrounding. Finishing<br />

the remodeling of Holy Name<br />

Church was one accomplishment that<br />

brought me the greatest satisfaction.”<br />

He added his gratitude for the help of<br />

three Benedictine sisters from Saint<br />

Scholastica Monastery in Duluth.<br />

Mathias left his mark on other<br />

parishes. He renovated the rectory of<br />

Saint Boniface Parish in Minneapolis<br />

so confreres studying in the Twin Cities<br />

or needing an overnight stay close<br />

to the airport could have free lodging<br />

and a well-prepared meal. In Medina<br />

he worked with local officials to bring<br />

sewer and water to the church and<br />

area. In <strong>St</strong>. Joseph he developed the<br />

community food shelf, began Meals<br />

on Wheels and cajoled the fire depart-<br />


ment to put Christmas lights on the<br />

big fir tree in front of the rectory and<br />

set up a fine crib set. When the Minnesota<br />

Gophers’ football team held<br />

their pre-season camp at Collegeville,<br />

Mathias invited a coach to the monks’<br />

retirement center to distribute maroon<br />

and gold caps and sweat shirts.<br />

In his homily at Mathias’ funeral,<br />

Abbot John identified him as a “warm,<br />

outgoing, friendly man with a dry,<br />

lively sense of humor.” Mathias’ obesity<br />

complicated other health problems<br />

and a month before he died he was<br />

told he had inoperable cancer. Abbot<br />

John remarked, “As a faith-filled<br />

pastor who helped many other people<br />

face similar situations, Mathias gave<br />

it all to Christ. When he died, he was<br />

truly at peace.”<br />

Mathias’ funeral was celebrated on<br />

January 22. May he rest in peace. +<br />

Fr. Mathias was the Grand Marshall of the 1989 4th of July parade and celebration of<br />

<strong>St</strong>. Joseph, Minnesota.<br />

<strong>St</strong>. Joseph Lion’s Club<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 25


Florian Elmer Muggli,<br />

OSB<br />

1925 – 2010<br />

The Benedictine roots of Father<br />

Florian were deep and widespread.<br />

Elmer Joseph was the<br />

son of John and Eleanor<br />

(Pallansch) Muggli of<br />

Richardton, North Dakota,<br />

the location of the<br />

Benedictine Assumption<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong>. His older brother<br />

Julius became a member<br />

of Saint John’s <strong>Abbey</strong><br />

several years before<br />

Florian followed suit.<br />

His three half-sisters,<br />

two aunts and three<br />

male cousins were<br />

Benedictines.<br />

Benedictine Sisters of<br />

Yankton, South Dakota,<br />

were his grade school<br />

teachers. The abbot of<br />

Assumption <strong>Abbey</strong> was<br />

instrumental in Elmer’s<br />

recovery from scarlet<br />

fever as a sixth-grader<br />

page 26 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

through a relic and intercession of<br />

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. He<br />

attended Assumption <strong>Abbey</strong> High<br />

School. Upon entering the novitiate<br />

of Saint John’s <strong>Abbey</strong> he received the<br />

name of Florian in honor of his monkfriend,<br />

Father Florian Fairbanks of<br />

Assumption <strong>Abbey</strong>. There was no way<br />

Florian could have become a Jesuit.<br />

Ordained to the priesthood in 1951,<br />

Florian taught mathematics and served<br />

as a faculty resident of the university<br />

until his appointment as procurator/<br />

treasurer of the abbey and university<br />

in 1955. For the next sixteen years he<br />

supervised the surge of new construction<br />

on the Collegeville campus<br />

including the monastery wing, abbey<br />

church, expansion of Liturgical Press,<br />

new Preparatory School complex,<br />

Alcuin Library, Peter Engel Science<br />

Center, and four university student<br />

residences. His tireless service to the<br />

community was a faithful fulfillment<br />

of Saint Benedict’s description of the<br />

monastery cellarer in chapter 31 of<br />

the Rule.<br />

Florian moved into pastoral ministry<br />

in 1971 as pastor in <strong>St</strong>illwater,<br />

Hastings, <strong>St</strong>. Joseph and Jacobs<br />

Prairie. His major accomplishment<br />

was the merging of the two parishes<br />

in Hastings, one staffed by diocesan<br />

priests, the other by Benedictines.<br />

With patience and persistence, Florian<br />

overcame the opposition of some<br />

of the parishioners and oversaw the<br />

building of a new church and parish<br />

offices that united the Catholic<br />

community in a splendid setting.<br />

His retirement to the abbey was<br />

marked by the progression of<br />

Alzheimer’s disease to which he<br />

succumbed on January 26. The Mass<br />

of Christian Burial was celebrated<br />

for Florian on January 30. May he<br />

rest in peace. +<br />

Front row, l. to r.: Noreen, mother Elinor, father John, Norbert. Back row l. to r.: Fr. Julius,<br />

Sr. Nillon, Sr. Alexia, Sr. Joanne, Fr. Florian, all OSBs.<br />

Osborn <strong>St</strong>udio, Dickinson, N.D.

<strong>Abbey</strong> Archives<br />

Paul Benno Marx, OSB<br />

1920 – 2010<br />

Benno was the fifteenth child of<br />

George and Elizabeth (Rauw)<br />

Marx of <strong>St</strong>. Michael, Minnesota,<br />

and grew up on the dairy farm<br />

that was in the family for five generations.<br />

He attended parochial grade<br />

school, often walking the 3½ miles in<br />

all kinds of weather, and then Saint<br />

John’s Preparatory School where he<br />

excelled in his studies and extracurricular<br />

activities including football and<br />

track. He followed his older brother<br />

Michael into the abbey, received the<br />

name of Paul, made his first profession<br />

of vows in 1942, completed his<br />

Father Paul meets Pope John Paul II.<br />

seminary studies and was ordained in<br />

1947.<br />

After teaching history, religion and<br />

English in the Preparatory School,<br />

Paul studied at The Catholic University<br />

of America where he received the<br />

doctorate in sociology and had his<br />

doctoral dissertation, Virgil Michel<br />

and the Liturgical Movement, published<br />

by The Liturgical Press. He<br />

founded the sociology department of<br />

Saint John’s University and became<br />

firmly focused on the family and<br />

responsible family planning.<br />

Paul put his intense convictions into<br />

practice by founding the Human Life<br />

Center at Saint John’s in 1972 and in<br />

1981 establishing Human Life International<br />

in Washington, D.C. Driven<br />

by his belief that life begins at the moment<br />

of conception and that the family<br />

is the most important unit of society,<br />

Paul personified the zeal and energy<br />

of his biblical namesake, the Apostle<br />

Paul. He was known as “The Apostle<br />

of Life” in the pro-life movement and<br />

labeled by Planned Parenthood as<br />

“Public Enemy #1.” Pope John Paul II<br />

said to Paul during a 1979 papal audience,<br />

“You are doing the most important<br />

work on earth.”<br />

Well deserved accolades for Paul’s<br />

uncompromising dedication to life accumulated<br />

over the years.<br />

Of him it was said, “What<br />

Shakespeare is to poetry,<br />

what Mozart is to music,<br />

what Babe Ruth is to baseball,<br />

Father Paul Marx is<br />

to the pro-life movement.”<br />

He was named “Catholic<br />

of the Year” by Catholic<br />

Twin Circle and received<br />

the Cardinal John J.<br />

O’Connor Unambiguously<br />

Pro-Life Award and the<br />

Family Life International<br />

Lifetime Achievement<br />

Award.<br />


Father Paul and his favorite people<br />

Remember our deceased<br />

loved ones:<br />

Barbara Jean (Theisen) Betts<br />

Alfred Bill Braun<br />

Archbishop Lawrence Burke, S.J.<br />

Anthony Del Greco<br />

Aloysius Fischer<br />

George Franta<br />

Dr. Ronald Gearman<br />

Katherine Vonnie Ibes<br />

Richard Jochman<br />

Joseph Moorse<br />

Angie Olberding<br />

Hilda Petermeier<br />

Leo Rahm<br />

Doris Rowe<br />

Joan Swenson<br />

Kiriji Takahashi<br />

Florian Winczewski<br />

James Worline<br />

May they rest in peace.<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Archives<br />

It is fitting that Paul died March 20,<br />

the first day of spring when the earth<br />

begins its new journey of life. The<br />

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated<br />

for him on March 26, 2010.<br />

May he rest in peace. +<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 27

<strong>BANNER</strong> BITS<br />

Drawings of Saints Benedict and Scholastica<br />

as twin, young adults<br />

by David Paul Lange, OSB<br />

It is fascinating to imagine Saints<br />

Benedict and Scholastica as twins.<br />

Western Christian monasticism<br />

owes more than we think of the intimate<br />

relationship between them.<br />

Surely they were influenced from the<br />

beginning by a heightened sense of<br />

connectedness, equality and balance.<br />

I portray the two as young adults,<br />

not already advanced in years, wisdom<br />

and monastic experience as<br />

they are so often depicted. They are<br />

somewhat conflicted and uncertain as<br />

to whether they are capable of what<br />

they are being called to, the way many<br />

of us experience monastic life at the<br />

outset.<br />

I wanted them to look like Italians—<br />

not as northern Europeans—with dark<br />

page 28 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

Young Saint Benedict Young Saint Scholastica<br />

eyes and wild, unruly hair. So that<br />

one gender would not be privileged<br />

over the other, they are both the same<br />

height, their habits are similarly<br />

designed, both heads are uncovered,<br />

and both regard us with a steady gaze.<br />

There are obvious differences between<br />

the settings, and the two drawings<br />

deliberately depend on each<br />

other. Between the two portraits there<br />

is only one cross, one Rule, one<br />

library (indicative of a powerful<br />

intellect), one empty and undefined<br />

cell, one protective raven and one<br />

anachronistic symbol of the light of<br />

Christ. Neither drawing tells a<br />

complete story without the other.<br />

As for the 20th century light bulb in<br />

a 5th century setting, the best explana-<br />

David Paul Lange, OSB<br />

tion I can give is this: Christ did not<br />

belong only to their time, nor does<br />

he belong only to ours. God moves<br />

both in-and-outside our dimensions<br />

of time and space, and I needed a<br />

startling element to suggest this.<br />

Perhaps there should be more<br />

surrealism in religious art.<br />

Each print is a high quality, high<br />

resolution limited edition reproduction<br />

of an original 36” x 54” drawing.<br />

The prints come in four sizes,<br />

matted or matted and framed, and<br />

priced from $60 to $500. Prints are<br />

available from the <strong>Abbey</strong> Gift Shop<br />

or by emailing the artist directly at<br />

dplange@csbsju.edu. +<br />

Brother David Paul Lange, OSB, is<br />

assistant professor of art at Saint John’s<br />


Monica Bokinskie<br />

Without going to the Vancouver<br />

Winter Olympics,<br />

Liturgical Press won two<br />

gold awards in the 2010 ADDY<br />

award competition for the Central<br />

Minnesota Advertising Federation.<br />

In the category of Interactive Media,<br />

the Press won a gold award for its The<br />

Saint John’s Bible website. The same<br />

website received one of three Judges<br />

Choice (gold) awards.<br />

Prior to the preparation of this<br />

website, there were three Collegeville<br />

websites promoting The Saint John’s<br />

Bible, namely, Liturgical Press for<br />

the marketing of the project, the Hill<br />

Museum & Manuscript Library for<br />

the background history of the project,<br />

and the Heritage edition for this elite<br />

product of the project. There was an<br />

obvious need to combine these three<br />

websites into one for a clearer, cleaner<br />

focus.<br />

Liturgical Press employees Kris<br />

Isaacson, web manager, and Connie<br />

Carlson, The Saint John’s Bible<br />

program manager, led the diverse team<br />

that included HMML, the Heritage<br />

edition, copywriter Susan Sink, and<br />

two design firms. Their goal was to<br />

enable the visitor to this one website<br />

to actually experience the text and the<br />

illuminations of the Bible. They were<br />

delighted that the judges expressed<br />

this result of their use<br />

of the website.<br />

Monica Bokinskie<br />

<strong>BANNER</strong> BITS<br />

Kris Isaacson, web manager (l.) and Connie Carlson,<br />

The Saint John’s Bible program manager, with their<br />

ADDY Awards<br />

Liturgical Press goes<br />

for the gold<br />

Readers are welcome to visit the<br />

website to experience The Saint<br />

John’s Bible at: www.saintjohnsbible.<br />

org. +<br />

Screenshots from<br />

The Saint John’s<br />

Bible website<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 29

Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

<strong>BANNER</strong> BITS<br />

Front row, l. to r.: Lewis Grobe, Michael-Leonard<br />

Hahn. Back row, l. to r. : Nickolas Kleespie,<br />

<strong>St</strong>ephen Warzecha<br />

Benedict wrote his Rule “for<br />

the strong kind of monks, the<br />

cenobites, who belong to a<br />

monastery where they serve under a<br />

rule and an abbot” (Rule, chapter 1).<br />

Yet he began his own monastic life<br />

as a hermit, living alone in a cave at<br />

Subiaco, Italy, for three years before<br />

he became the superior of a nearby<br />

monastery and began his commitment<br />

to community life.<br />

When he described the four kinds of<br />

monks in the first chapter of his Rule,<br />

Benedict revealed the high regard he<br />

had for hermits. Of them he wrote:<br />

“Hermits have come through the<br />

test of living in a monastery for<br />

a long time, and have passed<br />

beyond the first fervor of monastic<br />

life. Thanks to the help and<br />

guidance of many, . . . they have<br />

built up their strength and go from<br />

the battle line in the ranks of their<br />

brothers to the single combat of<br />

the desert. Self-reliant now,<br />

without the support of another,<br />

they are ready with God’s help to<br />

grapple single-handed with the<br />

vices of body and mind.”<br />

page 30 <strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010<br />

Novices explore the<br />

hermit’s life<br />

by Daniel Durken, OSB<br />

For five days in early March,<br />

the four Saint John’s <strong>Abbey</strong> novices<br />

experienced the hermit’s life at two<br />

nearby hermitage sites sponsored by<br />

the Franciscan Sisters of <strong>St</strong>. Francis<br />

Convent at Little Falls, Minnesota,<br />

and the lay Franciscans of the Pacem<br />

in Terris Hermitages near <strong>St</strong>. Francis,<br />

Minnesota.<br />

During a debriefing session the<br />

novices agreed that these few days<br />

of solitude and simplicity (no radio,<br />

TV or indoor toilet, one daily com-<br />

One of the Pacem in Terris hermitages<br />

“Benedict stole away secretly and<br />

fled to a lonely wilderness.”<br />

(Life and Miracles of <strong>St</strong>. Benedict, 1)<br />

mon meal, a minimum of furniture)<br />

were spiritually profitable. The daily<br />

schedule was not established by others<br />

but rather upon the individual novice’s<br />

initiative and fidelity to specific times<br />

for reflective reading, exercise, meals<br />

and rest. The setting quickly brings to<br />

the foreground issues that might otherwise<br />

take months to surface.<br />

The high point of each day was the<br />

evening meal taken with the hermitage<br />

staff and retreatants. Conversing<br />

with others helped these young men<br />

appreciate the community<br />

aspect of monastic life.<br />

Not feeling attracted to<br />

the life of the hermit as<br />

such, they nevertheless<br />

recognized the need to<br />

make space and time for<br />

the silent solitude of the<br />

hermit. A monthly “desert<br />

day” is a needed antidote<br />

for the rush-rush-rush<br />

syndrome of our time. +

Placid <strong>St</strong>uckenschneider, OSB<br />

Placid <strong>St</strong>uckenschneider, OSB<br />

Live out loud! Alleluia!<br />

by Robert Pierson, OSB<br />

Imagine this:<br />

I get a phone call from Regis—<br />

he says, “Do you want to be a millionaire?”<br />

They put me on a show and I win<br />

with two lifelines to spare.<br />


Now picture this:<br />

I act like nothing ever happened<br />

and bury all the money in a coffee can.<br />

Well, I’ve been given more than Regis ever gave away.<br />

I was a dead man who was called to come out of my grave.<br />

I think it’s time for makin’ some noise.<br />

CHORUS<br />

Wake the neighbors.<br />

Get the word out.<br />

Come on, crank up the music, climb a mountain and shout.<br />

This is life we’ve been given, made to be lived out.<br />

So, la, la, la, la, live out loud!<br />

These words from the <strong>St</strong>even Curtis Chapman and Geoffrey Paul Moore<br />

song, “Live Out Loud” challenge us to live what we believe about the Good<br />

News of Easter: “If we have been united with Christ through likeness to his<br />

death, so shall we be through a like resurrection . . . If we have died with Christ,<br />

we believe that we are also to live with him” (Romans 6:5, 8).<br />

What does it mean for us to live the Good News of the resurrection? Are our<br />

lives any different because we believe that Jesus rose from the dead and that<br />

we, too, will rise with him “on the last day”? One way we live out loud is by<br />

giving up our need to worry and fret about the details of day to day life. If God<br />

can raise us from the dead, God can take care of us in the meantime. We don’t<br />

need to be afraid. God is with us to provide what we need when we need it.<br />

If such is true for us individually, it is also true for us as the human family.<br />

We are in God’s care, and no matter how much we may foul things up, God’s<br />

Holy Spirit continues to work good out of evil, resurrection out of death.<br />

That doesn’t mean we have nothing to do. We still need to do our part,<br />

whatever that may be. But we do not need to worry about the outcome. As<br />

Julian of Norwich puts it, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all<br />

manner of things shall be well.” Our belief in the resurrection assures us that<br />

“the strife is o’er, the battle done.” Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! +<br />

Robert Pierson, OSB, is the director of the abbey’s spiritual life program and<br />

guest master.<br />

<strong>Abbey</strong> Banner Spring 2010 page 31

PO Box 2015<br />

Collegeville, MN 56321-2015<br />

www.saintjohnsabbey.org<br />


Nonprofit<br />

Organization<br />

U.S. Postage<br />

PAID<br />

Saint John’s <strong>Abbey</strong><br />

Monica Bokinskie

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