NEW HANDICAP ENTRANCE: As part of our Capital Campaign project, we have started work on an additional handicap entrance into the monastery especially for those guests at our Coury House Retreat Center. A door entrance has been cut into what used to be a window as you use the side guest entrance. The new door is being fabricated and should be done next week. The ramp is also being fabricated and should be done in six weeks or so. Our Coury House Retreat Center and Book Store have reopened with the necessary covid precautions. We are so grateful to all those who continue to support our Capital Campaign with some much needed projects for our Abbey and Academy! Onward Together!
A NOTE OF THANKS: A college classmate of Br. Raban felt called to make a donation to us and we monks were happy to assist. Our monastery experienced two massive fires in our history that destroyed most of our libraries. Because we focused on the Academy library replenishment, our monastic library has only slowly rebounded. We have a little over 20,000 books at this point in time that are used not only by the monks and the students, but also the larger area where we regularly have Catholic and Protestant ministers use it as a valuable research resource. Thankfully, we have tried to set aside money for regular purchases of new books when possible. Large book series are rare for us to get, so we were deeply honored for the donation of the 29 volume Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. This commentary allows a person to pick any scripture verse and then find how and where the Church Fathers used that passage in their writings. We can then access those writings in our available books or our Patrologia series both in print and online. Practically, the fruit of this is used in our homilies, writings, and personal devotion. Our librarian Fr. Richard, the Abbot, and all the monks want to thank this anonymous donor that gifted us with this series. Your donation will prayerfully be used by a generation of monks to come. UIOGD!
Novice Sam Jannise made profession as a Benedictine monk in the Subiaco Abbey Church February 2, 2020. During Vespers, Novice Sam presented his written and signed petition to Abbot Leonard who then welcomed his public profession of monastic vows for three years. Reflecting this change in his state of life, the Abbot assigned him a new name. After three years from that time, he will be eligible to make his final, perpetual vows. Br. Gabriel comes from Groves, Texas, where he lived most of his life before coming to Subiaco in 2018. He is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur, Texas. He has worked in various aspects of the printing industry for nearly 20 years before coming to the Abbey. The profession ceremony had six parts. (1) The novice made his request to become a monk. (2) Abbot Leonard addressed him in the name of the community. (3) He showed him the Rule of St. Benedict and asked if he were willing to observe; he then asked the novice to express his commitment by answering questions. (4) Br. Gabriel then read the document of his profession, in which he revealed his new monastic name. Then he showed the document to Abbot Leonard, signed it and gave it to him. (5) The Abbot blessed the monastic habit and clothed him with it. (6) The newly professed returned to his place in the community and Vespers continued.
Brother Basil and Brother Raban have been chosen to by Abbot Leonard to attend a prestigious leadership training program in Rome. “Leadership and the Rule of Saint Benedict” is a joint educational project of the universities of St. Gallen in Switzerland and Sant’Anselmo in Rome. They have assembled a faculty of international experts and experienced leaders from the Benedictine family who will help monks to frame the challenges facing the monastery and show pragmatic ways to handle them. The University of St. Gallen is an internationally reputed business school. Its Institute of Management & Strategy is responsible for the LRB-course. The Financial Times has ranked the University of St. Gallen Number 5 among 70 other European business schools. The strategy master of the Institute of Management & Strategy is ranked Number 1 since nine years.
PROFESSION of Brother André: The simple profession of a Tupper Lake, NY, resident as a Benedictine monk took place in the Subiaco Abbey Church September 8, 2019. During Vespers on September 8, 2019, Novice Jesse Bedore presented his written and signed petition to Abbot Leonard who then welcomed his public profession of monastic vows for three years. Reflecting this change in his state of life, the Abbot assigned him a new name: Br. André. After three years, he will be eligible to make his final, perpetual vows. The profession ceremony in our Swiss-American Benedictine tradition had six parts. (1) The novice made his request to become a monk. (2) Abbot Leonard addressed him in the name of the community. (3) He showed him the Rule of St. Benedict and asked if he were willing to observe; he then asked the novice to express his commitment by answering questions. (4) Novice Jesse then read the document of his profession, in which he revealed his new monastic name, Br. André. Then he showed the document to Abbot Leonard, signed it and gave it to him. (5) The Abbot blessed the monastic habit and clothed him with it. (6) The newly professed returned to his place in the community and Vespers continued. CONGRATULATIONS to Brother André! Please say a prayer for him. UIOGD!
The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture is hosting a hops workshop Aug. 15 in Clarksville with a registration deadline of Aug. 12. Click on the title link to register and to listen to the interview with KUAF which also features Br. Basil.
The Arkansas River Valley Tri-Peaks Tourism Association presented awards and accolades to six local agencies during their recent banquet. The Clarksville Aquatic Park won for Johnson County while Country Monks Brewing at the Subiaco Abbey was awarded in Logan County.
On February 24th, Br. Basil attended the first Fat Saturday Cook-Off at St. Michael's Parish in Van Buren, AR. He competed against 5 other breweries in the area and was voted by those attending as the best brew. He entered the Pale Ale and Stout into the competition. We want to thank St. Michael's for inviting us to the event and look forward to being back next year.
The Paris Chamber of Commerce named Subiaco Abbey and Academy the Business of the Month. Certificate, presented to Abbot Leonard at the Coffee and Donut gathering at the Methodist Church in Paris on February 14, is to be displayed in the the Administration Office area.
The profession of two young men as Benedictine monks took place in the Abbey Church February 2, 2019. During Vespers on February 2, 2019, Novice Casey Simpson and Novice John Fryer presented their written and signed petitions to Abbot Leonard who then received their public profession of monastic vows for three years. Reflecting this change in their state of life, the Abbot assigned each a new name. After three years from that time, they will be eligible to make their final, perpetual vows. Br. Thomas More (Casey) Simpson comes from Shreveport, but was born and reared in Many, Louisiana. He worked in political campaigns, took Liberal Arts degree from LSU and a Civil Law degree from Loyola New Orleans. He practiced law for twenty years before entering Subiaco Abbey. Br. Ambrose (John) Fryer comes from Alexandria, LA where he was a teacher in the Diocesan school. Teaching was not his first calling, priesthood was. However, upon completion of his seminary education (St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, LA and The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC) he felt he wanted some "life" experience before being ordained. What was supposed to be a couple years sabbatical turned into twenty! He is always amazed at how God moves in his life. He still desires priesthood, however, as someone once stated to him, he has had the ability to influence more people's lives in the classroom than in the pulpit. Br. Ambrose is pleased to have a new way (with God's grace) to serve God, the Church and the world as a professed monk.