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Br. Paul Ritt is accepted into novitiate on the Solemnity of St. Procopius, July 4, 2017

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on July 5, 2017 at 9:55 AM

On July 4, the Solemnity of St. Procopius, we were very happy to accept Br. Paul Ritt into novitiate.

Eulogy for Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B.

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on June 12, 2017 at 4:15 PM

Eulogy given by Abbot Dismas at the Vigil service for Archbishop Daniel Kucera, OSB - June 9, 2017, at St. Procopius Abbey

Archbishop Daniel’s life is so impressive that a list of his achievements alone could spark a deep sense of loss in his passing. But achievements only hint, they offer only a partial understanding of Daniel, that bright college student who became a monk, priest, teacher, administrator, college president, abbot, bishop, archbishop and, in his final days, in the manner of a parish priest, he celebrated Mass regularly, heard confessions, and counseled those with whom he lived in the Stone Hill Care Center. His was a life of service, so to grasp the real Daniel, we need to understand what his accomplishments required of him.

He lived close to half his life before the Second Vatican Council, which tells us that he was embedded in the practical effects of a church that remained relatively unchanged for 400 years by force of the Council of Trent, the Church’s response to the Reformation. He studied and embraced the theology, the church law, the accepted practices, the administrative procedures, the Latin Masses, the sacraments, and the many devotions that supported the people in their faith. He knew well both the teachings and the faith as practiced.

We human beings do not find change easy. We live by habits, good habits that we call virtues, bad habits that we call vices. When we have been educated in a world vision, live in the culture it generates, and find it relatively comfortable, we are not interested in change. Daniel, like all Catholics of the time, was led by mother church to adjust his life to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. It must have been especially difficult for him in that he was just beginning a new leadership at a new level at a time when life in the secular world was changing rapidly.

We elected him abbot in the 1960’s, the decade of radical challenges that fractured our country’s social structures and laid the foundation for the ongoing conflicts that continue throughout the world today. Some are still with us and all have maintained an influence.

  • The Civil Rights movement with its many demonstrations that included beatings and killings
  • The women’s liberation movement with its many demonstrations
  • The sexual revolution symbolized by the wide acceptance of Playboy magazine, the Woodstock experience, and the libertine freedom grasped eagerly by many
  • The demonstrations, sometimes violent, against the Viet Nam war
  • The student sit-ins and demonstrations that challenged authority

These were all happening, or about to happen, as he began to function as our abbot. They certainly demanded a protective response. Some he dealt with directly as a college president, but all of them affected him as they did all of us, by eventually changing attitudes, values, and behavior that presented new challenges to our monastic life. All those secular forces may have seemed less significant as we discussed the Council and a renewal of our monastic life. But, they must have consumed considerable time when leading his people as bishop.

A more significant force came when he completed his first year as abbot. The Second Vatican Council closed formally, and the 16 documents it produced had all been promulgated. He already experienced a concelebrated Mass when he was blessed as abbot, the first such Mass celebrated in our nation. Now he had to deal with the other directives for the liturgy and any directives from the other 15 documents.

With insights gained from monks in our congregation he developed a renewal program for our monastic life, beginning our effort to live by the teachings of the Council.

Under his leadership as our abbot, the abbey, college, and high school advanced considerably. Both academic institutions were set for development and growth. One of his most important decisions was to build the new abbey here, on the other side of the street from the old abbey, so each institution would have its own location and identity. Of equal importance, he developed the lay board of trustees at the College and board of directors at the high school, expert lay people to help us in operating the two schools. The wisdom of that move is evident in the quality and size of both institutions today.

The building of this church is a story in itself. Abbot Daniel decided to move forward on this entire complex, abbey and church, only three months after he was elected. The Council was still in session, but the document on the Liturgy had already been accepted and was in effect. There were no official directives for the building of a church according to the new understanding of the church and its worship, so at Abbot Daniel’s direction, leading theologians and liturgists were interviewed for advice. We are functioning here in the finished product that was designed from that advice and which has received much praise and architectural awards; some of its features have been copied in other new churches.

That’s not surprising. The surprise came when the bishops published a set of directives seven years after this building was completed, and we found that this building met every one of the directives. It’s as if they examined this building, and then wrote the directives.

Directive 42: “The building or cover enclosing the … space is a shelter or “skin” for [the assembly’s worship]. It does not have to “look like” anything else, past or present. Its integrity, simplicity and beauty, its physical location and landscaping should take into account the neighborhood, city and area in which it is built.”

But the most important statement follows directly from the Council’s theology: “God has willed to make women and men holy and to save them, not as individuals without any bond between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness … who in times past were not a people, but now are the people of God.”

This church was designed as a space for the people of God to worship as a “people.” This space under the clerestory was raised to identify the monks place to pray and worship. When alone in this church, the monks are the people of God at prayer or Eucharistic worship. When people join them in the rest of the church as you are now, they are part of the total worshiping community at prayer or Eucharistic worship.

The Council says specifically that “… the prayers addressed to God by the priest who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ are said in the name of the entire holy people and of all present.” The Council is telling us that the Mass is a prayer of the community, and the priest presides over this community prayer. As stated, the priest, functioning in the person of Christ, prays in the name of all the holy people everywhere and of all present.

This church was designed so that everyone present is aware that they are praying with others, that they are part of a community at prayer.

That was Daniel’s gift to us: a church designed to make all present for worship sharply aware of all others present, so that the individuals pray with the community as a community. As the Council directs, that they may pray together with “full, conscious and active” participation as the people of God.

There were times when Daniel spoke to us in words; now he speaks to us in his works. Every time we enter this space he is reminding us, “You are a member of the people of God; pray as a member of this praying community. Pray well with full, conscious and active participation.”

We already commented that the concelebrated Mass for Daniel’s blessing as an abbot was the first in our nation. I add that this, the church he built, may have been the first truly Vatican II church in this nation.

What does all this tell us? That this young abbot who had lived almost all of his life up to that time in the pre-Vatican II church had accepted fully the church’s lead and began in a remarkable way to re-educate and change himself as the church directed in the Council’s documents. He didn’t say whether he liked or did not like the ways of the Church before the Council; he simply embraced what mother church directed and followed it.

He went on to serve the people of the Joliet diocese, the Salina diocese, and the diocese of Dubuque. The bishop in a diocese is the teacher of the people, the one to assure them of sound doctrine and offers encouragement to live by that doctrine. But his administrative and sacramental duties allow him little time to meet and talk with many of the people he leads. Many days he has very little space for time with the Lord. Many days he is not able to deal with the things that he planned.

I call your attention to the Council’s statement on The Universal Call to Holiness.

“39. “… in the Church, everyone whether belonging to the hierarchy, or being cared for by it, is called to holiness … this holiness … is expressed in many ways in individuals, who in their walk of life, tend toward the perfection of charity, and …[are a cause of inspiration to others…]”

If you want to know what happens when someone chooses Christ as the ideal, then lives by his teachings, read the list of Daniel’s achievements identified in Fr. James’ obituary. Review what he did to build this abbey and church. Then with your imagination guess what he had to learn and how he had to change to achieve what he did, especially to lead people of very different dioceses: Joliet as administrator for a short time, then Salina, Kansas, followed by Dubuque, Iowa. Even with such a limited comparison, it should become clear that God gave him much and demanded much from him.

There is a picture of Daniel in the Stone Hill Care Center, his final place of residence, accompanied by his words that are something like this, “It is good to be with a community in a place where I can function simply as “Father Dan.” An expression of humility, appreciation, and a bit of weariness. May he rest in peace.


Abbot Dismas Kalcic, O.S.B.

Funeral homily for Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B.

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on June 12, 2017 at 12:50 PM

Funeral homily given by Abbot Austin for Mass of Christian Burial for Archbishop Daniel Kucera, OSB - June 10, 2017, at St. Procopius Abbey

In Christ before death and after death

Dostoevsky once noted that a man's life is a mystery. At a funeral, we are given opportunity to ponder such a mystery. We reflect on the mystery of the life of the one who has left us -- in this case, Archbishop Daniel Kucera.

Part of the mystery of Archbishop Daniel's life, I think, was that he belonged to many communities. He belonged to his family -- and many of his relatives are here. He belonged to this abbey, and to the wider Benedictine. And it is good to have Abbot Vincent and Abbot Philip with us. Archbishop Daniel also belonged to the communities of our schools, especially at the college -- and some are here from the schools. He belonged to the Diocese of Joliet, when he served as auxiliary bishop here. And I am grateful to Bishop Conlon and priests of the diocese for being here. He also belonged to the Diocese of Salina, KS, when he served as bishop there, and I met someone yesterday who knew him from there. And he belonged to the Archdiocese of Dubuque, having served as that's diocese's bishop, and I know there are some from the archdiocese here.

Archbishop Daniel gave himself and his talents to each of these communities. And when you serve a community, you enter into it. Think of Christ. He served the human race by entering into it and belonging to it. So, Archbishop Daniel served and belonged to these various communities. And it seems to me, that his is part of the mystery of his life.

Here's a quote from the popular movie, It's a Wonderful Life: "Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" We are now feeling the hole of Archbishop Daniel's departure from us. He was a big figure in our lives. And all of us are feeling his absence.

I would like us to focus, in this homily, our attention especially on the 2nd Scripture reading for this Mass. It is from the First Letter to the Corinthians, and it includes this line: "For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life" (1Cor 15:22). St. Paul is of course speaking about the resurrection. Christ has been raised to eternal life, and in Christ we too will be raised to eternal life. We renew this faith in the resurrection in this Mass, as we commend Archbishop Daniel to God.

Right before the passage that is our second reading, St. Paul addresses those who deny the resurrection. Now, many of you have probably heard the story of what the Catholic novelist, Flannery O'Connor, said to someone who opined that the Eucharist is just a symbol, and not really the Body and Blood of Christ. Her famous response was: "If it is just a symbol, then the hell with it!" A strong response, but in a way she was following St. Paul. He has a similar response to those denying the resurrection.

St. Paul says that if there is no resurrection, then all this Christianity stuff is bunk. His preaching of the gospel? It's a sham. Our faith? It is pointless. Â St. Paul goes on to say that if we have hoped in Christ not for the future life of the resurrection, but only for this life, then we are the most pitiable people of all. Or as Flannery O'Connor might say: "If the resurrection is just a symbol, then the hell with it!"

But it is not just a symbol; it is a reality. And it takes place in Christ. Christ has been raised. And through His resurrection we hope to rise again: "just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life" (1 Cor 15:22).

Everything hinges on Christ. Christ has risen, and in Him -- that is, united with Him -- we too will rise. Notice that we must be in Christ, in order to rise. The resurrection is after death. But we must become in Christ before death, if we are to rise after death.

The key is to be in Christ. I wonder about metaphors to describe being in Christ. Archbishop Daniel was a capable administrator and, so, perhaps that's why I thought of some images from the world of management.

People in management like to speak about putting together "their team." Being in Christ is like being on the same team as Christ -- you have the same mindset as Christ and you work together with Christ.

People in administration also speak of putting their team together as getting the right people on the bus. This metaphor is far from perfect, but let's try it. Being in Christ is like being on His bus. The final destination is the resurrection. Christ is going to bring us to that destination, to the resurrection, if we are on His bus.

So, people have chances to get on His bus. The bus stops now and again, as it were, and people can get on. The normal way of getting on the bus is by entering the Church through baptism and, then, you continue on the bus through faith and good works, nourished by the sacraments.

Again, the bus stops now and again, and people can get on. The last stop during which a person can board is at the hour of death, but there is no getting on after death. We have to be on the bus by the time of death, in order to arrive at the resurrection after death.

But we can also think of the bus making stops, with those stops being when we can get off the bus. That is, there are times in our lives when we come to a moment of decision. Are we going to continue on in Christ, or turn from the way of Christ? So, in this metaphor of the bus, these moments in our lives are like stops of the bus. The bus stops and Christ says to us: Do you want to get off or are you still on? Are you still with me? It's like what happens after the gospel reading today. Jesus teaches about the Eucharist in today's gospel. We are told we must eat His Flesh and drink His Blood to remain in Him. But some are scandalized and leave Him. So, Jesus asks the disciples whether they want to leave Him. Will they stay on the bus or get off of it.

As we reflect on the mystery of Archbishop Daniel's life, I wonder what those stops were for him. Perhaps they were the different occasions when he was asked to take up a new responsibility. When he was called to be abbot, it was a moment of decision: Would he not only accept it, but apply himself faithfully to its challenges and difficulties? When he was called to be a bishop, perhaps it too was a moment of decision: Would he accept it and energetically dedicate himself to it, despite its crushing burdens? And each time he was called to a new diocese, perhaps those too were these moments. Or when, in these positions, he faced difficult challenges and agonizing choices -- they were these moments. We know he had these difficult moments. You do not hold the positions he held and not have to deal with difficult situations and tough choices.

As we know, in the last several years of his life, Archbishop Daniel's health begin to decline. He couldn't do as much as he had previously done. And he confessed that he did not, at first, handle this well. Some of us remember, I'm sure, a piece published in the archdiocesan newspaper of Dubuque, in which he confessed this. He apologized for being so difficult for others as he dealt with his diminished abilities. This seems to me to be another moment when the bus had stopped, and he had to decide.

The other moments of decision might have been when he undertook active duties. But this moment of decision had to do with not being able to do things. He had to accept limits, the limitations of illness and of old age. Surely, that is a tough thing for anyone to deal with, but especially for someone who had been so active as Archbishop Daniel. The bus had stopped, and the doors were opened -- he could have gotten off by refusing to bear this cross. But it seems to me that he said to Christ: "I'm still on board; I'm still with you along for the ride."

So, God, we ask that you reward Archbishop Daniel, who has journeyed with you through this life. Count him among your good and faithful servants. Complete the mystery of his life by enfolding it in the mystery of Your Son's life. Bring him in Jesus Your Son to the final destination of the resurrection.

Abbot Austin Murphy, O.S.B.

Jubilarians celebrating significant anniversaries in 2017

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on June 12, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Congratulations to our jubilarians celebrating significant anniversaries in 2017. Fr. Ed Kucera (70 years of monastic vows), Fr. Ken Zigmond (60 years of priestly ordination), Fr. Joseph Chang (60 years of priestly ordination), and Fr. David Turner (60 years of monastic vows). Archbishop Daniel would also have had a jubilee this summer, that of forty years since his episcopal ordination at St. Raymond Nonnatus Cathedral.

Most Rev. Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B., Obituary

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on June 2, 2017 at 10:20 AM


X Bishop and VIII Archbishop of Dubuque

V Abbot of St. Procopius Abbey

BORN: May 7, 1923

PROFESSED A MONK: June 16, 1944

ORDAINED A PRIEST: June 16, 1944

ELECTED ABBOT: July 8, 1964


DIED: May 30, 2017


The Most Rev. Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B., retired Archbishop of Dubuque and fifth abbot of St. Procopius Abbey, died in Dubuque while his confreres were singing Vespers on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the fortieth anniversary of being nominated titular bishop of Natchez (Mississippi) and auxiliary to the bishop of Joliet.

William Kucera was born in Chicago on May 7, 1923, second of the four sons of Joseph and Lillian Kucera. A member of Blessed Agnes Parish, he learned at an early age of the Benedictines of St. Procopius, and in 1937 he followed his older brother, the future Father Mathias, in coming to the schools in Lisle.

The young man’s sense of responsibility and managerial talent were recognized very early, and from the time he was a sophomore in high school, he assisted the rector, Father John Cherf. Every night after supper, William would be in the office, balancing the books. He also worked on the school paper, the Procopian News.

Following his sophomore year in college, William entered the monastic novitiate. After professing vows on June 16, 1944, he continued his studies toward the priesthood. In 1945, he was appointed registrar for the schools, a position he held until his ordination by Bishop Martin McNamara on May 26, 1949, at St. Raymond Nonnatus Cathedral in Joliet.

Over the next years, Father Daniel did some teaching in the Academy, but his major assignment was obtaining a master’s degree and doctorate in education from The Catholic University of America. Completing his dissertation on “Church-State Relationships in Education in Illinois,” he was awarded the Ph.D. in 1954.

Father Daniel was then placed in charge of the Education Department at St. Procopius College. Two years later, after the Academy moved to the campus of the former St. Joseph’s Orphanage and Father Adolph Hrdlicka was appointed President of the College, while Father Daniel became College Dean of Studies. The two monks cooperated closely in obtaining formal accreditation for St. Procopius College.

In 1959, at the age of thirty-six, Father Daniel was named President. Over the next five years, a second residence hall and a library were built for the growing student population. With the help of Father Francis Clougherty, Father Daniel developed the College’s lay board in ways that permitted ever greater use of the expertise of friends of the school.

The monks of St. Procopius on July 8, 1964 elected Father Daniel, then forty-one, as the fifth abbot of the community. His blessing at St. Raymond Nonnatus Cathedral on August 19 saw the first use in the U.S. of the newly-approved practice of concelebration — a fit foreshadowing of Abbot Daniel’s role in carrying into effect the reforms mandated by the Second Vatican Council.

As well as changes in the liturgy, incorporation of the lay brothers into the full life of the community, and renewal of formation, Abbot Daniel led his confreres in a reexamination of their apostolic works. The seminary was closed, and both Academy and College became coeducational institutions. At the same time, the Chinese missionary effort the monastery had begun in the 1930s was revived with the establishment of a priory on Taiwan.

Abbot Daniel also announced, only three months after his election, his determination to move ahead with the building of a new church and monastery. This idea had been discussed for a quarter of a century, but now the new abbot’s energy and management brought the plans to fruition. Working closely with the architect, Edward Dart, and Father Michael Komechak, whom he appointed to coordinate the project, Abbot Daniel in June 1970 saw his labors crowned with the blessing of a building that would win several architectural awards in the years ahead.

Soon after, Abbot Daniel, who had long believed that creativity and energy were best stimulated by changes in leadership, decided to resign his office and return to the presidency of what was about to become Illinois Benedictine College. Father Roman Galiardi, who had succeeded Abbot Daniel as President in 1965, was completing his service in that position, and Abbot Daniel felt that the school would best be served if a monk succeeded him.

So, in 1971, Abbot Thomas Havlik was elected and Abbot Daniel (by his own choice) again became known as Father Daniel, as for another five years he oversaw the College’s continued development. A new gymnasium, the Dan and Ada Rice Center, was constructed, and the school’s first graduate program, the Master’s in Business Administration, was inaugurated.

In 1976, Father Daniel, resigning the presidency, accepted the post of Chairman of the College Board of Trustees. He hoped, through fund-raising efforts, to support the work of his successor as President, Dr. Richard C. Becker.

However, in early June 1977, Pope Paul VI appointed Father Daniel titular Bishop of Natchez (Mississippi) and auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Joliet. His episcopal ordination by Bishop Romeo Blanchette took place at St. Raymond Nonnatus Cathedral on the feast of St. Daniel, July 21, 1977.

Bishop Daniel’s educational stature was soon recognized by his appointment as a Trustee for The Catholic University of America. But the situation in Joliet soon required most of his attention, as the health of Bishop Blanchette, struck down by Lou Gehrig’s disease, deteriorated. From January until August of 1979, when Bishop Joseph Imesch arrived, Bishop Daniel served as Apostolic Administrator.

On March 11, 1980, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Daniel the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Salina, Kansas. He was installed on May 23, his fifty-seventh birthday. During his three-and-a-half years in Salina, he reorganized the diocesan offices for greater efficiency and raised funds for the construction of a Catholic student center at Fort Hays State College.

Bishop Daniel was named the eighth Archbishop of Dubuque, Iowa, on December 20, 1983, and was installed on February 23, 1984. Here as always, he placed great stress on leadership development, and the quality of his pastoral letters was much admired, as was his gift for delivering a homily or address perfectly fitted to his hearers. From 1987-1990 and again from 1992-1993, he served as the treasurer for the National Council of Catholic Bishops.

Feeling a diminution in energy, and pleased with the 1994 arrival of Coadjutor Archbishop Jerome Hanus, O.S.B., Archbishop Daniel submitted his resignation, which was accepted by the Holy Father on October 16, 1995. In “retirement,” he moved to Aurora, Colorado, where his younger brother, Father Edward Kucera, O.S.B., was stationed. For over a decade, well past his eightieth birthday, he assisted as a minister of confirmation within the Denver Archdiocese and as a respected speaker and retreat-master for a variety of groups all over the country. In the summer of 2007, he took up residence at the Villa Raphael in Dubuque, and three years later back and hip problems obliged him to move to the Stone Hill Care Center, where he remained until suffering a major heart attack a few days before his death.

Archbishop Daniel visited St. Procopius often during the years, and after his retirement he presided at most of the community’s ordinations. His presence at the monastery was always a pleasure anticipated and enjoyed by his fellow-monks. He remained close to his classmates from Blessed Agnes (now St. Agnes) Parish, often attending their various reunions.

Archbishop Daniel is survived by his monastic community, and, by two brothers, Fr. Edward, O.S.B., and Henry.

In memoriam, a candle burns brightly at table in the monastic refectory. The Archdiocese of Dubuque will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial on June 6 at St. Raphael’s Cathedral. The Abbot and Monks will receive his body on Friday, June 9, 2017, at Vespers, 7:00 p.m. The monastic community will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, June 10, 2017, the forty-seventh anniversary of the blessing of the abbey church and monastery. Interment will be at the abbey cemetery on the campus of Benedictine University.

Please remember Archbishop Daniel in your prayers.

Abbot Austin and Community

St. Procopius Abbey

Lisle, Illinois

Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B., V Abbot of St. Procopius Abbey, died on Tuesday, May 30th at the age of 94.

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on May 31, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Most Reverand Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B., X Bishop and VIII Archbishop of Dubuque, V Abbot of St. Procopius Abbey, died on May 30th, 2017 at the age of 94. Requiescat in pace.

Funeral services are being held at the Cathedral of St. Raphael, Dubuque Iowa, and at St. Procopius Abbey.  Services at St. Procopius Abbey will be held in the Abbey Church on:

Reception of body and vigil - 7:00PM, Friday, June 9th.

Mass of Christian Burial - 10:30AM, Saturday, June 10th.

Visitation - The body of the deceased will lie in the Abbey Church from the Vigil Service on Friday until the Funeral Mass the next day, and may be visited during business hours of the Abbey (the Abbey closes at 9PM and opens at 6AM).


May 7, 1923 — May 30, 2017

Obituary for Most Rev. Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B.

Photo courtesy of The Witness, Archdiocese of Dubuque.

Born in Chicago on May 7, 1923, he learned at an early age about the Benedictines of St. Procopius Abbey, and in 1937 he followed an older brother in coming to the schools in Lisle. Deciding that God chose him for a monastic and priestly vocation, he professed vows in 1944, and, in 1949 was ordained a priest. Following those years, then Fr. Daniel steeped himself in education and fundraising, establishing programs and erecting buildings for St. Procopius College, now Benedictine University, and, the abbey itself.

In 1959, at the age of thirty-six, Father Daniel was named president of the college. Due to his leadership skills, the monks elected Father Daniel, then fortyone, as the fifth abbot of the community in 1964. Three months after his election Abbot Daniel announced his determination to move ahead with the building of a new church and monastery. Working closely with the architect, Edward Dart, Abbot Daniel in June 1970 saw his labors crowned with the blessing of a building that would win several architectural awards in the years ahead.

In June 1977, Pope Paul VI appointed Father Daniel titular Bishop of Natchez (Mississippi) and auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Joliet. On March 11, 1980, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Daniel the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Salina, Kansas. On December 20, 1983, Bishop Daniel was named the eighth Archbishop of Dubuque, Iowa. Though he retired from Dubuque in 1995, Archbishop Daniel continued pastoral ministry and involvement in major fund raisers.

Fr. Julian von Duerbeck, O.S.B., who entered the abbey in 1969, stated that “As abbot, Archbishop Daniel took a truly personal approach to the monk, establishing a relationship with him, so that he acted over everyone as a true spiritual director and formulator of renewal of the abbey.” Asked about the life of his predecessor, Abbot Austin Murphy, the tenth abbot, remarked, “After I became abbot, Archbishop Daniel showed interest in my role as abbot and offered his support and counsel. I remember, the day of my blessing as abbot, that he spoke of maintaining peace within myself. ‘If the community is to be at peace,’ he said, ‘then it is important that its spiritual leader have peace within himself.’” 

St. Wenceslaus Servers' Society and Abbey Schola

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on May 23, 2017 at 12:15 PM

On Sunday May 21st, the graduating seniors of Benet Academy who have participated in St. Wenceslaus Servers' Society and the Abbey Schola were awarded medals of St. Benedict by Abbot Austin and Fr. Julian (moderator of the society), thanking them for all they do to enhance the Abbey's worship on Sundays and major feasts.

Duck Rescue 2017

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on May 16, 2017 at 10:55 AM

Br. Guy discovered this year's family of ducks. Abbot Austin recorded the successful "shepherding" of the ducks from our enclosed courtyard to their new home on the Abbey grounds. 

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62nd anniversary of Dorothy Day's becoming a Benedictine Oblate at St. Procopius Abbey.

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on April 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM

On April 26, 1955, Dorothy Day became a Benedictine Oblate of St. Procopius Abbey. Her cause of canonization is being promoted by the Archdiocese of New York. View our website page on Dorothy Day for more information about this remarkable servant of God.


Oblates of St. Benedict are Christians who associate themselves with a Benedictine community in order to enrich their Christian way of life. This spiritual affiliation is formalized through a promise made to live out the spiritual values reflected in the Rule of St. Benedict in so far as the individual's state in life permits. See our Oblates page for more details, and access the website of the Oblates of St. Benedict affiliated with St. Procopius Abbey, at oblate.webs.com.

Our monastic community prays this prayer every Wednesday before dinner:  O God, may the Church recognize the holiness of Dorothy Day, Servant of God and Benedictine Oblate of St. Procopius Abbey, especially in her dedication to the liturgy, * her desire for the justice of God’s Kingdom, * and her devotion to the poor as persons in whom Christ is welcomed. * Amen.