A Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery of men

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Palm Sunday - juxtaposition of winter and spring

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on April 14, 2019 at 2:50 PM

From Abbot Austin's Facebook post on Palm Sunday, April 14th: 

Happy Palm Sunday! We're having a snowy one here. You can see the snow draping the green buds in this photo, if you look closely. This juxtaposition of winter and spring reminds me of the words in the Paschal Sequence, “Death and life contended” -- and the victory went to life!

Coach Andy Marchese honored at Benet Academy

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on April 12, 2019 at 2:30 PM

On April 12th, Benet Academy surprised Coach Andy Marchese with a welcome reception in St. Daniel Hall. The 96-year-old Benet Legend served as Benet’s Band Director for many years. 

Retired as well as current Benet Faculty and Staff attended the reception. In addition to connecting with former colleagues, Coach Marchase was able to hear performances from the Concert Chorale, Wind Ensemble, and Orchestra. Coach Marchese then directed the Ensemble and Orchestra in the Alma Mater and Fight Song, both of which he composed when he served as Benet’s Band Director, and treated the group to a trumpet performance!

Amidst a wide-ranging musical career, Coach Marchese has been connected with Benet Academy for over sixty years. Looking for a job, he happened to show up in the office of then St.Procopius Academy Principal, Father Thomas Havlik, just after a graduation during which the band's playing collapsed in the midst of the national anthem. Coach Marchese was hired on the spot, and he's been one of the Academy's treasures ever since.

Living a balanced life - Benedictine balance

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on January 8, 2019 at 10:15 PM

As part of the resources shared at this year's SEEK2019 event, Abbot Austin and Fr. James offered insights on Benedictine balance and living a balanced life. The two pictures below offer examples of reflections shared. The full resources can be found on our website's Benedictine Balance page.


To build on the theme of living a balanced life, attendees enjoyed the Jenga game at our booth. It was a fun way to emphasize the importance of balance.

Finally, to share our Benedictine balance resources digitally, we held an Instagram contest, Participation was great and the winner, pictured below, received an Amazon gift card. We are very pleased that many students are now accessing Benedictine resources through Abbot Austin's Instagram @abbotaustin as well as on Facebook and YouTube. See our website Home page for links to all of the St. Procopius Abbey social media sites.

SEEK2019 - Fellowship of Catholic University Students

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on January 8, 2019 at 9:20 PM

Abbot Austin and Fr. James enjoyed being part of SEEK2019 hosted by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). The five day conference in held in Indianapolis gathered over 17,000 young Catholics from around the world. Abbot Austin and Fr. James shared resources on Lectio Divina, living a balanced life, and many other resources on Benedictine spirituality.  Additional photos are shared on Abbot Austin's Instagram @abbotaustin, Fr. James' Facebook page, and our website blog at procopius.org. #SEEK2019

Sister Judith Davies, OSF, receives the 2018 Kucera Catholic Leadership Award

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on December 4, 2018 at 8:30 PM

On December 4, 2018, Sister Judith Davies, OSF, received the 5th annual Kucera Catholic Leadership Award. The Kucera Catholic Leadership Award is given to individuals in our region who have demonstrated leadership in the Catholic Church by extraordinarily serving others as people in whom Christ is received. Sister Judith Davies has been Chancellor of the Diocese of Joliet since 1990. Abbot Austin's introduction remarks in the presentation of the award to Sister Judith are provided below the photographs.

Abbot Austin's introduction remarks in the presentation of the award to Sister Judith Davies, OSF:


The Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera Catholic Leadership Award was begun five years ago in memory of Archbishop Daniel, who died in May of 2017.

Archbishop Daniel was a monk of St. Procopius Abbey who used his talents to serve the Church generously in many ways. As our community’s fifth abbot, he led our community through an important time of transition.

Archbishop Daniel also served as president of our college, Benedictine University, then called Illinois Benedictine College. After this, he served as an auxiliary bishop of the Joliet Diocese from 1977 to 1980. In 1980, Archbishop Daniel was asked to serve as the bishop of Salinas, KS, and then, in 1984, he was installed as the archbishop of Dubuque, IA. He finished his term as archbishop in Dubuque in 1996.

The Kucera Catholic Leadership Award is for a Catholic in our region who has demonstrated leadership in the Church by extraordinarily serving others as people in whom Christ is received.




This year we are happy to give the award to Sister Judith Davies. Sister Judith was born in Fort Wayne, IN, and as a young woman, experiencing the call to serve God by serving others, she joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart out of Frankfort, IL. She celebrated her 60th jubilee as a Franciscan Sister two years ago.


As a Franciscan Sister, Sister Judith worked in education, both as a teacher and in administration. In 1989, she was asked to help in the Diocese of Joliet.


Initially, she was asked to be the Coordinator of the Joliet Diocesan Synod, which was then followed by appointments to the following positions: Executive Secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, Assistant to the Diocesan Board of Conciliation, and Assistant Chancellor. Soon after this, in 1990, she was appointed to the position for which she is perhaps best known, Chancellor of the Diocese of Joliet. After almost thirty years of service, she will be retiring as Chancellor this year. In addition to being Chancellor, Sister Judith has also served in recent years as Archivist and Delegate for Religious in the Diocese of Joliet. She will continue as the Delegate for Religious as well as be Secretary for Clergy and Religious.


Outside of the Joliet Chancery, Sister Judith has further demonstrated her generous spirit of service by serving on various boards, committees, and councils. She has also worked in formation for her congregation of Franciscan Sisters.


I think many, if not most, in this room know Sister Judith due to her many years of service in our diocese. And I suspect that like me, you admire her for not only for her professional competency, but also for her graciousness and her stabilizing influence. She has used her many talents to serve our local church well for many years.


Sister Judith, we thank you for all your service through many years and in many situations. We are happy to award you with this year's Kucera Catholic Leadership Award.

Inter-Faith Thanksgiving Service

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on November 19, 2018 at 11:15 PM

On November 19th, St. Procopius Abbey was pleased to host the 28th Annual DuPage Inter-Faith Thanksgiving Service.

Following the Papal Assisi Model of praying in each other’s presence, the annual event gathers the Benedictine monks of the Abbey, Buddhist Zen, Hindu, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, Zoroastrians, Theosophists, Bahai, and Protestants. The Abbey Schola also sang several pieces of Gregorian chant.

Monastic Interreligious Dialogue was initiated by Pope Paul VI, and endorsed by Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.


Bishop Conlon presides at the All Saints Day Mass followed by a diocesan Campus Ministry gathering

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on November 1, 2018 at 10:35 PM

On November 1st, Bishop Conlon presided at the All Saints Mass held at St. Procopius Abbey. The Mass was followed by a gathering of campus ministers from all of the colleges within the Diocese of Joliet. The campus ministry team from Benedictine University arranged the event with the diocese's Office of Young Adult and Youth Ministry. St. Procopius Abbey was pleased to host this year's Mass and gathering.

Freshman Students from Benedictine University visit the Abbey

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on November 1, 2018 at 9:30 AM

As part of their BenU class, over 200 freshman students toured St. Procopius Abbey to gain insight on Benedictine spirituality and monastic life. Students met with monks and staff for presentations on communal prayer, personal prayer, history of the Benedictine monks, monastic life, and an overview video of St. Procopius Abbey which can be found on the HOME page of our website. We thank the faculty of Benedictine University for arranging this impactful experience.

Modern applications of the Rule of St. Benedict - Code of Conduct (CoC)

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on October 29, 2018 at 11:15 PM

Abbot Austin shared an interesting article about a company's attempt to create a Code of Conduct (CoC) using the Rule of St. Benedict (see Abbot Austin's FaceBook page, Abbot Austin G. Murphy, OSB).

Within the context of industry, a code of conduct (CoC) can be described as "Principles, values, standards, or rules of behaviour that guide the decisions, procedures and systems of an organization in a way that (a) contributes to the welfare of its key stakeholders, and (b) respects the rights of all constituents affected by its operations." (Cited from the International Federation of Accountants.)

Abbot Austin's comment regarding the article: I can't say I know a lot about "CoCs" (Codes of Conduct) in the Tech industry, but the use of the Rule of St. Benedict, particular chap. 4 on the instruments of good works, for a CoC caught my eye. I like the quote that calls the Rule the "Mozart equivalent of a CoC"!

See our website pages within BENEDICTINE SPIRITUALITY for links to the Rule of St. Benedict as well as other insights on St. Benedict's teachings and Benedictine Spirituality. 

Benedictine Heritage Freshman Retreat

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on October 11, 2018 at 9:00 PM

Freshman students from Benet Academy visited the Abbey on October 10th to participate in the Benedictine Heritage Freshman Retreat. Thank you to all the Benet faculty and student leaders that worked hard to arrange a special retreat for the freshman students.