Photo: Abbot Primate Gregory Polan, OSB; Fr. Joseph Wong, OSB CAM (Camaldoli Monastery, Italy); Abbot Jeremias Schröder, OSB (President of the Congregation of St. Ottilien); and Archabbot emeritus Douglas Nowicki, OSB (St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, PA, USA)

The Benedictine Commission on China (BCC) brings together representatives from Benedictine monasteries throughout the world to exchange information about the work of their communities related to China and to discuss cooperation on projects for China. The meeting is held each year at Sant’Anselmo on the first Saturday after Ash Wednesday; this year the meeting was held the morning of 5 March 2022.  This meeting was in-person, so the number of participants, given the pandemic, was not as many as usual.

The Abbot Primate, Abbot Gregory Polan, OSB, is the head of the BCC. The monasteries of monks especially active related to China include St. Ottilien Archabbey (Germany), St. Vincent Archabbey (Latrobe, PA, USA), Waegwan Abbey (Korea), St. John’s Abbey (Collegeville MN, USA), and Camaldoli Monastery (Italy).

Benedictine Sisters currently or previously involved with China are the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing, the Olivetan Benedictines (Busan, Korea), and St. Benedict’s Monastery (St. Joseph’s, MN, USA).

During the meeting, reports were presented that had been prepared by Benedictine communities involved with China. Especially impressive was the development of the Benedictine monasteries of sisters and monks in Taiwan.  Among the topics discussed this year were current and tentative Benedictine-type communities in China, using the excellent Zoom facilities at Sant’Anselmo to offer lectures by Chinese Benedictines in Rome for novices in Taiwan, and the possibility for students in Taiwan and elsewhere in East Asia to take the on-line Latin and Greek courses now offered by Sant’Anselmo in English.