Photos courtesy of Conception Abbey

From 28 August until 2 September, the annual Synod of Abbots President was held at Conception Abbey, Missouri, USA, the home monastery of Abbot Primate Gregory Polan. The participants discussed the following topics:

  • The upcoming Abbots Congress in 2024, including procedures for the election of the next abbot primate;
  • a new Order of Saint Benedict Confederation calendar;
  • recent experiences with the election of brothers as major superiors;
  • the development of an online Catalogus for the Benedictine Confederation;
  • Collegio Sant’Anselmo, which boasts full occupancy this year;
  • Ateneo Sant’Anselmo, which is going very well;
  • the finances of the Confederation and Sant’Anselmo regarding inflation and commensurate contributions;
  • the Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum and the developments regarding Benedictine women; and
  • individual reports from the 19 congregations.

The hospitality at Conception Abbey was very impressive. One abbot president expressed appreciation for the “American generosity” of “one of the great monastic houses of our time”.

The abbots president also visited the nearby community of Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri, for Vespers and supper on 30 August. During the years after World War I, this Benedictine community did much to help the starving communities of Europe survive. In exchange they got a lot of relics, and subsequently built a special relics chapel to house them.

On 1 September, the members of the Permanent Commission of the Synod were re-elected: Abbot Maksymilian Nawara of the Annuntiation Congregation, Abbot Anthony Puthenpurackal of the Silvestrine Order, and Abbot Jeremias of the Saint Ottilien Congregation. The latter was also reconfirmed as vicar of the abbot primate.