Photo courtesy of Belmont Abbey

On 4 June 2024 the monks of Belmont Abbey, UK, elected Dom Brendan Thomas to be their 12th abbot, for a term of eight years.

Fr. Brendan was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, in 1964. Belmont itself is in the Archdiocese of Cardiff, located close to the border of England and Wales. He was educated at Belmont Abbey School and holds a degree in accountancy.

Clothed in 1987, he made solemn profession in 1992. He did his theological studies in Rome at the Angelicum. He was ordained a priest in 1993 and completed a license at the Monastic Institute of Sant’Anselmo in Rome.

For nearly 30 years, Fr. Brendan organised the monastery’s retreat programme. In 2000, he became novice master, a responsibility he held for 22 years. After a period as the monastery’s prior in 2022, he was appointed parish priest of St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Hereford, where he served until his election as abbot.

Fr. Brendan is perhaps best known in the monastic world due to his leadership of the Monastic Formators’ Programme, which he started alongside Fr. Mark Butlin OSB in 2002. Fr. Brendan has always considered it to be a great grace and blessing to assist in the valuable work of formation of Benedictines and Cistercians from so many different countries.

Belmont Abbey, with its daughter house, the Monastery of Santísima Trinidad in Lurín, Peru, is a community of just under 40 monks. Founded in 1859 as the common novitiate for the English Benedictine Congregation, it was raised to the status of an abbey in 1920. Community members are engaged in various apostolates involving the care of parishes in the dioceses of Cardiff, Birmingham and Lancaster as well as leading retreats and providing hospitality.

He will be blessed as abbot on Friday, 12 July, by the archbishop of Cardiff, Most Rev. Mark O’Toole.