St. Benedict's Rule for Business Success Review by duz15726


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   A publication of The Laboure Society                                                   VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1, FEBRUARY 2009

         Conception Abbey Is Benedictine Witness
         The Rule of St. Benedict isn’t always an easy thing to              Conception Abbey also runs the Printery House, which
follow. In fact, some early monks who entreated St. Benedict to      spreads the Gospel through the production of Christian art and
become their abbot eventually tried to poison him. Nevertheless,     greeting cards. Proceeds from the Printery House help support
there has been a great need for monasticism in our world and St.     Conception Seminary College.
Benedict’s words have served                                                                           The monks are historians,
as a guide for this vocation                                                                           writers, scholars, teach-
for 1500 years. Today, with 9                                                                          ers, musicians and artisans.
young monks in formation and                                                                           Through their various aposto-
continued contributions to the                                                                         lates, they have made substan-
liturgical life of the Church,                                                                         tial contributions throughout
Conception Abbey is proof that                                                                         the Midwest and beyond.
the witness of Benedictine mo-
nasticism is very much alive in                                                                            Revised Grail Psalter
the world.                                                                                                       One of the most recent,
                                                                                                           major contributions monks
About Conception                                                                                           of Conception Abbey have
          Conception Abbey was                                                                             made to the wider Church
established in 1873 when Ab-                                                                               has been the Revised Grail
bot Frowin Conrad and seven                                                                                Psalter.
novices journeyed from Engel-                                                                                    The life of a Benedic-
berg Abbey in Switzerland to          Novice Isaac Dale becomes Br. Placid in August 2008.                 tine monk hinges upon the
northwest Missouri in order to                                                                            motto ora et labora, which is
establish a foundation to minister to Irish and German Catholic Latin for “pray and work.” Specifically, St. Benedict intended
settlers. Today, the spiritual descendents of Abbot Frowin provide his followers to be deeply rooted in the psalms, drawing upon
pastoral care to 15 parishes—as well as hospitals, religious houses their richness in writing his holy Rule and expounding at length
and schools—throughout Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and upon how they should be prayed. For nearly 1,500 years now,
Wyoming.                                                            Benedictines have carried on the tradition of their founder, and
          As administrators and members of the faculty of Concep- the Order is well known for its dedication to the liturgy. It should
tion Seminary College (one of the largest college seminaries in come as no surprise, then, that when the U.S. Bishop’s Commit-
North America), the monks provide spiritual guidance, academic tee on the Liturgy wanted a new translation of the psalms for use
training and character formation to young men considering a in the liturgy, they approached Conception Abbey’s own Abbot
priestly vocation. Currently, there are 108 young men studying Gregory Polan to undertake a revision of the 1963 Grail Psalter.
toward the priesthood at Conception Seminary College. Most of
these are diocesan priesthood candidates but there are also a few What are the Grail Psalms?
students from religious communities (including Conception Abbey               In the years leading up to Vatican II, when the liturgy was
itself) that study at the seminary.                                 still in Latin but moving toward greater lay participation, the psalm
          Through the Abbey Guest Center, the monks welcome responses of the Mass were permitted to be sung in the vernacular.
nearly 10,000 pilgrims per year to the abbey and offer a wide ar- A French Jesuit by the name of Joseph Gelineau prepared a French
ray of retreats, tours and youth programs. One particular highlight translation of the psalms which was very rhythmic and worked
of the monastery is the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, well with a particular set of psalm tones. In response to his work,
where the monks gather six times a day for the Divine Office and a community of laywomen formed a secular institute called The
Mass. Elevated to the status of major basilica in 1941 by Pope Grail (of England) and undertook an English translation of Fr.
Pius XII, its rare collection of Beuronese murals are truly worth Gelineau’s work. They employed scholars and musicians to work
                                                                                                                   Continued on page 3
  2 ~ Aspirant ~ Laboure Society
President’s Column

  Strategic Planning Retreat Maps Future Goals for Society
         This past November the Laboure            • Need for stronger general fund balance      sion of the organization. The facilitator for
Society held its first strategic planning          and working capital.                           the retreat, Gary Martini, encouraged all of
retreat. The Board of Directors, Officers,                                                        the participants to stay involved and Gary
                                                   • Building a stronger infrastructure.
staff members and twelve leaders in the                                                          himself set a great example by volunteering
community spent a full Saturday reviewing          • Find funding for a paid staff person to     to join the Board of Directors.
the mission, status, strengths, needs and         handle administrative work.                             With a downturn in the economy,
priorities for the organization.                    • Better use of existing technology to       fundraising for the Laboure Society has
         Abbot Marcel Rooney, our spiritual       facilitate communication.                      become even more challenging during
advisor, flew in from Texas where he had            • Better defining organizational/business      the past few months. I do ask that you
directed two weeks of retreats for priests to     model for future growth.                       prayerfully consider making a donation to
participate in our strategic planning retreat                                                    the general operating fund of the Laboure
(yes, he is amazing). The Abbot celebrated
                                                   • Greater public awareness of the organi-     Society so that we can continue with our
                                                  zation and its programs.
a beautiful liturgy for all of the participants                                                  important mission of helping aspirants
and truly inspired those present to continue       • Succession planning.                        answer God’s call.
with the important mission of the Laboure
Society knowing that God’s holy will is                   The participants then identified the    God bless you for your generosity.
being fulfilled.                                   following three priority areas:
         During the retreat the following          • General funding.
strengths of the Society were identified:           • Communications.
 • Strong mission statement.                       • Man power.                                  Joseph F. Kueppers
 • Good data base management practices
 • Good working model: a credible system                   After identifying the three prior-    President, The Laboure Society
for addressing needs of aspirants.                ity areas, the participants developed ideas
                                                  to assist the Society in these three areas.
  • Personal involvement of each aspirant         The program concluded with a review and
in the program.
                                                  analysis of the ideas for the three priority      The Laboure Society, Inc.
 • Energy, commitment and dedication of           areas. All participants were then asked                BOARD OF DIRECTORS
the leadership.                                   to volunteer to take the ideas and further
                                                  develop them so that they could be imple-                      Kevin Kalal
        The following needs of the orga-          mented by the Society.                                       Joseph Kueppers
nization were identified:                                                                                         Guy Martini
                                                           The strategic planning retreat was
                                                                                                                Michael Smeby
 • Creating an organized system for pay-          a great success and the ideas generated will
ment of overhead expenses.                        be used by the Society to further the mis-
                                                                                                             Spiritual Director
                                                                                                         Abbot Marcel Rooney, OSB

                                                                                                             Executive Director
                                                                                                                 Cy Laurent
                                                             Please use the                              Eagan, MN • 651-340-7060
                                                    enclosed envelope to help.
                                                                                                  The Laboure Society exists to provide
                                                         Every gift of $100 or more
                                                                                                  financial assistance to individuals who
                                                       receives the Lenten Liturgical             must eliminate debt in order to pursue
                                                                                                  their vocation to priesthood or religious
                                                      Music CD:"Lenten Reflections"
                                                                                                  life in the Catholic Church.
                                                             as our gift to you!
                                                                                                  Mail donations to 1620 Johnny Cake
                                                                                                  Ridge Lane, Eagan, MN 55122.

                                                                                                       Aspirant ~ Laboure Society ~ 3

Conception Abbey
Continued from page 1
on the project and they began to release the
fruits of their work in a series of books,
each containing a few psalms, throughout
the 1950s. The full version with all 150
psalms was released in 1963.
         Just like the French Gelineau
psalm tones, the 1963 Grail Psalter proved
to be very well-suited for choral recitation,
singing and chanting. It was soon incorpo-
rated into the Liturgy of the Hours. While
the lectionary in the United States used the
psalms of the New American Bible and the
Revised Standard Version, the 1963 Grail
Psalms were also permitted for use as the
Responsorial Psalm at Mass. GIA Publica-
tions of Chicago featured these Responso-
rial Psalms in their Worship III Hymnal.
                                                     Grail Psalter monks (from left to right) Fr. Timothy Schoen, Abbot Gregory Polan, Br.
Why was a new translation                         David Wilding, Br. Michael Marcotte, and Br. Jude Person.

needed?                                           which is currently not the case as far as the   needed to be suitable for choral recitation,
         The 1963 Grail Psalms made               psalms are concerned. The Revised Grail         singing and chanting. When Abbot Gregory
a wonderful transition from Latin into            Psalter will be the official translation used    agreed then, mentioning that he was first
English because they were so easily un-           in the Lectionary, the Liturgy of the Hours,    an abbot though, the bishops were happy
derstood, they had a clear poetic rhythm          the texts for all books of the Sacraments,      to communicate that they just wanted the
and they could be recited and sung with           etc.                                            job done right.
ease. All of these things were important                                                                    So, Abbot Gregory began the proj-
objectives when the Ladies of the Grail set                                                       ect, enlisting the help of other monks of
about their work. And while the 1963 Grail        Why Conception?                                 Conception Abbey, and after four years an
Psalter was very successful in this regard,                 Obviously, a project of this scope
                                                                                                  initial draft was completed. This draft was
there are places where the adherence to a         is quite the undertaking. But why were
                                                                                                  then brought before a November meeting
set rhythm necessitated a paraphrase of           monks of Conception chosen to bring this
                                                                                                  of the Bishop’s Committee on Divine Wor-
the original Hebrew as opposed to a more          work to fruition? As mentioned above, the
                                                                                                  ship where it was approved to undergo the
authentic translation, taking into consider-      mere fact that Conception Abbey is a Bene-
                                                                                                  rigorous process to deem it an acceptable
ation the sometimes irregular rhythm of the       dictine monastery is already a tally mark
                                                                                                  translation. And acceptable it was as the
Hebrew Psalms. Since Vatican II, however,         under the “pros” column. However, it is the
                                                                                                  USCCB approved its widespread use in a
we have seen a move to preserve sacred            combination of the scholarly pursuits of
                                                                                                  203-5 vote at their meeting of November
texts’ fidelity to their original sources.         Abbot Gregory Polan that made the initial
                                                                                                  11, 2008. It is now awaiting approval from
Secondly, since the 1950s when most of            request from the U.S. Bishop’s Committee
                                                                                                  the Vatican.
these psalms were composed, “Much has             on the Liturgy in June of 1998 the first and
happened in the area of biblical scholar-         obvious choice.
                                                            Abbot Gregory would tell anyone       What does this mean for the
ship to enable us to understand better both
the structure of Hebrew poetry and some           (and he told the Bishop’s Committee) that       Church?
of the more problematic texts,” Abbot             he is first and foremost an abbot. Next on the            For the Faithful who attend any
Gregory said. He continued, “This scholar-        list, though, you’ll find “Scripture Scholar”    liturgy in English, the Revised Grail Psal-
ship will make a more accurate translation        and “Musician.” After working on a trans-       ter means consistency in what they’ll hear
possible.”                                        lation of a section of the book of Isaiah in    across the board. For musicians and those
         Additionally, the Congregation           the Revised New American Bible, the staff       who use the psalms for choral recitation or
for Divine Worship and the Discipline of          at the Bishops’ Conference—knowing also         chanting, it means a translation which is
the Sacraments’ 2001 document Liturgiam           his musical background—rightly assessed         well suited to these uses without sacrificing
Authenticam insists that a consistent trans-      that his combination of abilities especially    the integrity of the translation.
lation be used in all the texts of the liturgy,   suited him to the task of revising the Grail
                                                  Psalter which, like the 1963 Grail Psalter,                          Continued on page 4
 4 ~ Aspirant ~ Laboure Society

Conception Abbey
Continued from page 3
All in all, the consistency and fidelity to the ancient texts of the
psalms means that the Revised Grail Psalter will help promote a
more effective, unified catechesis.
         For Conception Abbey, the Revised Grail Psalter is an-
other way that they, in their 135 years since their founding, have
been able to respond to the needs of the Church, resonating in a
very direct way with St. Benedict’s words, “Ut in omnibus glori-
ficetur Deus”–“That in everything, God may be glorified.”

New Vocations
         St. Benedict begins his Rule with the words, “Listen
carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them
                                                                           Nine young monks in formation with Abbot Gregory and Nov-
with the ear of your heart.” Last fall at Conception, four young       ice Master Br. Bernard: from left to right are (top row) Br. David
men expressed their desire to heed the master’s instructions: two      Wilding, Abbot Gregory Polan, Br. Bernard Montgomery, Br. Placid
through the profession of solemn, perpetual vows, one by begin-        Dale, Br. Anselm Broom, Br. Pachomius Meade, (middle row) Br.
ning a novitiate year and one—Br. Placid Dale—through the              Victor Schinstock, Br. Guerric Letter, Br. Macario Martinez, (bottom
                                                                       row) Br. Paul Sheller and Novice Adam Burkhart.
profession of simple vows.
         Born Isaac Dale, the middle of three sons born to Paul and
Deaonna Dale, Br. Placid, 25, grew up in Salem, MO. His family         Miraculous Medal
was always very active in their parish and, as Br. Placid got older,        Graces Given, Blessings Bestowed
he became involved with several different youth conferences.
This involvement gave him opportunities to grow deeper in his              The medal of the Immaculate Conception, commonly called
                                               faith, which other-     the Miraculous Medal, was manifested to a spiritual daughter
 The life of a Benedictine monk hinges wise might have been                                   of Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Catherine
 upon the motto ora et labora, which difficult in the pre-                                     Labouré. This took place in the chapel of the
 is Latin for “pray and work.”                 dominantly Southern                            Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity, 140
                                               Baptist community.                             rue du Bac, Paris, France.
Br. Placid’s father is an alumnus of Conception Seminary College                                     Saint Catherine describes the appari-
and after the tragic shootings of 2002, the family made a visit to                            tion of our Lady on November 27, 1830, in
the Abbey. Impressed by the prayer and peace of the place, the                                these words:
experience of this visit would stay with Br. Placid through his time                              “Her feet rested on a white globe. I saw
at Missouri State University in Springfield where he majored in                                rings on her fingers, and each ring was set
vocal music education. After a friend gave him a copy of the Rule                             with gems. The larger gems emitted greater
of St. Benedict, Br. Placid’s inclination toward a monastic vocation                          rays and the smaller gems, smaller rays. I
grew and he returned to Conception four different times, each time     could not express what I saw, the beauty and the brilliance of the
expressing more interest in the community. Finally he began to         dazzling rays. A voice said, ‘They are the symbols of the graces
work at Conception as a volunteer which lasted 7 months before         I shed upon those who ask for them.’
entering the postulancy in April of 2007. Novice Isaac became             A frame formed round the Blessed Virgin. Within it was writ-
Br. Placid on the feast of the Assumption, August 15, 2008.            ten in letters of gold: ‘O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us
         Br. Placid and the three other monks who advanced to          who have recourse to you.’ Then the voice said, ‘Have a Medal
different stages of vows this fall are among nine total monks          struck after this model. All who wear it will receive great graces;
at different stages of formation here at Conception. Some are          they should wear it around the neck.’ At this instant the tableau
pursuing ordination, others graduate studies in philosophy or          seemed to turn, and I beheld the reverse of the Medal: a large
theology, and some are already contributing to the daily life and      ‘M’ surmounted by a bar and a cross; beneath the ‘M’ were the
normal operations of the community. The number and quality of          Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the one crowned with thorns, the other
these young men is truly a blessing for the monastery and surely       pierced with a sword.”
an indication that the Holy Spirit is hard at work.                        The Medal was made according to our Lady’s design. It was
         May God continue to call young people to their vocations      freely circulated and in a short time was worn by millions. Many
and bestow upon them the courage to answer that call.                  graces were given and blessings bestowed until the little Medal of
         If you would like more information on Conception Abbey,       the Immaculate Conception became known by the name it bears
please visit: or call 660-944-2823.            today, the Miraculous Medal.

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