Pope Francis: Monasteries Are Oases

Speaking to some two-hundred and fifty Benedictine abbots, conventual priors and abbesses, gathered in Rome at Sant’ Anselmo for the Abbots’ Congress, Pope Francis reminded the assembled of the special role that Benedictines play in the world.


Vatican Radio writes:

Pope Francis says today’s society “is increasingly showing its need of mercy” and described Benedictine monasteries “as oases of spirituality” where people can obtain that mercy.

[T]he Pope said monks and nuns have a vocation of nurturing their special gift and responsibility: namely “to keep alive the oases of the spirit, where clergy and the lay faithful can dip into the springs of divine mercy.”

This vocation is very much needed now, as

Today’s world clearly demonstrates the need for a mercy that is the heart of Christian life and “which definitively manifests the authenticity and credibility of the message of which the Church is the depository, and which she proclaims. And in this time and in this Church, called to focus increasingly on the essential, monks and nuns safeguard by vocation a peculiar gift and a special responsibility: that of keeping alive the oases of the spirit, where pastors and faithful can draw from the wellsprings of divine mercy” 

Pope Francis greets Abbot Primate Notker Wolf, superior of the Benedictine order, during a meeting with the heads of Benedictine monasteries from around the world at the Vatican Sept. 8. The Benedictines are meeting in Rome Sept. 3-16 to elect a new abbot primate. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout) See POPE-BENEDICTINES and VATICAN-LETTER-BENEDICTINES Sept. 8, 2016.

Speaking to this theme, outgoing Abbot Primate Nokter Wolf said in an interview with Catholic News Service that:

When guests visit a monastery, … “they are also there looking for people with whom they can talk to about their life. They have a quiet place where they may discover again the sense of their life, come back to their roots and to eventually find their roots in God.”


The Pope continued by telling the gathering that their living the Benedictine life “announce[s] evangelical fraternity from all their monasteries spread out in every corner of the globe, and they do so with that purposeful and eloquent silence that lets God speak out in the deafening and distracted life of the world.”

He further encouraged them to continue in their calling to “participate in God’s creative work.”


One comment

  1. What a beautiful affirmation! And thanks for the lovely pictures too, David. It really makes it come to life.

    Any bets on who the next Abbot Primate might be? Robert Mickens says Gregory Polan from Conception Abbey is considered the most likely candidate. Thoughts?

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