This past week Abbot Christian and seventeen other abbots, Priors and delegates of the monasteries of the English Province of the Subiaco Cassinese Congregation, to which Christ in the Desert belongs, met at the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Scholastica, Subiaco, Italy, some forty-five miles from Rome.

The weather couldn’t have been better for the “Provincial Chapter,” as it is officially called. In addition, the hospitality of Abbot Mauro and the monks and lay staff at Subiaco was superb.

It was at Subiaco that Saint Benedict began his monastic life in a cave, around the year 500 AD. Today, Subiaco is one of the most beautiful shrines in Europe and the home to some twenty-five monks.

It was also at Subiaco that Saint Benedict inaugurated his first full-fledged monastery and several satellite communities before eventually moving to Montecassino, where he died in 547 AD.

The recent Provincial Chapter of the English Province was an opportunity for fraternal exchange and sharing news of the fifteen monasteries represented at the gathering, as well as preparing for the next General Chapter of the entire Subiaco Cassinese Congregation, which will occur in Spain during part of the month September, 2024.

Following the General Chapter of our Congregation next year, which will be at the Benedictine Abbey of Montserrat in Spain, there will be a Congress of all the Benedictine monasteries of the world, taking place in Rome.

The “many meetings” described above normally happen only every four years. The pandemic threw the usual scheduling off, but we Benedictines should be “back on track” for scheduled gatherings in the Fall of 2024.

Today’s photo was taken by Abbot Christian at one of the ancient cloisters of Saint Scholastica Abbey, Subiaco.

As Saint Benedict wrote in his Rule, and still pursued by Benedictines everywhere: That in all things God may be glorified!

With this comes our prayers and greetings in the Lord,

Abbot Christian and the monks