Father David Anderson Lectures…..

                           As part of our ongoing spiritual and monastic formation, our monastery has profited by the presence of Father David Anderson, an Eastern Catholic priest and Patristic scholar from Ukiah, California. Father David serves as pastor at...

Impressions of Italy: Saint Rose of Viterbo

Because so many of the canonized saints and blesseds of the Church were born in Italy, lived here for some time and/or died here, innumerable Italian cities have a particular patron saint associated with their city. Rita of Cassia, Francis of Assisi, Angela of...

Impressions of Rome: Christmas

Recently I have been asked, more than once, “So how was your Christmas?” Before answering the question, I would ask another. Have you noticed that Americans now begin almost every question with the word, “So”? I haven’t quite figured out why that is, but it seems all...

Impressions of Rome: Feast of Sant’Ambrogio

Our Subiaco Cassinese Congregation has its curia or headquarters at what was the ancestral property of the great Bishop and Doctor of the Church, Saint Ambrose of Milan, as he is usually called, who lived from 340 -397. His officially name was “Ambrosius Aurelianus,”...

Impressions of Rome: The Flight of Books

As a youngest growing up near the Oregon coast, my family frequently visited the beach town of Seaside, where my maternal grandparents and one aunt lived. My paternal grandparents had a cabin there also, to use when we wished. I loved the coast, though not so much the...

Impressions of Rome: A Papal Audience

Those readers who have been to Rome might wonder why I have never written in these weekly postings about going to a papal audience. I confess I have not been to one for many years, but recently that changed. On November 15th this year I attended an outdoor papal...

OBLATE NEWS

Our Oblate Director, Fr. Joseph Gabriel has received the following announcement: The Benedictine Sisters of St. Gertrude monastery in Cottonwood, Idaho will be offering a symposium for oblates.   “Oblates for the Future – Symposium 2018” will be a five day,...

Impressions of Rome: On Pilgrimage

From November 10th to the 12th this year I assisted with a pilgrimage of Benedictine oblates to important sites in and around the Eternal City. Thirty-five men and women from Australia to the Netherlands to the United States, and places in between, had signed up (and...

Impressions of Rome: All Souls Day

All Souls Day is on November 2nd, a day when Catholics and many other Christians traditionally commemorate the Faithful Departed, remembering in prayer all those who have died. This year on All Souls Day I visited the monumental Roman cemetery of Verano, next to the...

Impressions of Rome: Pines of Rome

I recently sent a friend in Michigan a short video clip of Piazza Venezia here in Rome, one of the city’s busiest places most of the day. In the early morning, though, before 8:30 am, it is a fairly tranquil thoroughfare and almost exudes an air of peace at an...

Monte Cassino and Subiaco, November 10 – 12.

Fr Christian and Br Philip at Monte Cassino, Italy, with oblates of Christ in Desert who attended the World Congress of Benedictine Oblates, November 4 – 10, outside of Rome. Our monks assisted with the pilgrimage for oblates to sites in Rome, Monte Cassino and...

Impressions from Rome: Solitude and Availability

Growing up Catholic in the 1950s and 60s in the city of Portland, Oregon, we were blessed with two strikingly Catholic sites. The first was the Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, popularly called “the Grotto,” run by Catholic friars, the Servants of Mary, usually...

Writing From Rome

In case anyone is wondering, this is my forty-second entry for the “Our Monk in Rome” project. Each week, for the past forty-two weeks, I have submitted an essay to my computer savvy brothers in New Mexico to post on our website. That kind of technicality is far...

Impressions of Italy: Assisi in Umbria

Over the weekend of September 29 – 30 this year I attended, along with two other members of our Sant’Ambrogio curia, the Fourth International Congress on Christian Mysticism. This event is one of bringing together scholars, and those less than scholars, like myself,...

Impressions of Rome: Signs on the Walls

While the appearance of the internet has undoubtedly changed many ways of doing things in Italy over the past thirty years, that is, since I finished my course of studies here in 1988, some things remain unchanged. One of them is the announcements of coming events...

SECOND ESL GRADUATION

The Monastery just celebrated the graduation of its second class of five “student” monks from a three week long immersion into learning English. The class was directed by Dr. Bill Nagel, a graduate from the University of Arkansas and a certified ESL teacher. He...

Impression of Italy: San Giuseppe Moscati

On my visit to Napoli (Naples) earlier this year, I was taken to a shrine in a church near the historic center of town, honoring the memory of the Italian medical doctor and saint, Giuseppe (Joseph) Moscati, who lived from 1880 to 1927. Moscati was beatified by Pope,...

Impressions of Italy: Two Tuscan Hermitages

An important summer break for Italians happens in the middle of August, at the time of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15th each year. A few days before and some days after August 15th, things tend to come to a standstill in Italy....

Impressions of Rome: Dogs

Fair warning: dog lovers may not wish to read this essay. It is not all complimentary of “canis in speciebus,” the proper Latin name for “man’s best friend.” Some of what follows may offend those who believe that a dog can do no wrong or harm. Maybe not all dog owners...

WEBSITE UPDATED WITH NEW SAYINGS AND STORIES OF THE DESERT FATHERS

  We are pleased to announce that the Monastery’s website (www.christdesert.org) has been updated in its “Prayer + Chant” section!  A variety of sayings and stories from the early monastic “Desert Fathers” of the Church were added as spiritual teachings for the...

Impressions of Italy: Soggiorno

I have refrained from writing about this until I had my very own. And what could the mystery item be? A car? A motorcycle? A new phone? No, nothing like that. It is in fact the title of this essay, a “Soggiorno.” And what on earth is that? I can explain. The Italian...