Director's Letter

July 16, 2015

Feast of Our Lady of Einsiedeln


The Feast of our Lady of Einsiedeln always calls us back to our roots in our “grandmother” house in Switzerland.  It also reminds us of two constants in the Benedictine life: a special devotion to Mary and a monastic community that is a center for pilgrims who come to pray and honor God.  Since the dedication of the Marmion Abbey Church in 1998, it is evident that our Abbey Church has become a special place for daily “pilgrims” to our Eucharist and Office.  Our Lady Chapel with its statue of Our Lady of Einsiedeln is a revered part of that attraction.  I pray that all who come to the Abbey Church will continue to find consolation and peace.


It has been a busy month of comings and goings for the monks.  Abbot John, Abbot Vincent and Fr. Charles accompanied a group of over thirty Trustees and friends of the Abbey on a trip to Guatemala and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of our foundation of the Priory and our school there.  All of those who were present made comment on how alumni of the school and the people of Guatemala who took part in the celebrations showed great fondness and thanks for the work of the monks and the fruits that have been the result of Marmion’s presence in the both Solola and Quetzaltenango these past fifty years.


Fr. Marcos returned from his almost three months being part of the monastic formation program in Italy.  Fr. Marcos found the experience to be very enriching and I hope that sometime in the future he can share it with the oblates.  Brothers Antony, Theodore and Novice Eric also found their experience of the two-week program at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, KS, in June, to be a very profitable time.


A number of health updates on the abbey monks are in order.  Fr. Basil returned to the abbey from Rush Copley Hospital on July 10 after spending 46 days there.  He remains in the Abbey Infirmary.  He does require oxygen.  He is taking occupational therapy and has been able to recover a certain independence with the help of a scooter.  He appreciates very much all of the prayers and expressions of support he has received from the oblates. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.  On the same day Fr. Basil returned to the Abbey Fr. Mario had a bad fall.  Although he suffered no broken bones, there was quite a bit of swelling in his left knee and he was unable to walk.  He was admitted to Mercy Presence Hospital on July 12 and on July 16 was transferred to McAuley Manor where he is undergoing rehabilitation.


Your prayers are also asked for Oblate Ann Fitzpatrick.  She lost a son to death in June and this month underwent a serous arterial surgery on her heart.  She is recuperating in Geneva.


Thanks are in order for Jean Cibulskis, who hosted a group of oblates 

at her home in Stonebridge, after the June 16 pilgrimage visit to parishes and Marmion’s original site in Aurora.  Thanks too for those oblates who have continued to beautify the outdoor Way of the Cross. A special note of gratitude goes to Ginger Salis and Giselle Petitti, who have spent much time these past months on the path.  Because of health reasons, Ginger can no longer devote as much time to the Way of the Cross.  We are presently trying to have Marmion students and Boy Scouts give us some assistance in this.  We are grateful to Martha Piorkowski and husband Pete for the new sign we have at the entrance to the Way of the Cross.


The printed version of this letter may be delayed a bit because of vacations in our Printing Office, but I will send it out with the next few weeks.  As always, the Oblate Letter can be found in electronic form on our Abbey Website.


Fr. Joel, OSB

Oblate Director





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