A Roman Catholic Benedictine monastery of men

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Abbot Austin

Items of interest:


Video on lectio divina (video & also further thoughts)


Upcoming vocation discernment retreat: April 17 - April 20


Praying for Dorothy Day's canonization


Vocation story (see also other vocation stories there)

Abbot Austin G. Murphy, OSB, is the 10th abbot of St. Procopius Abbey. He was born in Huntington, NY, in 1974 and attended the University of Chicago, receiving a BA in Economics in 1995. Soon after graduating, he came into contact with St. Procopius Abbey and, feeling called to the monastic life there, applied and entered. His jobs before becoming abbot have included teaching math and religion as well as being campus minister at the abbey's high school, Benet Academy. He studied for the priesthood at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, receiving his MA in Theology in 2003 and his MDiv and STB from there in 2004. In 2006, he began doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame, working in the area of patristics, especially St. Augustine's thought. He was elected abbot on June 24, 2010 (and yes, he is still working on his doctoral dissertation!).

Feel free to follow Abbot Austin's Facebook public figure page, where are posted homilies, pictures (usually liturgically related), weekly quotes from the Rule of St. Benedict, and more.

"Therefore, when someone has assumed the title of abbot, he should preside over his disciples by means of a double doctrine.That is, let him present all that is good and holy more so by deeds than by words; in this way, he places before receptive disciples the commands of the Lord with words, but he shows the divine precepts to the obdurate and more simple hearted by his deeds."


-- Rule of Saint Benedict 2.11-12

Abbot Austin's coat of arms (to the right).


There is a tradition of an abbot having a coat of arms. A risk with coats of arms is that they will come across as instances of vainglory, but the point rather is to present themes, ideas, persons, etc. that are important to the person with the coat of arms. Below is a description of the coat of arms for Abbot Austin.


The staff, or crozier, symbolizes the office of abbot. On one side of the shield is St. Procopius Abbey’s ensign, a stylized eagle of Bohemian lineage with a cross in the background. 


The other side bears symbolism particular to Abbot Austin. The large book, representing the Bible, together with its rays and the transfixed, burning heart have three references. In the prologue to his Rule for Monasteries, St. Benedict speaks of the “deifying light” that comes from God, especially through Scripture (see Rule prol.9). The ray from Scripture that pierces the heart refers to a line written by Abbot Austin’s patron, St. Augustine: “By Your Word You pierced my heart and I loved You” (Confessions 10.6.8). The flames coming from the heart allude to Luke 24:32, where the disciples recount that their hearts burned within them while Jesus opened their minds to the scriptures. 


Of the two smaller books, one refers to St. Benedict’s Rule and the other to the writings of St. Augustine. They and the writings of other saints have been aids to Abbot Austin’s faith and, accordingly, the presence of the two books indicates his gratitude to these writings. 


Finally, the motto (pariter ad vitam eternam, “all together to eternal life”) is drawn from the Rule’s seventy-second chapter, which describes the good zeal of monks. It indicates the hope that characterizes good zeal, that Christ may bring us “all together to eternal life.”