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Posted by Dolores on March 17, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Holy Thursday - March 24, 2016

7:30pm - Liturgy of the Lord's Supper

Good Friday - March 25, 2016

3pm - Liturgy of the Lord's Passion

7:30pm - Stations of the Cross

Holy Saturday – March 26, 2016

8pm - Easter Vigil Mass

Easter Sunday – March 27, 2016

11am - Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord


Next talk in The Documents of Vatican II lecture series

Posted by Abbot Austin on February 19, 2016 at 9:55 PM



On Tuesday, April 26th, at 7pm in the Abbey Church of St. Procopius Abbey is the next talk in The Documents of Vatican II lecture series. It is titled, "The Work of Our Redemption: A Liturgical Theology of Sacrosanctum Concilium," and will be by Dr. Timothy O'Malley, the Director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy. Sacrosanctum Concilium is Vatican II's constitution on the sacred liturgy.


The event is free and open to the public. (Media contact: Fr. Becket, bfranks@procopius.org, 630-829-9253).


Lent at the Abbey, Sat., March 19

Posted by Dolores on February 16, 2016 at 1:05 AM

Sr. Carolyn Sieg, OSB, wins 2nd annual Kucera Catholic Leadership Award

Posted by Abbot Austin on December 18, 2015 at 9:00 PM

St. Procopius Abbey (Lisle, IL) - Dec. 16, 2015

Presentation of Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera, OSB, Catholic Leadership Award by Abbot Austin Murphy, OSB:


    Archbishop Daniel Kucera is a monk of St. Procopius Abbey who has used his talents to serve the Church generously in many different ways. Besides serving in our community in various positions, he was our community’s fifth abbot and in that capacity he led our community through an important time of transition.


    Also, Archbishop Daniel served as president of Benedictine University, then called Illinois Benedictine College. After this, he served as an auxiliary bishop of the Joliet Diocese from 1977 to 1980. In 1980, Archbishop Daniel was asked to serve as the bishop of Salinas, KS, and then, in 1984, he was installed as the archbishop of Dubuque, IA. He finished his term as archbishop of Dubuque in 1996 and there he currently resides in retirement.


    The Kucera Catholic Leadership Award is for a Catholic in our region who has demonstrated leadership in the Church by extraordinarily serving others as people in whom Christ is received.


    This year’s award goes to Sr. Carolyn Sieg, OSB.


    Sr. Carolyn is best known for having been the long-standing principal of St. John of Arc School. But we’ll say more on that in a moment. She is a native of Lisle and she herself attended St. John of Arc School. There she was taught by the Benedictine sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery. She remembers these sisters as being gentle, fun-loving, and prayerful. She later entered Sacred Heart Academy and then she herself joined the Benedictine community of Sacred Heart Monastery.


    Sr. Carolyn has an undergraduate degree in education from St. Mary of the Woods and a Masters in Administration from St. Thomas in St. Paul. She has taught elementary school in Fort Worth, TX, as well as in Chicago and Cicero. Moreover, in her career she has taught in every grade from first to eighth, with the exception of second.


    Now about her tenure as principal of St. John of Arc School. She was appointed to the position at the age of 26! She then served as principal for over 45 years. As you can imagine, much could be said about her accomplishments during these years. I can only highlight a few. Under her leadership, the school has excelled and currently it has over 700 students. In 2011, the school was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon school of excellence (this was actually the second time the school won the award). Fr. Gabriel Baltes, one of many pastors Sr. Carolyn has worked with at St. Joan of Arc, says this about Sr. Carolyn: “She never sees problems that are insurmountable. Life is not a set of problems to her. Life is just a wonderful tapestry of challenges that she uses to make her a better principal and to make [St. Joan of Arc] a better school.”


    Thank you, Sr. Carolyn, for your many years of extraordinary leadership. St. Procopius Abbey is happy to give you this year’s Kucera Catholic Leadership Award.


Bella Voce to perform concert in Abbey Church

Posted by Abbot Austin on December 15, 2015 at 8:40 AM

See flyer posted here for more details.

Abbey Open House on Sun., Nov. 15th, after 11am Mass

Posted by Dolores on November 12, 2015 at 12:55 AM

The Abbey will be having an open house consisting of a tour, snacks, video, and Q & A from about 12 pm to 2 pm on Sun., Nov. 15th. After the open house at the Abbey, the Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery across the street will have an open house there at 2 pm. The events are open to the public and are part of the Diocese of Joliet's observance of the Year of Consecrated Life.

Fr. Odilo Crkva, OSB, died on Sept. 29th

Posted by Abbot Austin on September 30, 2015 at 10:00 PM



February 23, 1926-September 29, 2015



Our confrere, Father Odilo Crkva, died of cancer at St. Patrick’s Residence, Naperville, IL, late on the evening of Tuesday, September 29. Born in Brtnice, Czechoslovakia, on February 23, 1926, Francis Crkva was one of three children in the family of a poor bricklayer. Though from childhood he desired to become a priest, the expense of studying would have put his ambition out of reach had not Emaus Abbey, in Prague, offered a scholarship to his parish so that a devout young man might be sent to secondary school. Francis was chosen, but his studies were complicated by the German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia in 1939 and, soon after, the start of World War II. Toward the end of 1944, the eighteen-year-old was conscripted for forced labor in a paramilitary organization. The last months of the war were spent in construction work as well as clean-up after raids on Prague and other towns by Allied bombers. Since the Russian front was approaching and there were rumors than young Czechs would be obliged to join the Red Army, Francis slipped away from his unit and back to his village. In the last days of the war, he helped direct German military traffic westwards, in a successful effort to prevent a full-scale battle from being fought in Brtnice.

With the end of the war, the young man could complete his studies and then join the revived Abbey of Emaus, professing his monastic vows on July 11, 1947. Sent to Sant Anselmo for theological studies, Father Odilo avoided the imprisonment that most Emaus monks suffered when their monastery was suppressed by the Communist dictatorship, but he found himself stranded in Rome without a community of his own. With the help of the Holy See and the Benedictine confederation, he was able to remain at Sant Anselmo for over a decade. Following his ordination to the priesthood by Bishop Secondo Chiocca at the cathedral of Foligno on July 26, 1953, Father Odilo worked on licentiates in theology, Gregorian chant and sacred composition, all the while guiding the development of an orchestra at Sant Anselmo itself. From 1957-1959, he served as the chaplain of the Benedictine sisters at Montefiolo. He then accepted the invitation of Abbot Ambrose Ondrak to cross the Atlantic and come to St. Procopius Abbey, where he was immediately put to work as an organist for the Divine Office and also taught such subjects as Latin, Greek, and Gregorian Chant. In 1968, he officially transferred his stability to St. Procopius.

Five years later, Father Odilo was assigned to drive the Abbey's van, and for the next thirty-three years he faithfully and with meticulous attention to his schedule brought the monks to their duties at the Academy and University, and carried all the mail between the Lisle Post Office and the Benedictine institutions. Only in 2006, in his eighty-first year, did infirmity at last oblige him to forego his “appointed rounds.” Even afterwards, he continued his labors as associate organist and secretary to the Abbot for Czech and German correspondence. Ever an exemplar of regular attendance at all community functions, Father "O" (as he would sing his name in memos on the bulletin board) to the end of his life much enjoyed pinochle during community recreation. Cancer was discovered about three weeks before his death and his health deteriorated rapidly in his final days.

Fr. Odilo is survived by his monastic community and one niece, Marie Navratilová, who resides in the Czech Republic.

We appreciate your prayers for the repose of the soul of our confrere, Fr. Odilo.

Abbot Austin and Community

St. Procopius Abbey

Lisle, Illinois


Br. Elias enters novitiate

Posted by Abbot Austin on July 5, 2015 at 8:40 AM

Taking the name Elias and being clothed in the monastic habit, Mark Dicosola entered the novitiate on Sunday, July 4th, during Solemn Vespers on the solemnity of St. Procopius. Br. Elias has spent the last four and a half month as a postulant at the abbey, taking classes and doing various assignments. During the novitiate he will also take classes and have various assignments, but it will be a more intense and focused time to learn the monastic practices, spirituality, and history of St. Procopius Abbey. Please keep Br. Elias in your prayers.

In response to Dr. Melsa's letter

Posted by Abbot Austin on July 1, 2015 at 9:05 PM

Dr. James Melsa, the chair of the Board of Trustees of Benedictine University, posted a letter on the University’s website in response to the legal complaint filed on June 22 by seven monks of St. Procopius Abbey against the Board of Trustees. Dr. Melsa’s letter contains numerous factual inaccuracies. Indeed, it is a good example of why, after three years of trying to resolve the dispute, the monks were forced to turn to a court in order to resolve it. For an understanding of the dispute, we refer you to the nine-page complaint which can be found here. A press release from the monks can be read here.

Monks ask court to clarify the By-Laws of Benedictine University

Posted by Abbot Austin on June 22, 2015 at 10:10 AM



Monks of St. Procopius Abbey Seek Resolution of Dispute

About Interpretation and Application of Longstanding Governance Principles


For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, 201-493-1027, Jamie@newspros.com


June 22, 2015, Wheaton, IL – Seven monks of St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, IL, today filed suit against Benedictine University’s Board of Trustees and the institution’s current president William J. Carroll in Illinois’ 18th Judicial Circuit Court in DuPage County.


The Complaint asserts that the Trustees and President have denied and continue to deny the monks their rights as Members of the University, including the right to approve the election of Trustees, the right to amend and/or approve parts of the University’s By-Laws, the right to approve the University’s new president, and the right to have any conflict of interest disclosed to the University’s Board of Trustees.


The monks are represented in the matter by John R. Wiktor, M. David Short and David A. Maas, attorneys in the Chicago office of Reed Smith LLP.


Today’s filing comes on the heels of the Benedictine Trustees’ June 10 announcement that Michael A. Brophy, Ph.D., president of Marymount California University, had been selected as the University’s next president, replacing Carroll, who announced in January he was leaving the school’s top leadership role after 20 years.


“Our monastic community has a long tradition of participating in the governance of Benedictine,” said St. Procopius’ Abbot Austin Murphy, who is also Benedictine University’s Chancellor. “The Members’ rights to participate in and to be informed about significant matters affecting this institution are detailed in the By-Laws of the University, which is an Illinois nonprofit organization. Unfortunately, the Trustees have recently ignored these rights and made key decisions without involving us. Although for more than three years, we have tried in good faith to resolve these issues, the present impasse leaves no viable option other than to resolve these ongoing disputes with this legal action.”


Benedictine University was founded in 1887 as St. Procopius College by St. Procopius Abbey’s Benedictine monks. The institution changed its name to Illinois Benedictine College in 1971, and to Benedictine University in 1996.


The plaintiffs -- Abbot Murphy, Prior Guy Jelinek, Subprior Gregory Perron, Father Thomas Chisholm, Father James Flint, Father Philip Timko, and Brother Kevin Coffey – are the Members of Benedictine University, as well as the members of the Board of Directors of St. Procopius Abbey’s nonprofit corporation.


According to the Complaint, although the Members have significant legal rights and an oversight role in the University’s leadership and governance, including the election of trustees and changes to the University’s By-Laws, they were also denied their right to approve the most recent Trustee re-election in April, and were prevented from interviewing candidates and voting in the recent presidential selection process.

“I do not object to the selection of Dr. Brophy as the next president, but we do strongly object to the process by which he was chosen. The members were not even allowed to interview the candidates for the position,” said Abbot Murphy. “The exclusion of the Members from this important process is contrary to our governance policies and this pattern of behavior by the current Board of Trustees must be remedied immediately.”

“The Members are perplexed by this situation because twenty some years ago, our current president, Dr. Carroll, was elected in accordance with the procedures set out in the bylaws as we interpret them,” said Brother Guy. “We’re not sure why the change in process has taken place.”

The Declaratory Judgment Action asks the Court for a finding that the monks, in their roles as Members of the University, have certain rights provided by the By-Laws which need to be followed and enforced. Those rights include approving the re-election of Trustees; approving new Trustees; approving the election and appointment of the University’s president; the unilateral right to amend Articles III and IV of the By-Laws and to approve other amendments to the By-Laws initiated by the Trustees; and that current Trustees must disclose to the Board possible conflicts of interest and past or present conflicts of interest not previously disclosed.

“We are confident the best interests of Benedictine University will be served by a court clarifying the rights and obligations of the monks of St. Procopius as Members in the governance structure of the University,” said Short of Reed Smith. “A decision will provide firmer ground upon which to build a solid relationship between the Members and Trustees as this great University moves forward.”

About St. Procopius Abbey

The monastic community of St. Procopius Abbey comprises 25 men dedicated to seek and serve God as Benedictine monks in the Catholic Church. They have different social, ethnic, economic, and educational backgrounds. Some are ordained priests, some are not. Some are extroverts, some introverts. But whatever the differences, all have taken vows as monks and have thus consecrated their lives to Christ. For more information, visit www.procopius.org.