|Posted by Abbot Austin on April 5, 2013 at 5:05 PM|
(Click here for memorial with pictures)
BR. JOSEPH (JOHN) VESELY, O.S.B.
May 29, 1921- April 5, 2013
Our oldest monk, "Br. Joe," as he was known at the abbey, died this afternoon of congestive heart failure at St. Patrick's Residence and Rehabilitation, Naperville, IL. Born in Chicago of Moravian immigrants on May 9, 1921, John Vesely moved with his family five years later to a small farm near Downers Grove, Illinois. He attended St. Joseph Grade School and Downers Grove High School, graduating in 1940. While not strong academically, the young man was very religious and so was encouraged by an aunt to consider a monastic vocation at St. Procopius Abbey, where an uncle, Father Cosmas Vesely, had been a member before his death in 1936, and a first cousin, Father Stanley Vesely, was ordained in the summer of 1940. Though dubious at first about religious life, he did take a job as a worker on the Abbey farm, which meant living and working in close proximity to the monks. Over the next year, his interest in the life deepened, and on Holy Thursday, 1941, he begged Abbot Procopius Neuzil for admission as a lay brother candidate. Already as a worker, he had been assigned to help the Abbey carpenter, Brother Augustine Roubik, and following his profession on November 13, 1942, Brother Joseph again took up carpentry work, which he continued into the late 1960s. As one of the leaders of the “younger brothers,” those who from the mid-1940s received permission to pray the Divine Office in English rather than the traditional devotional prayers in Czech, Brother Joseph was assigned to serve as socius for the brother candidates. He also took part, as a server, in the Church Unity work conducted by St. Procopius Abbey during these years. Enjoying good conversation, always interested both in learning more and sharing what he knew about the monastery’s history, Brother Joseph was both serious-minded and prayerful, and he was among the first brothers to apply for solemn vows when this became possible after the Second Vatican Council. With the phasing out of the Abbey farm in the late 1960s, he was appointed Assistant Procurator for several years. He spent several decades, until 1995, in charge of the refectory, for many years setting the tables for the evening meal. He was also responsible, along with Father Peter Mizera and Brother George Popovics, for reviving the Abbey’s orchard. Notwithstanding knee problems that forced numerous operations, well into his eighties Brother Joseph was daily in the orchard, working to improve the yield, especially of apples, producing apple juice for the consumption of monks and friends, and assisting Brother George with various other projects in the Abbey shops. Even as weakness obliged him to give up outdoor activities and use a walker to get around the monastery, Brother Joseph remained the faithful fixture he had been throughout his monastic life at all religious exercises and community activities. Please remember him in your prayers.
Reception of the body and Vigil Service at the Abbey at 7:00 PM, Tuesday, April 9th
Funeral Mass at the Abbey at 4:00 PM, Wednesday, April 10
|Posted by Abbot Austin on January 26, 2013 at 12:15 AM|
Jan. 25th was the annual March for Life in Washington, DC. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in America. There was a large turnout this year, to give witness to the dignity of human life and to the need for a Culture of Life.
For photos of the event, see here.
|Posted by Abbot Austin on January 22, 2013 at 5:55 AM|
Abbot Hugh and Abbot Austin travelled to Taiwan for the dedication of the new wing of the St. Martin de Porres hospital in Chaiyi City on Jan. 19th. The Sisters of Our Lady of China run the hospital and the new wing is the renovation of the priory that our abbey gave to the Sisters a handful of years ago. It was decided several years ago by the monastic community to give the land and building to the Sisters, when we saw that the priory inTaiwan was not going to survive. The Sisters will surely make good use of the place as part of their great work for the Taiwanese people in the area of Chaiyi City.
See Abbot Austin's page (under Monastic community) for links to photos of the trip.
|Posted by Abbot Austin on January 9, 2013 at 9:20 PM|
From Wed., Jan. 2nd, to Sun., Jan. 6th, Abbot Austin and Fr. James attended the FOCUS national conference, titled Seek2013. FOCUS stands for Fellowship of Catholic University Students, an organization that trains young adults as missionaries to evangelize on college and university campuses in conjunction with the campus ministry programs there.
The national conference was held in the convention facilities of Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL) and was attended by over 6,000 students, mostly from campuses where FOCUS missionaries work, but some from other campuses. There were many other attendees, including hundreds of priests, religious brothers and sisters. Various organizations, including religious congregations, helped to sponsor the event and had tables to present their work. Fr. James and I were there in this capacity -- see our table below.
See here on my Facebook page for further photos.
|Posted by Abbot Austin on December 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM|
Fr. Barron, a renowned theologian and speaker and also rector/president of Mundelein Seminary, will speak on the document of Gaudium et Spes. The talk will be on Sept. 24, 2013, at St. Procopius Abbey at 7pm. More information will be posted in the future.
|Posted by Abbot Austin on December 21, 2012 at 12:55 AM|
On Sept. 4, 2012, His Eminence Francis Cardinal George gave the first talk of The Documents of Vatican II lecture series, which is series of talks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. The lecture series, sponsored by St. Procopius Abbey and co-sponsored by Benedictine University, hopes to make the documents themselves of Vatican II better known and appreciated.