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Bestowal of Kucera Catholic Leadership Award

Posted by Abbot Austin on December 7, 2014 at 12:05 AM

1st annual Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera, OSB, Catholic Leadership Award given to Sr. Jeanne Haley, O.Carm.

From remarks by Abbot Austin at bestowal of the award:

This year we are giving the first Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera Catholic Leadership Award.

Archbishop Daniel 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 different position, he was our community’s fifth abbot and in that capacity led our community through an important time of transition.

Archbishop Daniel also served as president of our college, 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 in Dubuque in 1996 and there he currently resides in retirement.

I should also mention that this year, 2014, is especially appropriate to start the Kucera Catholic Leadership Award. Archbishop Daniel has celebrated various anniversaries in 2014: 70 years of monastic vows, 65 years of priestly ordination, and 50 years since becoming our 5th abbot.

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.

We have a wonderful recipient for this award in its first year, namely, Sr. Jeanne Haley. She has been the administrator of St. Patrick’s Residence for the past 12 years. As some of you know, Sr. Jeanne will be leaving St. Patrick’s this year and going to her congregation’s motherhouse in Germantown, NY. This is because she has been appointed the 3rd Council member for her congregation, the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm.

Sr. Jeanne unfortunately could not be here tonight because she is at the motherhouse now tending to her new duties. When she told me she could not make it, she told me to feel free to find another recipient, but I told her we still definitely wanted to honor her with this award. Also, we are happy to have with us many of the Carmelite Sisters from St. Patrick’s who will receive the award in her place.

Sr. Jeanne is a native of Oak Park, being the 3rd of 6 children. She doesn’t hide that she is an avid White Sox fan. Sr. Jeanne joined the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm in 1969. Having an interest in nursing since childhood, she was drawn to the mission of the Sisters, who were founded by the Venerable Mother Angeline Teresa in 1929. Sr. Jeanne had been exposed to this mission when she was 14 and had volunteered at Sacred Heart Manor, a home for the elderly run by the Sisters in Chicago. Since joining the Carmelite Sisters, she has served in various locations, such as New York, Philadelphia, and Davenport, IA. In those locations she has worked both in nursing and in administration.

Sr. Jeanne has said of herself, “I am someone that loves to be part of a mission, someone that loves to be blessed to be in the community I’m in and someone who tries to be joyful and thankful to the Lord every day.” Sr. Jeanne has also spoken about striving to put her trust in God, and to serve others generously, realizing that when we do so, we get so much in return.

To be an administrator of a nursing home is certainly a demanding task in today’s world, wherein one has to be attentive to various regulations and to finances. But even in the midst of so many demands, Sr. Jeanne – along with the other Sisters at St. Patrick’s and the staff and volunteers there – have not forgotten that the mission is to serve persons in the love of Christ. I know that I have seen for myself, when we have had monks at St. Patrick’s, that the care for the elderly and their families there is indeed warm, personal, and loving.

Part of the mission statement for the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm reads: “Our apostolate is not only to staff and operate up-to-date homes for the aged, but as religious it is to bring Christ to every person under our care.” The mission statement continues, “Bringing Christ means giving them His compassion, His interest, His loving care, His warmth morning, noon and night.”

We are grateful that Sr. Jeanne has served the Church and society according to this mission for many years. And we are happy to give her the first Kucera Catholic Leadership Award. 

(picture below: Kucera Catholic Leadership Award; Sr. Kathleen John McClinden, O.Carm., receiving the award on behalf of Sr. Jeanne; and those gathered for award reception)



The Documents of Vatican II Lecture Series: Spousal Vision

Posted by Dolores on September 10, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Renowned theologian and professor of theology at Notre Dame, Dr. John Cavadini, will give a talk titled, "Spousal Vision: Seeing the Church with Lumen Gentium," on Tues., Sept. 16th at 7pm in the Abbey Church of St. Procopius Abbey (5601 College Rd., Lisle, IL). This is the third talk in The Documents of Vatican II lecture series. The talk is free and open to the public.

Next talk in The Documents of Vatican II lecture series by Prof. John Cavadini

Posted by Abbot Austin on July 21, 2014 at 5:10 PM

We are happy to announce that the next talk in The Documents of Vatican II lecture series will be by Dr. John Cavadini, professor of theology at Notre Dame & director of the Institute for Church Life. The talk is titled, "Spousal Vision: Seeing the Church with Lumen Gentium."

The talk will be on Sept. 16 at 7pm and will be on the document Lumen Gentium, the council's dogmatic constitution on the Church.

For more information about Dr. Cavadini, see: http://www3.nd.edu/~newsinfo/photos/Cavadini-John.jpg

Easter Triduum Schedule

Posted by Dolores on April 15, 2014 at 1:35 AM

Holy Thursday, April 17,

Liturgy of the Lord’s Supper 7:30pm

Good Friday, April 18,

Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion 3pm

Stations of the Cross 7:30pm

Holy Saturday, April 19,

Easter Vigil Mass at 8pm

Easter Sunday, April 20,

Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord, 11am

Easter Sunday Solemn Vespers 4:30pm

Tornado relief collection box at the abbey

Posted by Abbot Austin on November 29, 2013 at 8:55 PM

There is a cardboard box in the lobby to the abbey for the collection of paper goods (diapers, wipes, kleenex, toilet paper, napkins) in relief of the tornado victims in Illinois. University Ministry at Benedictine University is organizing donation boxes in various locations, including in our lobby. Please help if you will be stopping by the abbey.

Monks present on Benedictine life in Mesa, AZ

Posted by Abbot Austin on November 8, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Fr. David, Fr. James, Br. Kevin, and Abbot Austin will be in Mesa, AZ, at Benedictine University's branch campus there on Nov. 13 and 14. They will be doing various events on being Benedictine and on the Benedictine charism. Feel free to come if you are in the area (see image for info).

Abbot Austin's interview on prayer by Pastor Jon Klinepeter (UPDATED)

Posted by Abbot Austin on October 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

On Oct. 8, I was interviewed by Pastor Jon Klinepeter of Willow Chicago on prayer, especially lectio divina. Pastor Jon was a great interviewer and his crew put together very nice shots of the abbey. Below are a couple of links.

First there the video of Pastor Jon's service which includes the interview within it. (The clip of the interview is from 40:22-45:52, although you might want to start at 39:07 to get some of Pastor Jon's points leading up to it). http://media.willowcreek.org/features/chicago/vision-sunday-prayer-together-week-6/#content

Second, here is the full interview by itself, which is about 13 min.: http://vimeo.com/77331911

Fr. Barron's talk on YouTube

Posted by Abbot Austin on October 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Fr. Robert Barron's talk, 'Gaudium et Spes: The Right Reading of Vatican II' is now available on YouTube, as is also the question and answer session afterwards (see below for links). Fr. Barron gave the talk at St. Procopius Abbey on Sept. 24, 2013 as the second talk in The Documents of Vatican II lecture series. It is an excellent talk and worth hearing.

The talk is available here:

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Question and Answer afterwards:

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Free Five-Part Course in Benedictine Spirituality

Posted by Abbot Austin on October 7, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Sign up for the Free Five-Part Course in Benedictine Spirituality


Free Online Course in Benedictine Spirituality to Help Bring in the New Evangelization


To carry out the Church’s call for a New Evangelization, a Benedictine Abbey in the Chicago area is offering a free, five-part online course in Benedictine spirituality.


“We feel that St. Benedict’s way of life, which includes living in community, common prayer, work, and private prayer, is just as important today as when St. Benedict was alive,” said Fr. James Flint, OSB, vocation director of St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, just west of Chicago.


“Vocations to the consecrated life have seen a slight upswing in the United States,” he said, noting recent news reports of a 10% increase in Catholic graduate theology students this year compared to 2005. “We hope to be part of that trend in our role in educating others about the great depth of Benedictine spirituality.”


He added, “Although we are using the course as a tool for looking for young men who may be thinking of a religious vocation, the course is open to anyone who wants to deepen their prayer life, whether married or single.”


The course will consist of five emails, one sent each day, and will cover the life of St. Benedict and of Benedictine monks, and the vocation stories of three men who have joined St. Procopius. There will also be emails prompting students to reflect upon each class. Students can sign up for one of two sessions. The first will run Oct. 14 – 18, and the second, Oct. 28 – Nov. 1.


“I think that St. Benedict would give an approving nod at the idea of using the internet to promote the spirituality,” Fr. James said.


Benedictine spirituality is characterized by striving towards Christian perfection in community, liturgical prayer, and separation from worldly concerns. St. Benedict (480-550 AD) is the Father of Western Monasticism. He wrote The Rule, which governs the life of monks, and his best-known monastery is at Monte Cassino, Italy. Many other religious orders have patterned their rule after his.


At St. Procopius Abbey, which was founded in 1885 and has 26 monks today, the men work outside as well as inside the abbey. The priests and brothers there have taught, coached, worked as administrators, and carried out campus ministry in the two schools they founded – a high school, Benet Academy; and a university, Benedictine University. They continue to work in the schools to this day. Also, monks who are ordained priests help in nearby parishes, especially with Sunday Masses.


For more information about the course, contact Fr. James Flint, OSB, at 630-969-6410, or vocations@procopius.org. Visit also our website, www.procopius.org.


Sign up for the Free Five-Part Course in Benedictine Spirituality