Welcome from Father Abbot Placid

Pope Francis' announcement of this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy begins with the statement: "Jesus Christ is the face of the Father's mercy." As we move through this jubilee year, it is well for us at Benedictine to remember that phrase, for Jesus Christ is at the center of our school.

Benedictine's mission, to be sure, includes providing a first-rate educational foundation for future studies and careers. However, academics, the military program and athletics are part of the larger mission of forming young men to use their God-given talent for a good and virtuous life; a life which will last into eternity when they, as all of us, will come face to face with the Father's mercy, Jesus Christ. The values in Benedictine's education are those that make us fit for heaven through a good life on earth.

This primary goal of character formation and discipline for a good life was the motivation for the monks who founded and continue to sponsor Benedictine. St. Benedict, in his Rule, instructs his monks "to prefer nothing whatsoever to Christ.” Here at Mary Mother of the Church Abbey, three celebrations in recent months have centered on preferring nothing whatsoever to Christ.

In November, we honored Father Adrian for his sixtieth anniversary of ordination as a priest. A month later, it was time to thank Abbot Benedict for his sixtieth anniversary of monastic profession. These two monks, members of the founding community of our Abbey, are true foundation stones for our community. It is through their dedicated service as monks and priests that our Abbey and school continue to flourish today.

Finally, on February 16, Brother Ambrose Okema made his first profession of vows during Mass with the monastery and school communities. Brother Ambrose, a native of Uganda, has spent the last eighteen months in the initial discernment of a vocation to our community. We are happy to welcome him to a more active role in our Benedictine family.

An essential element of Benedictine's educational program has always been the training of good citizenship. It was therefore with special happiness that we celebrated the naturalization as a United States citizen of the monastery's Prior, Father John Mary. Benedictine monastic life offers a continuous tradition of community life reaching back to the sixth century. It is a living witness both to the importance of a good community for shaping lives and to the obligation of good people to contribute their talents to building a good community. Benedictine's primary mission, of preparing its students for eternal life, can only be accomplished by training them for a good life on earth.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Placid D. Solari, O.S.B. ‘70