Welcome from Father Abbot Placid

As you come through the doors at Benedictine, there is an interactive electronic information board mounted on the wall to your right. Both above and below the board is the inscription: "Behold the Man of Conscience. Behold the Man of Discipline. Behold the Man of Achievement."

Throughout the day, faces of various Cadets pass across the screen between these two inscriptions. These are current students, who are in the process of being formed in conscience and discipline and who are making their initial marks on life through their accomplishments. In this issue of the Benedictine Family News Magazine, you will see the faces and read the stories of former Cadets who have woven this inscription into their lives after their years at Benedictine. 

In order to accomplish anything worthwhile, we have to believe that there is something for which we should strive. The Catholic faith tradition on which the school is built, and the education which flows from that tradition, lead us towards a knowledge of the Truth. This Truth likewise establishes an order of right and wrong that is written in the very nature of things. This tradition instills in our graduates the knowledge that there is something larger than themselves, beyond themselves, which is worth living for — or, as is the case of those recognized in the Veterans Memorial at the entrance to the school — worth dying for. This knowledge of what is true, and therefore good, is essential for the formation of a correct conscience.

It is, however, not enough simply to know what is good. We must also choose what is good, and the choices can often be difficult ones. To accomplish anything worth living or dying for therefore requires discipline. We need discipline to stay focused on the things that really matter, and not get sidetracked by attractive, immediately gratifying–but insubstantial–passing things. We need discipline to overcome our laziness and do the consistent work necessary over time to develop our talents. We need discipline to continue the pursuit of our goals in the face of adversity. Most importantly, authentic love requires continual discipline and self-sacrifice. A recent study has indicated that students at Catholic schools are more disciplined and less likely to be disruptive than students in other educational settings. At Benedictine, the values and the respect for others coming from our faith tradition are further buttressed by the leadership training through the military program. Through working with, leading and following one’s peers, young men earn important experience for future success in their professional lives.

A well-formed conscience, combined with the discipline to follow this conscience, leads to achievements that not only enrich one’s life, but also work for the good of others. The truly good works we achieve are those that go before us into everlasting life and, thus, last forever. For most of us, our achievements are rather prosaic and will likely never appear in print. That does not render them any less important. It is the fabric woven of consistent goodness over time that holds together our families, our communities and our country.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Placid D. Solari, O.S.B. ‘70