We had a Junior monk outing on May 11 - Dinner and Movie (There be Dragons). Decent movie but not as much focus on St. Josemaria as I would have liked.
Benedictine College (BC) graduation activities were May 13-14... nice Mass and Graduation ceremony... and now a few hundred more young people in the world to help transform it into the Kingdom of God that it is supposed to reflect!
Visits to Philly (May 17-19) and home (May 19-23) provided a welcome break from the monastic life. My class celebrated its 20th priestly anniversary in Philly at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (my ordination date was June 1, but my Philadelphia classmates were ordained on May 18). And it was great to see my family and a few friends in Montgomery and Birmingham (where I attended the diaconate ordinations of Br. Patrick and Br. Leonard at EWTN).
Part of my visit to Montgomery was attending the inaugural meeting of the Association of Catholic Coaches (A of CC). It is the creation of my brother Barry (so I am on the initial Board of Directors) and its purpose is to assist Catholic coaches in actively living their faith in the "workplace" of sports. It has great impact potential and I have high hopes that it will flourish!
One of our fellow monks, Fr. Hugh Keefer, passed away on June 1. He had not been well for a while... may his soul Rest In Peace!
We had our annual Abbey retreat from June 6-9 with Fr. Justin Matro, OSB as our Retreat Master. It was a good retreat and everyone seemed to enjoy the time together.
We had a Development meeting where the results of the recent Feasibility Study were presented and we were encouraged us to start a Capital Campaign in the very near future. More on that as it "develops"!
I assisted with the annual FOCUS Staff Summer Training in Champaign, Illinois (at the U. of Ill Newman Center) from June 10-24. It was a joy and a blessing to be with so many young, enthusiastic, orthodox, evangelistic Catholic young adults. In their first 13 years, 286 FOCUS young men and women (students and missionaries) have entered the seminary and/or religious life! And hundreds have entered faith-filled Catholic marriages. That says it all!!
I attended the wedding of Justin Kraft (former FOCUS missionary) and Sara Carlson in St. Joseph, MO on June 25th. It was blessed Nuptial Mass (with 7 priests concelebrating) and it was good to see some of the former FOCUS missionaries who attended.
The annual LifeTeen Leadership Conference (LTLC) starts today at BC. We will be inundated with about 500 people during this week (approximately 450 high schoolers [going into 12th grade] and 50 chaperones).
That is about all for now. I am just getting the hang of the blogging world. I changed the setting so you should be able to post comments easier now. And I found a lot of past comments saved in a particular place which I never knew were there.
Anyway... back to work. God bless you all and please keep me and our Abbey in your prayers!
Fr. Justin Damien Dean, OSB