Feast of Saint Benedict
When I was a student here at the beloved Mount Michael before it was named Mount Michael, there were very memorable celebrations of great feast days. One of them would be The Passing of St. Benedict on March 21. The Mount Michael community tried to repeat that experience today. We tried to involved lots of students in the Eucharistic celebration. We have lots of budding guitarists at this time and they all played today at the Eucharist. It was an awesome experience to see and to hear. Besides all of that, our celebrant was an alum of 1959, Fr. Daniel Petsche OSB from Conception Abbey. It is always great to hear from alums, but particularly those who go back to the original days of Mount Michael. We all shared a steak luncheon together and it many ways, it was just a GREAT day! The pictures tell the story. Fr. John
Homily by 1959 alum Fr. Daniel Petsche OSB of Conception Abbey
Feast of St. Benedict – March 21, 2019 — Mt. Michael Abbey -it’s a pleasure and an honor to be here – I entered St. John Seminary as it was called then when it opened in the fall of 1956 as a sophomore. Those early years were filled with the challenges of starting a new school from scratch – part of the scratch was making an athletic field in the corn field — so as soon as the corn was harvested and a road grader leveled the field – Voila! we had our all weather athletic field for everything from basketball, baseball, football and track, and of course soccer – dust and mud rain all year long – your own Br. Mel can tell you what it was like in those days – you’ve heard of the Dirty Dozen — we were the Dirty One Hundred! -but of course we didn’t mind, because something held us together – we felt we were on a winning team because of the Benedictine monks- the ones who taught us and gave us the same high expectations of academic and character standards which remain to this day – -the feast we celebrate today is associated with the glue that held us together then as well as now – we celebrate the life and death of St. Benedict who died around 547 because he showed the “right stuff” over 1500 years and still today through the message of Benedictine spirituality St. Benedict has been called the Father of Western Monasticism and his monks translated and saved the philosophy of the ancient civilizations for the new civilization of the west – how cool is that??? Saving a civilization! –but the real genius of St. Benedict is to be found in his Holy Rule, could be called “Living the Gospel in Community” where he shows that he could very well be the world’s greatest coach for anyone searching for God and holiness -St. Benedictine today would say: “listen with ear of your heart” to the Word of God, especially as we’ve just heard in this Eucharist : – what do you want in life? Do you want a lot of stuff in your life, or do want healthy balance in your life –that requires wisdom! Knowing the Why of things, not just the What How did Jesus answer St. Peter’s question about having given up everything to follow him, what were they to expect? Jesus says you will get a 100fold and more – which makes no sense to Peter or anyone – UNLESS you look at life through the lens and framework of Wisdom – it means you look at life not just by sight but by the insight of wisdom Every day we have to make important decisions– you young men have to decide where the Lord is calling you to be your best self –for some it might be the balanced life of prayer, work, and community of the monastery right here, for others it might be another way of life – We need a special kind of GPS to find it – its letters mean God’s Particular Service — it has to be charged with concentration, generosity and wisdom to follow Christ -that takes strength, that takes a personal relationship with the person of Christ Jesus our Savior as we gather to celebrate this Eucharist together – Today the great coach St. Benedict can still point the way to follow Christ—- why would we go any other way?