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Liturgical Press

Schools for the Lord's Service

A History of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monasteries 1855–2023

Jerome Oetgen

Schools for the Lord's Service
Schools for the Lord's Service

ISBN: 9798400801419, 01419

Details: 652 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 12/15/2024
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An inspiring narrative history of the oldest congregation of Benedictine monasteries in the United States.

Commissioned by the American-Cassinese Benedictine Congregation, Schools for the Lord’s Service is a comprehensive narrative history of the oldest congregation of Benedictine monasteries in the United States. In vivid detail, it describes how monasteries of the American-Cassinese Congregation initiated monastic life in North America according to the Rule of St. Benedict and how, in doing so, they have engaged for nearly 170 years with the American Catholic Church, the global Benedictine Order, the Holy See, and American society.

Following a Benedictine tradition that stretches back to the early Middle Ages, American-Cassinese monks spread out from Pennsylvania to establish monasteries throughout the United States. Led by Boniface Wimmer, a visionary monk from the Bavarian abbey of Metten, the Benedictines introduced monastic observance according to the Rule of St. Benedict in these monasteries, and from them they founded missions, parishes, and schools where they continue to carry on pastoral, educational, and missionary apostolates in the service of the people of God. Comprised of twenty-five monasteries located in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, and Taiwan, the legacy and spirit of the American-Cassinese Benedictines continues to reinforce and complement the words of Abbot Boniface Wimmer who constantly exhorted his Benedictine brothers and sisters, “Forward, always forward.”

Jerome Oetgen is author of An American Abbot: Boniface Wimmer, Mission to America: A History of the First Benedictine Monastery in the United States, and Always Forward: Saint Vincent Archabbey (1949–2020). He is also editor of Boniface Wimmer: Letters of An American Abbot. Educated from an early age by the Benedictines, Oetgen is a graduate of St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania and holds an MDiv from St. Vincent Seminary, an MA from the University of North Carolina, and a PhD from the University of Toronto. A retired senior foreign service officer, he served at United States embassies in Italy, Spain, Ecuador, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and Haiti. He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.

ISBN: 9798400801419, 01419

Details: 652 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 12/15/2024

Reviews

"A fitting culmination of a lifetime of research and writing on the story of the Benedictines of the American Cassinese Congregation, Jerome Oetgen has provided a comprehensive narrative of that story, bringing it up and through the pandemic of 2020. From Boniface Wimmer and pioneer beginnings to the third millennium, the reader can take in a penetrating and sensitive study of the Benedictine charism’s many historical expressions within the largest congregation of American Benedictine monks."
Abbot Joel Rippinger, OSB, Marmion Abbey, Aurora, Illinois

"Having been a monk for many years, I well recall Jerome Oetgen’s biography of Abbot Boniface Wimmer as one of the finest books we have ever used for table reading at my monastery. Upon learning that he was working on a history of the entire American Cassinese Congregation, I felt sure that when the volume was published it would again be of great interest to all the members of the monastic community to which I belong. My expectations were richly fulfilled now that we have this work, which is based not only on many published books and articles but also on Oetgen’s research in archives and even on documents not even available in any archive. Everyone interested in monastic history will treasure this volume."
Abbot James A. Wiseman, OSB, St. Anselm’s Abbey, Washington, DC

"Jerome Oetgen has taken hundreds of pieces of information I knew and thousands I didn’t and incorporated them into a coherent and fascinating narrative. He tells the story of what was for many decades the largest congregation of Benedictine monks straightforwardly, situating its early and sustained expansion and recent rapid contraction in the history of Catholic Church and American society. No one could have done it better."
Hugh Feiss, OSB