The monks of Prince of Peace made their annual retreat during the First Week of Advent.
This year, our director was Abbot Marcel Rooney, O.S.B., who had been the superior at Conception Abbey in Missouri for three years before he was elected Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Order. He held that position until resigning in 2000.
Abbot Marcel is presently in the Diocese of Madison, WI, where he is the founder and president of The Orate Pastoral Institute of Sacred Liturgy, Music and Art. The Institute has a threefold mission:
1. Theological – To help people understand the theology behind the liturgy.
2. Spiritual – To relate what we’re doing in the liturgy to the interior life.
3. Pastoral – To do things well and to teach that there is a reason for reverence.
For the most part, Abbot Marcel’s retreat conferences dealt with these three points. He also elaborated on them especially as they relate to monastic liturgies and monastic life. Of course, some of his homey illustrations taken from his teaching and monastic background colored his presentations.
We are grateful to Abbot Marcel Rooney for sharing his valuable experience with us and we hope that he has another chance to return in the near future.
Now we look forward with anticipation to our next retreat.
We were blessed with warm weather during our days of prayer and reflection but Abbot Marcel had to return to Madison where the temperature was about 10 degrees above zero when he landed.