Fr. James' Newsletter - no. 168 / March 7, 2017
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A random thought or two shared with our University faculty and staff as we celebrated Founders’ Day, the commemoration of the founding of our schools on March 2, 1887:
Before the prayer itself, a memory of a man who knew all the founders whom we honor today. As a young monk back in the mid-1970s, I taped a number of interviews with Father Peter Mizera, who had come to Lisle before the turn of the twentieth century, come as an orphan child, one of the earliest at the Bohemian orphanage being set up at a farmhouse in the midst of what is now Green Trails. When this youngster was old enough, he crossed College Road and came to our schools. But he ran out of money, the little left him by his parents was used up. He would have to leave.
On Commencement Day in 1908, he happened to run into Abbot Nepomuk Jaeger, the first superior, who lived still at St. Procopius Parish in Chicago but would come to Lisle for graduations. The prelate spoke with the young man, asked about his educational progress, heard of the financial situation that was about to put an end to all his dreams of study. Not so, said the old Abbot. You just go to that rector and tell him to send the bills to me. As long as you work hard, we’ll find a way to keep you enrolled.
Worth remembering, this bit of our history. Not within the power of any of us, not even abbots, to wave a magic wand and solve all the problems of everyone on campus. But we can each and all of us look upon the student standing before us as an individual, to whose situation we perhaps as individuals can respond. Policies have their place, and so does our tradition.
Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, as we remember today Abbot Nepomuk and those monks who joined with him to nurture this school and its students in the early years, help us on our part to embrace the values of compassion and concern that motivated their efforts to establish Catholic higher education here in Lisle. This we ask through Christ Our Lord.

As well as honoring the past, the community took a step into the future, we pray, by returning last week to the Lady Chapel for the Divine Office – the Lady Chapel renovated with new lighting and new choir stalls (with a new organ still to come).
No change is perfect, Heaven knows. But, amidst the inconveniences of adjusting to some tight floor space (somehow, the choir stalls ended up a bit larger than we had calculated), we hope that our voices joined in the praise of God shall be able to do so worthily through our efforts to improve this sacred place.
Easter Triduum Vocation Discernment Retreat: Apr. 13 - 16, 2017. For Catholic men, ages 18-45, who are thinking about a religious vocation. Register online or contact Fr. James for details. See here for more info.
On Feb. 25th we welcomed a new postulant, Paull Ritt, from Kildeer, Illinois. Please pray for Paul as he joins our monastic community. See here for more info.
After years of planning and months of work on our Lady Chapel (which we are using to pray the Liturgy of the Hours as a community), the chapel was ready for use, starting Mar. 1 (Ash Wednesday). See here for more info.
Join us for Lent at the Abbey, Saturday, March 18, 2017. Register online or contact Fr. Becket at (630)829-9253 or See here for more info.
The Benedictine Monks of St. Procopius Abbey.
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St. Procopius Abbey · 5601 College Road · Lisle, Il 60532 · USA

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