Abbot James Albers and the monastic community are excited to announce the new assignments for this coming year. Fr. Jeremy Heppler, who had served as prior under Abbot James since his election December 28, 2012, has been called upon to serve as the new pastor of St. Benedict Parish in Atchison, Kan. Fr. Jeremy excitedly accepted this new assignment, "I am looking forward to getting to know the parishioners of St. Benedict Parish better, particularly journeying with them in both the special moments and the ordinary moments of life."
Succeeding Fr. Jeremy as prior is Fr. Gabriel Landis. Fr. Gabriel has served as a pastor at various parishes since his ordination in 2004. Fr. Gabriel has graciously accepted this unexpected assignment, "I must admit that I did not see this coming at all and I am humbled by the Abbot's request; I was humbled to hear I had been strongly recommended by my confreres . I am grateful for Prior Jeremy’s support and guidance during this transition. He is an outstanding example of what a Prior should be. He will continue to have my prayers as the new Pastor of St. Benedict Parish. I ask that the friends of St. Benedict’s Abbey pray for me as I take on this important responsibility."
Fr. Gabriel has also been asked to assume the role of Postulant Director, responsible for the leadership of men during their first three months in the monastery. "I am excited for the opportunity to help guide our newest members as they enter and begin their monastic journey." Supervising all of the formation efforts is Fr. Simon Baker who will also continue as Benedictine College Chaplain.
Br. Karel Soukup joins Br. Placidus Lee on the faculty at Maur Hill-Mount Academy as a religion teacher. Fr. Meinrad will serve our high school apostolate as chaplain, "I am excited about this opportunity to help our students encounter Christ. I am blessed to work with a fine faculty and administration, including a Benedictine sister, Sr. Molly, and two other monks, Brs. Placidus and Karel. It is good for young people to know the Benedictines, and the way of life we live."
Br. Luke Turner, who completed his Executive Master of Business Administration degree in 2014, has been called to forge ahead in his formational and educational journey – beginning seminary studies at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana this fall. "It seems like just yesterday that I returned to St. Benedict's Abbey - novitiate, juniorate, Solemn vows, teaching in the college, etc., time flies; but right now, nothing can compare to my anticipation in beginning priesthood studies at St. Meinrad's in August. The challenge of full time seminary studies do nothing to diminish my excitement in continuing my faith journey as a priest and being able to minister in a whole new way...I am so much grateful to my family, friends and confreres.
Fr. Roderic Giller, who serves as a chaplain to Lansing Correctional Facility and works in hospice care, has been called to add to his work in prison ministry. He will serve as Chaplain at the Jurisdictional Regional Correctional Facility and the Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. Fr. Roderic, himself a veteran of the Naval Reserve, is grateful for the opportunity to serve, "This ministry appeals to me because of where these men are in their life. They’ve all made big mistakes like most of the rest of us, and need to grieve their loss of freedom, being away from their families, the harm they've done, and to reform their lives.
If I didn’t do this, these men may be without a priest at all, which has happened in the past. But, over and above is the opportunity to get to know each inmate personally, to love them, talk and preach to them in a small and intimate setting...seeing the expressions on their faces when they 'get' what the gospel is saying, giving them hope and showing both of us a better way to live through the gospel!
They challenge me to really give them the 'heart of the gospel' leading to reformation of their lives. They really appreciate my coming to them and it is a privilege and joy for me to serve them."
Several monks will continue in their previous assignments in addition to these new assignments. We also ask that you keep, in a special way, those of our brothers who are infirm. Though they are no longer able to work, they continue to lift the world to God each day in prayer. For a more comprehensive list of monastic assignments see below.
List of Monastic Assignments:
- Fr. Aaron Peters - Tailor; Weekend Parish Assignments
- Fr. Albert Hauser - Pastor St. Michael Parish, Axtell, Kan.; Holy Family, Summerfield, Kan.
- Abbot Barnabas Senecal - Parochial Vicar, St. Benedict Parish, Atchison
- Fr. Benjamin Tremmel - Pastor St. Ann Parish, Effingham, Kan.; St. Louis Parish, Good Intent, Kan.; St. Mary Parish, Purcell, Kan.
- Fr. Blaine Schultz - Abbey Schola Master; Guest Master
- Fr. Brendan Rolling - National Chaplain, Fellowship of Catholic University Students
- Br. Christopher Start - Science and Religion Teacher, St. Benedict Catholic School, Atchison, Kan.
- Fr. Daniel McCarthy - Professor, Pontifical Institute of Liturgy, Rome, Italy; Professor, Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium; for more on Fr. Daniel's work, see his website
- Fr. Denis Meade - Abbey Archivist; Chaplain, Mount St. Scholastica Dooley Center, Atchison, Kan.
- Fr. Gabriel Landis - Prior; Director of Postulants
- Bishop Herbert Hermes - Bishop Emeritus, Prelacy of Cristalândia, Tocantins, Brazil
- Fr. Jay Kythe - Associate Chaplain, Benedictine College; Abbey Liturgical Emcee
- Fr. Jeremy Heppler - Pastor, St. Benedict Parish, Atchison, Kan.
- Br. Joseph Ryan - Abbey Porter; Groundskeeper; Asst. Guest Master; Asst. Transportation Director; Benedictine College Mail Services
- Br. Karel Soukup - Religion Teacher, Maur Hill-Mount Academy; Abbey Asst. Groundskeeper
- Br. Leven Harton - Subprior; Vocations Director
- Br. Luke Turner - Seminary Studies, St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, Ind.
- Fr. Marion Charboneau - Professor of History, Benedictine College
- Fr. Matthew Habiger - Director of Prison Oblates
- Fr. Maurice Haefling - Abbey Business Manager
- Fr. Meinrad Miller - Instructor of Theology, Benedictine College; Chaplain, Maur Hill-Mount Academy, Director of Oblates
- Br. Placidus Lee - Religion Teacher, Maur Hill-Mount Academy; Abbey Asst. Liturgical Emcee
- Fr. Roderic Giller - Chaplain, Lansing Correctional Facility, Lansing Kan.; Chaplain, Chaplain at the Jurisdictional Regional Correctional Facility and the Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Leavenworth, Kan.; Chaplain, St. Croix Hospice
- Fr. Simon Baker - Chaplain, Benedictine College; Abbey Formation Director; Director of Juniors
- Br. Timothy McMillan - Abbey Sacristan; Kitchen Manager