Abbot Barnabas Senecal, who was recently hospitalized with a stroke, is recovering well. He would like to convey his gratitude for all of your prayers and well-wishes. We ask all of you to continue to pray for him. To inquire about visiting Abbot Barnabas please contact the Abbey at 913.367.7853.
My 50th anniversary of being a Benedictine Priest is 14 June 18. It is a good time to reflect upon the meaning of these 50 years of priesthood.
I was ordained on 14 June 68 with my father, John, and older brother, Benedict, by Archbishop Edward Hunkeler at the Abbey Church in Atchison. Obviously, this was an unusual event: a father and his two sons being ordained together.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we hear the Holy Spirit say, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” And then a few chapters later (15:39): “And there arose a sharp contention, so that they separated from each other; Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.” A few years later, St. Barnabas was stoned to death at Salamis in Cyprus in the year 60 or 61. A disagreement among disciples led to a course of action of preaching the Gospel that one could say was a bad decision, a failure in leadership perhaps, but definitely in relationships. But God is not upset by these things. In fact, when we follow the Lord, all He asks is to trust Him.
A quote from an obituary on file in the Abbey archives will have to suffice for the necrology entry for Father Bede: “Rev. Bede Durham, OSB, chaplain of the Saint Elizabeth Hospital, Elizabeth, N.J., died last Thursday at the age of 67 years.