Abbey Introduces Dir. of Advancement

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The monks are excited to introduce Mark Reed as the new Director of Advancement at St. Benedict’s Abbey.  Mark brings over 30 years of non-profit experience to the Abbey Advancement team - we sat down with Mark to learn a little more about him:

Q: Mark, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

A: I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, and am the youngest of four children.  I attended Catholic grade school and high school. I attended Drake University where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree.  I have over 30 years of nonprofit experience, including 3.5 years as the Executive Director of The Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa. My wife Penni and I have seven grown children, two grandchildren, and another grandchild that is due in November.  

Q: What excites you about working with the monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey?


A: In an ever-changing, often secularly dominated world, we are in desperate need of the prayer and the work of the monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey.  Their commitment to pray and work unceasingly for humanity give us great comfort and builds God’s kingdom in chaotic times. The monks’ commitment to the praise and worship of God and service of others is truly inspiring and helps all of us to be better Catholic Christians.

Q: Why are you passionate about being Catholic? How does that passion feed your work?

A: I’ve never been anything but Catholic, and I cannot imagine any other way of life.  I sincerely believe that Catholicism is the best path to God. I take every chance I get to attend Mass, pray and receive the holy sacraments.  Being Catholic isn’t going to Mass once a week, it’s a lifestyle and the monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey demonstrate the perfect example of how to live the Catholic life well.  In my work, I want to share this with others and invite them to join in Catholic lifestyle. Enabling others to see how all of us can support the vital work of the monks and the Catholic church is truly exciting.

Q: What part of the Catholic faith has had the most profound impact upon you?

A: The ability to receive Jesus’ body and blood in the Holy Eucharist has had a tremendous impact on my life.  For me, receiving Jesus in this manner is the greatest gift, and I am incredibly thankful that I have the opportunity to receive our Lord in this way.  In John 6:53 Christ says, “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, there is no life in you.” This scripture passage is one of my favorites as it underscores the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and our invitation to find a life with God through this Blessed Sacrament.