January 31 – February 7, 2017
We are returning to our normal schedule following the annual community retreat. It was a good, refreshing week. We have been especially grateful for the mild winter, and the opportunities this afforded us for taking walks during the retreat.
We ended the retreat with a two-day work project, scraping and painting the ceiling in our refectory (the monastic word for “dining room”). This was last done twenty-one years ago, shortly after the community moved into our present main cloister. Many hands make light work, and for some periods of time, we had as many as six monks on ladders, daubing away. This is also the time of year that we make improvements to our Bed and Breakfast. Not many people choose to visit Chicago in February, so we generally have openings in each apartment for deep cleaning, repair, painting, and all the rest that would be familiar to any homeowner.
March 1 -April 23, 2017
The Divine Mercy stitchery, crafted by Brigitta Gedvillas with the assistance of her husband, Jerry, of Houghton, MI, in the Diocese of Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, was begun in 2005 and finished in 2013. The stitchery, an eight year labor of love and evangelization contains 237 colors and 13.52 miles of floss. The computer generated pattern for the image consisted in 500 sheets of paper and 10 rolls of tape. During the 8 years of its fabrication, Brigitta faithfully prayed for the poor souls in purgatory as the 514,503 stitches of the image took shape.
Click here to learn more.
The Institute for Sacred Architecture (Vol. 30), Fall, 2016
Click here to view the article, Forming the Imagination: Architectural Heritage and Church Downsizing in Chicago.
November 16 – 20, 2016
Abbots Visitor, Anselm Atkinson, OSB, from Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland, and Friedhelm Tissen, OSB, from Kornelimünster Abbey in Germany, came for a second fraternal visit to discuss the community’s goals and aspirations for the coming year. We are very grateful for their hospitality and warm fraternal spirit.
September 22, 2016
the General Chapter of the Subiaco Cassinese Congregation elected Abbot Guillermo Arboleda Tamayo, O.S.B., abbot of the Abbey of Santa Maria of Medellin and Administrator of Guatapè (Colombia) to be the new Abbot President. He succeeds Abbot Bruno Marin who has served as Abbot President of our Congregation since 2004.
Abbot President Guillermo was born in 1956. In 1991 he was elected the Conventual Prior of Santa María de la Epifanía (Guatapè), Rionegro-Antioquia, Colombia, and then elected the community’s first abbot in 1999. Then in 2014 he became administrator of the Abbey of Santa Maria of Medellin, before being postulated the abbot of that community.
Abbot Guillermo becomes the first Abbot President of the Subiaco Cassinese Congregation from the Americas.
July 10, 2016
Deo Gratias! Our very own Br. Joseph Woudenberg, OSB (now Dom Joseph) has made his solemn profession – may he continue to persevere in his service of the True King.
We would like to take this joyful occasion to ask you for prayers for the community; that God may continue to bless us with more vocations.
June 26 – July 7, 2016
On Sunday, June 26, Fr. Brendan and Br. Gabriel headed off to Scotland for a fraternal visit to the abbey of Pluscarden (one of the Benedictine houses in our congregation and home to Abbot Visitor Anselm Atkinson, OSB) where, with other monks and nuns from our congregation, they attended several lectures on monastic life.
June 11th, 2016
This Saturday, our very own Fr. Prior Peter Funk, OSB had an interview with Dan Cheeley on Relevant Radio (Network of talk radio stations for Catholics), explaining in detail the history of our monastery and the reason for its location in the city. To listen to the interview, check out the home page, just beneath our homily podcast; or click here to go to our SoundCloud account.
May 29th, 2016
Today marked our annual Corpus Christi procession with St. Mary of Perpetual Help Parish. The weather was beautiful, and the liturgy stunning – it was nice to see new and old faces this year, not to mention the large attendance. Afterward the monks hosted a small reception in Oblate Hall.
May 14th, 2016
This May, we hosted our annual Donor Dinner in thanksgiving for the continual generosity of our benefactors. We began the evening with Solemn Vespers with the Chicago Men’s A Capella, for the Solemnity of Pentecost in honor of the memory of † Dr. Matthew Geiger. Vespers was followed by a formal meal of Hungarian cuisine – prepared by the monks themselves!
May 12th, 2016
On April 23, Fr. Prior Peter Funk, OSB and Br. Gabriel Sumerel, OSB left for upstate New York to pick up the new icon of Our Lady of the Protecting Veil (pokrova bogorodica) written by Master Iconographer, Vladislav Andrejev, creator of our beautiful Deisis icon. Today we mounted the icon above the altar, just in time for the Solemnity of Pentecost and our annual Donor Dinner.
On behalf of the Monastery of the Holy Cross, we present to you this video recording of Solemn Vespers during the Easter Season, in loving memory of Matthew Geiger (November 8, 1972 – March 9, 2016), out of sincere appreciation for those who have donated to our community, and have expressed an interest in our way of life. We continue to be amazed and so impressed by the lasting impression that Matthew had left on those who knew him. We ask that you join us in keeping Matthew, his beloved wife Emily, and his family in your prayers. Please click here to view the video.
December 13th, 2015
As part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Archbishop has designated 32 parishes and shrines as Jubilee Pilgrimage Sites. By walking through the Holy Door of these sites, the faithful may gain the Plenary Indulgence offered by Pope Francis.
Our very own monastery, listed among these sites, has consecrated the south door of the narthex of the church during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on December 13, 2015. To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion. It is important that this moment be linked, first and foremost, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with a reflection on mercy. It will be necessary to accompany these celebrations with the profession of faith and with prayer for the Pope and for the intentions that he bears in his heart for the good of the Church and of the entire world. For more information about the Jubilee Year of Mercy, click here.
November 29th – December 4th, 2015
In preparation for the season of Advent, the Monastery of the Holy Cross hosted Master Iconographer, Vladislav Andrejev, creator of our beautiful Deisis icon, as he conducted a week long icon-writing workshop. the 20 students who attended, split into two groups (beginner & advanced) learned the technique of this ancient and traditional liturgical art-form. The beginner’s class worked on painting an icon of the Archangel Michael, while the advanced students completed an image of the Holy Prophet Elijah. For pictures, click here! For more information about Vladislav, his upcoming workshops, and the art of icon-writing, click here!
August 15th, 2015
Deo Gratias! Br. Gabriel, our most recent vocations candidate, after 2 years of persevering in the monastic way of life, has now ended his Novitiate and has taken first vows. During the Liturgy, he was vested in the long scapular (a sign of his becoming a Junior of the community), and the Rule of St. Benedict, from Fr. Prior Peter, as a symbolic gesture signifying his will to accept the yoke of stability, obedience, and fidelity to the monastic way of life. God willing, in the next 3 years he will make solemn profession in which he will promise to live out these vows for life, within the Monastery of the Holy Cross. We ask you for your prayers for Br. Gabriel and the community that God may continue to bless us with new vocations.
July 26th, 2015
Deo Gratias! Our new choir stalls are officially installed. Long time friends of the Monastery will notice a dramatic change when they enter the church. Last summer, the monastic Chapter approved the construction and installation of new choir stalls, and this installation took place from Monday, July 20 through Friday, July 24, thanks to the hard work of New Holland Church Furniture.
This is the last structural change that we are planning in our renovation of the church. We hope at some later date to give the interior a fresh painting, but we made the choir a priority because of its practical and symbolic importance. The choir signals that this is a place where consecrated persons engage in daily prayer for the Church and the world. The new construction clarifies our monastic charism and helps us to live it more faithfully.
We opted for thirty-two seats because we are hoping too that God continues to send us new vocations, but also because at solemn liturgies (with guest choirs) and during provincial and congregational meeting in Chicago, our previous choir lacked adequate seating.
We are grateful for the many donations we have received that made the choir possible.
For pictures of the new renovations, click here!
July 11th, 2015
Deo Gratias! Our very own Br. Timothy (now Dom Timothy) is added to the rank of solemnly professed monks – may he continue to persevere in his service of the True King. Please click here for pictures of the profession ceremony.
We would also like to take this joyful occasion to ask you for prayers for the community; that God may continue to bless us with more vocations.
July 1st, 2015
We are pleased to announce that Monastery Caskets has entered into a new partnership with Abbey Caskets of Saint Meinrad’s Archabbey in Indiana.
Abbey Caskets has been supplying us with hand-made caskets for twelve years. Beginning July 1, 2015, they will now be handling all sales in the Chicago area, and Monastery Caskets will be the exclusive distributor for Abbey Caskets in Chicago.
Combining our two monastery’s resources will help us to keep prices low and to expand the range of casket designs and materials available. The partnership will continue to support the mission of the Monastery of the Holy Cross.
N.B. – New catalogue TBA. Current prices and caskets are subject to change at an upcoming date.
May 10th-18th, 2015
Fr. Prior Peter led a group of twenty-two other pilgrims to Rome for a spiritual journey in the footsteps of St. Benedict. Important sites included in the itinerary were Norcia (the birthplace of Ss. Benedict and Scholastica), Subiaco and Sacro Speco (the place where St. Benedict lived as a hermit – also the site of the oldest Benedictine Monastery in the world), & Monte Casino (the burial place of Ss. Benedict and Scholastica). On Friday, May 15, we traveled to St. Peter’s Basilica, where we celebrated mass in front of the tomb of St. Peter. The day happened to be Fr. Peter’s anniversary of ordination, and so was especially moving. We also had the once in a lifetime opportunity of touring the Scavi (excavation), beneath the Vatican, where we saw the bones of St. Peter himself. Please click here to view pictures!
April 14th, 2015
After several months of work, we launched our current new website! We encourage everyone to explore the site, especially to visit the Prior’s new blog, our homily podcasts, and current information on monastery events, including Solemn Vespers.
March 25th, 2015
Today we celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of vows for Prior Peter. Today is also the fifteenth anniversary of the solemn professions of Fr. Brendan and Fr. Edward, two of our founders. On this date in the year 2000, our community became a canonical monastery of the Benedictine Confederation.
February 16th, 2015
We finished our community retreat today. This year, we used the writings of Pope Shenouda III (1923-2012; Patriarch of Alexandria 1971-2012) of the Coptic Church.