“We intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.” Among the many tenets of Saint Benedict, this is, perhaps, one of the most prevalent derivatives of his influence in Benedictine monasticism’s rich history. Catholic elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities throughout the world are concrete, physical examples of how Saint Benedict’s guidance thrives, not decades, but centuries after his passing.
Monasteries of Benedictine men and women, followers of his Rule, continue to teach eager students about his way of life. Our colleges and universities continue to educate monks and sisters, who continue to go out into the world and enlighten future generations. This practice has repeated itself in an endless cycle for more than fifteen centuries.
As Abbot Primate of the Benedictine confederation of men, representing monasteries throughout the world, it is my pleasure to announce the establishment of The Saint Benedict Education Foundation. We are an organization focused on providing the means for our international Benedictine university in Rome, Sant’ Anselmo, to continue this mission of Saint Benedict. As Abbot Primate, I also serve as abbot of Sant’ Anselmo, which has an enrollment of more than 400 future leaders of our Church, from Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. Present-day leaders in the Church have received their educations here, including Cardinal Paul Augustin Mayer; former head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory; Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island; and the new shepherd of the Diocese of Joliet, Bishop J. Peter Sartain. Our alumni include the Pope’s master of ceremonies, Archbishop Piero Marini, along with well-known theologians and writers, such as Father Demetrius Dumm, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Archabbey, author of five books; and Father Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B., of Mount Angel Seminary and author of ten books.
Many of our alumni, such as Father Driscoll, return to Rome to teach here at Sant’ Anselmo, or they return to their abbeys and dioceses to teach, write, preach, serve in parishes, and work with many other organizations in the spirit of Saint Benedict.
This first publication of our new foundation comes in two parts. The masthead of our newsletter, takes its name Faith Seeking Understanding, Fides Quarens Intellectum, from the motto of Sant’ Anselmo. Within this newsletter is a brochure entitled The Secrets of Sant’ Anselmo, which is designed to allow you to become familiar with Sant’ Anselmo, the place where my confreres and I work, pray, live and study in the name of Saint Benedict and in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Along with the staff of our new foundation, I invite you to learn about and become a part of our new endeavor.