Hometown: Perkasie, PA
Professed Date: October 29, 1988
Title: Bursar; Music Director
In my twenties I was minister of a small Lutheran congregation in southeastern Pennsylvania, near my family’s farm. Seeking a deeper spiritual life I became a Catholic and entered the abbey in 1987 at age 31. My strong Lutheran musical heritage soon led to organ lessons, and I became the abbey choirmaster. I have been teacher, chaplain, and admissions director in the school. Now I work in the abbey business office as bursar.
I learned the practicalities of priestly ministry during two summers at a Benedictine parish, Saint Mary’s Leyland, in Lancashire UK, and then was ordained in 1999. I celebrate and preach in several parish settings. I enjoy listening when people want to talk seriously about their lives.
In the early days, a wise monk frequently said, “Yes, monastic life is difficult…. But I love it!” For the first twenty-four years, I thought, “The first part is definitely true, but I am not so sure I could say the second.” Then in 2011 an official conducting our quadrennial visitation surprised me at the end of our interview. “So,” he said, “You sound like a happy monk.”
Recently, after a Latin mass at St Matthew’s Cathedral, an elegant and perceptive lady said “Your preaching is unusual. I am curious. What is your background?” I told her of Lutheran ministry and of belonging to the monastery. Of the latter, she exclaimed, “You must love that!” I could not help but smile and say, “Yes, I guess I do.”