Monk Profiles

We invite you to get to know some of the members of our monastic community in a little more depth. Select the picture or "continue reading" to learn more about that monk and his role at St. Anselm's.
For easier access, you may also click on any name in the following list to jump directly to his profile:

Abbot James Wiseman | Br. Samuel Springuel | Br. Ignacio Gonzalez | Br. Matthew Nylund
Br. Dunstan Robidoux
| Fr. Boniface Von Nell | Fr. Joseph Jensen | Fr. Gabriel Myers
Fr. Peter Weigand
| Fr. Christopher Wyvill


Abbot James Wiseman

Like all but three of our monks, I grew up quite far from Washington, DC, first coming to this city from Louisville, Kentucky for undergraduate studies at Georgetown University. Already in high school I had looked at several forms of consecrated life, and my search narrowed down to the Benedictines during a post-graduate year in Germany, where I made several visits to monasteries in that country and was taken by the Benedictine balance...
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Br. Samuel Springuel

I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area, even coming to our school for grades 7 thru 12. I've also known that I had a religious vocation since I was 4, basically as long as I have a continuous memory. I always hated the Washington weather though, too hot in the summer and not cold enough in the winter, and so headed to Vermont for college and Maine for graduate school.
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Br. Ignacio Gonzalez

A native of Austin, Texas and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, I came to Washington, DC in the mid-1990s to work on Capitol Hill in the office of my local representative. After completing my studies at the University of Houston, I returned to Washington to begin a career in both teaching and the foreign-exchange market. As long as I can remember, I sensed a call to religious life, and after Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Washington in the spring of 2008, I began to seriously discern my vocation and entered St. Anselm’s Abbey in the fall of that year.
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Br. Matthew Nylund

I was born in New York and grew up on Long Island, where I attended public schools. I studied at Antioch College in Ohio and Fordham University in New York, and did graduate work in history at Columbia University. During this time I spent a year in France, and made a number of extended visits to Mexico. I worked for twenty years at various publishing houses in New York.
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Br. Dunstan Robidoux

I was born in a French Canadian family on June 4, 1951 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where I grew up as the eldest of four children. I attended local schools and in later years was privileged to attend lectures at the University of New Brunswick, the Catholic University of Louvain, the University of Toronto, and the Catholic University of America. I have been a monk at St. Anselm’s Abbey since 1987, and through the years have functioned in various capacities, teaching in the Abbey School from 1989-2000 and currently serving as the abbey’s almoner, infirmarian, manager of the gift shop, and part-time receptionist.
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Fr. Boniface Von Nell

It was my experience of the Divine Office that drew me to the Benedictines. I first encountered it on a visit to St. Vincent’s Archabbey, Latrobe, Pa. and it marked me for life. Soon after, I was introduced to the Philadelphia chapter of St. Anselm’s Oblates. It was my life as an Oblate of St. Anselm’s Abbey for almost thirty years that prepared me for my life as a monk. Being an Oblate is a vocation in itself, but in my case the ties that I had developed with the abbey ultimately resulted in my entering in August, 1985.
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Fr. Joseph Jensen

I grew up in Chicago, where I attended public grammar and high schools. I then entered the Army Air Corps during World War II and served just under three years (Feb. 1942 to Dec. 1945). While in service I met Fr. Charles O'Laughlin, a monk of St. Anselm's who was on supply at the time. He had a great influence on my spiritual life and inspired me to come to St. Anselm's, which I did in 1946. Here I have found my vocation. I was simply professed in 1948 and made my solemn profession in 1951.
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Fr. Gabriel Myers

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...
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Fr. Peter Weigand

On October 14th, 1941, I was born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, a small farming community – population 10,000. The city was famous for having the largest sawmills in the United States during the Weyerhaeuser lumber days and for its notable Jacob Leinenkugel’s Beer. I attended Island Street Public School until I entered St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in the 6th grade. Then after four years at McDonell Catholic High School, I went off to St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota, to study Biology.
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Fr. Christopher Wyvill

I grew up in a small town in Maryland, where I attended parish elementary and public high school. At age eighteen I enlisted in the Navy, and after three years I received an NROTC scholarship. At age 28 I finished my three years of active duty as Engineering Officer on a post-World War II destroyer, paying back the Navy for my four years of college.
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