St. Peter’s Abbot Peter Novecosky was in Rome from September 2nd to 19th for the Abbots’ Congress that occurs every four years. The gathering was composed of 250 Abbots from all over the world. This was a time that created a dialogue around their governance and global projects.
During Abbot Peter’s visit, he had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis on September 8th. Abbot Peter states, “Pope Francis is one of the most respected persons in today’s world.”
Some of the topics included on this year’s agenda were:
- Electing a new Abbot Primate of the Benedictine order, in Rome. The congress elected Abbot Gregory Polan of Conception Abbey in Missouri as Abbot Primate. He is a Scripture scholar and will now be moving to Rome.
- Discussing financial and other kinds of support they can provide Saint Anselm, the International Centre for Benedictines, a university and abbey. The campus has 500 students enrolled in one of three post-graduate programs: Philosophy, Theology, and Liturgy.
- The intra-faith monastic dialogue with Buddhist monks. This is a cooperative venture amongst both the Benedictine and Buddhist monks.
- Aid to International Monasteries (AIM), a project that supports developing monastic communities of both men and women monastics in Asia and Africa
The visit also provided its members the opportunity to participate in one of three site visits that relate to Saint Benedict. The first visit was to Nursia, where he was born; which was unfortunately cancelled due to the recent earthquakes there. The second tour was to Subiaco, where Saint Benedict spent three years in a cave after leaving his university life in Rome for prayer. The third and final tour was to Monte Cassino, where Saint Benedict founded his monastery and wrote the Rule of St. Benedict.