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Saint Joseph Abbey
Saint Joseph Abbey of Saint Benedict, LA
Saint Joseph Abbey of Saint Benedict, LA

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Fr. Augustine Foley, our formation director here at the abbey, put in this request for our friends:

"Could you add a small request for a trumpet for one of our postulants who is a good musician and wants to play trumpet here even at our liturgies, but does not own his own instrument? Perhaps someone may have one they never use sitting in their closet?"

The postulant in question is Mark Anthony Rodriguez, an accomplished organist, Latin scholar, and philosophy graduate, who thinks that "mixing a trumpet with Fr. Séan's organ pieces would sound awesome." We agree, and hope someone out there can find one they never use.

It doesn't have to be a Bach Stradivarius! Just a plain poor one will do - a plain poor trumpet for a plain poor monk.

Please contact us here. Who knows? Maybe you'll hear "The Saints Go Marching In" to Mass one day. . . on your old trumpet!
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Friday, Fr. Charles sent out this email to all of our community, congratulating Br. Ephrem Arcement on his recent publication. Br. Ephrem explains: "The e-version is available now. The paperback will be available on 1 August. Our gift shop has them already."

This is the Amazon(!) link:

Dear faculty, staff, seminarians, and friends:

On behalf of Father Gregory Boquet, O.S.B., President-Rector of the Seminary College, it is my great pleasure to congratulate Brother Ephrem Arcement, O.S.B., on the publication of Intimacy in Prayer: Wisdom from Bernard of Clairvaux, a volume he edited and for which wrote the introductory materials.  

Though we are not a research university, faculty research, including publishing, is integral to ongoing faculty development in the Seminary College.  A published work by a faculty member is also an external recognition of an individual faculty member's expertise and scholarship by his or her peers.  Brother Ephrem, though a junior professor, now joins the ranks of many of our senior professors who have published works.  

Wishing all of you a restful few weeks of what remains of the summer break, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Charles.

Rev. Charles J. Benoit, O.S.B., J.C.L.
Academic Dean
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How do you get a monk, a funeral director and a libertarian into the same room?

ba-dum bump:

Sort of a joke, but not really? Especially when it involves the Supreme Court? Get the punch line at MSN Money and hear about the latest in our coffin struggles. 

Oh, and if you really want to protest injustice, buy a casket now and use it as a coffee table. It's a great conversation piece, and it will teach you the importance of treating every day as it is: a gift from God. Like Saint Benedict says in his Rule: "Keep death daily before your eyes."

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The latest issue of The Abbey Voice has been mailed to all of our subscribers. It's now mobile-friendly, so you can forward it to all your friends on the go!

Seriously, if you want the latest news, please subscribe by filling out a short form at the link below. We will reply with a link to the latest issue that will open in your browser. Thereafter, you should receive it conveniently right in your mailbox.
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On Thursday, 11 July, during the First Vespers in the Abbey church celebrating the feast of Saint Benedict, Novice Ricky Coté, son of Rick and Cyndi Coté of Austin, Texas, professed his first vows as a monk in the community of Saint Joseph Abbey. During the ceremony, Novice Ricky received the name Cyprian, by which he will be known in religion.

He entered the monastery and became a novice in July 2012. He is a 2004 graduate of McNeil High School and earned an Associate of Applied Sciences from Texas Culinary Academy in 2007. From 2005 to 2008, Brother Cyprian served as a Eucharistic minister, worked with the homebound ministry at Saint Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin, and also taught confirmation classes there.  

During the coming year, Br. Cyprian will be managing Pennies for Bread and assisting in the Abbey Gift Shop.

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for Fr. Ambrose's funeral and the Feast of Saint Benedict

The last two days have been busy ones for the monastic community, what with Fr. Ambrose's funeral and the Feast of Saint Benedict. Of course, Abbot Justin had double duty with his homilies.

We had a request to post the homily for Fr. Ambrose online, so we thought that we would post the most excellent one from Saint Benedict's Feast as well. Both of them are on our audio page, at the top of the list, at this link.
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Father Ambrose’s body will be received today, 9 July, at 5:30 p.m. at Saint Joseph Abbey followed by the singing of Vespers.  Later this evening, at 7:15 p.m., a Funeral Vigil will be held in the Abbey Church. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated tomorrow, Wednesday, 10 July at 11:15 a.m. in the Abbey Church followed by burial in the Abbey Cemetery.

These photos are from alumnus Linden Waguespack, who took most of them in the 1970s. He sent along this description in his email. Our thanks to him for sharing his photos and his thoughts.

"It's with great sadness that I've learned from Russ (and my brother who saw the obit) of the death of my dear friend Fr. Ambrose, who became one of my closest confidants during my four years as a member of the monastic community. The last time I saw him was at alumni day 2004. I visited the monastery October 2012, spoke with Fr. Paul, Fr. Vic, Fr. Raphael, but could not locate Ambrose. A few years or so after I left St. Ben (1965) I visited with Ambrose and we spent some hours in his small hermitage near the "cow-milking bldg" on the farm, at which time, as I departed, he gave me the two Missale Romanum's pictured here... the old Latin missals used on the altars for Mass, as the conversion to English had taken place. In the early '70s, my first wife and I visited Ambrose for the greater part of a day. He was our waiter in the guest refectory, sat with us for the meal. After lunch he decided to take us to a small sand "beach" along the Bogue Falaya River where we waded in the water and had a jovial outing. Second photo is him joking with her as he empties his shoe of sand. Third photo taken along the walk from the beach. I took some photos from the rear loft of the church when Fr. Patrick became abbot, and Ambrose is in photo four at the altar drinking from the chalice. I believe I sent him one shortly thereafter and asked him to give a couple to Abbot Patrick.(Took a while to find these photos.) REQUIESCAT IN PACE."

(and, later, in a subsequent email)

"I found the b&w negatives of Fr. Ambrose and there is one more photo that I had extracted onto my flash drive at a local lab this morning. The date on all these photos is May, 1974. Attached is said photo....this one, and the earlier close-up of Fr. Ambrose were actually taken on the way TO the sand beach (according to the sequence on the film)."

Fr. Ambrose 1974
6 Photos - View album
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Obituary and Funeral Arrangements for

Father Ambrose Gerald Wathen, O.S.B., monk of Saint Joseph Abbey in Saint Benedict, La., died at Saint Joseph Abbey on Wednesday morning, 3 July 2013. He was 81 years old.

Son of the late Henry and Lillian Wathen, Fr. Ambrose was born in Evansville, In., on 10 December 1931. He made his profession as a Benedictine monk of Saint Joseph Abbey on 21 August 1959 and was ordained a priest on 28 August 1965. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Anna Mae Wathen Lewis, and is survived by his brothers Melvin Wathen and Jim Wathen.

Fr. Ambrose's 53 years as a monk were marked with the love of learning and the desire for God, serving his fellow monks, the Benedictine Order, and the greater Church in numerous capacities. As a talented artisan, he served his brother monks in the kitchen, sacristy, and tailorshop.  A gifted scholar, Father Ambrose published numerous articles on monasticism and served as a seminary professor, the formation director of the monastery, a professor in the Monastic Institute at Sant Anselmo in Rome, and was the fourth President-Rector of Saint Joseph Seminary College.

Fr. Ambrose's body will be received on Tuesday, 9 July 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at Saint Joseph Abbey followed by the singing of Vespers. Later that evening, at 7:15 p.m., a funeral vigil will be held in the Abbey Church.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 at 11:15 a.m. in the Abbey Church followed by burial in the Abbey Cemetery.

Priests are invited to concelebrate.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Saint Joseph Abbey's Health and Retirement Fund will be appreciated.

You may download a digital, pdf copy of Fr. Ambrose's prayer card here:
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The Saint Joseph Abbey community is saddened to inform our friends of the peaceful passing of our brother Fr. Ambrose Wathen this morning. Funeral details will be posted here as soon as arrangements are finalized.

Please pray for Fr. Ambrose's restful repose.
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Recently, an old friend of Br. Anselm's, alumnus George Carr, came to visit him. They ended up at the Abbey Church organ, which Br. Anselm once played for Masses and Offices. "I had not played organ for some six years and friends just wanted to hear our Dobson Organ. I did not take time to raise the bench, but that instrument played well."

We thought you might like to hear it.
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