When a Benedictine abbot is elected he assumes full authority and jurisdiction in his monastery from the moment when the Abbot President confirms him in office on behalf of the Holy See. The diocesan bishop is invited to give the Abbatial Blessing and to hand over the signs of his authority. This usually takes place within a few months of the election, but in this case, the global pandemic has made it more difficult, since it is usually attended by the abbots and abbesses of our Congregation and a number of relatives and friends of the community.

Having already postponed the Blessing twice, we went ahead on Saturday and were pleased to welcome Bishop Declan and a number of friends of the community for the Mass.

During the Blessing Bishop Declan gave Abbot Nicholas a special blessing and the signs of his abbatial authority: the Rule, as the guidelines for our monastic life; the ring, as a sign of his commitment to the community; the mitre as a symbol of his teaching authority; the crozier as a sign of his jurisdiction as shepherd in the monastery.

You can hear the Mass here.