Abbot Paul Re-elected

On the morning of 16th November, Dom Paul Stonham was re-elected Abbot of Belmont for a third term of eight years.

This is a historic occasion, as Dom Paul is the first Abbot of Belmont to be re-elected for a third term.

He was first elected in December 2000, when Abbot Mark Jabalé was appointed Co-adjutor Bishop of Menevia.

The monastery at Belmont, which was founded in 1859, became an abbey in 1920 and Dom Paul is its eleventh abbot. The Community numbers some forty monks.


Homily for the Feast of St Michael & All Angels

On the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee of profession, Dom David Bird was invited by Abbot Paul to preach the homily at the Conventual Mass for the Solemnity of St Michael and All Angels.

"Angels are out of fashion, but people are fascinated by devils. Films about possession and exorcism attract huge crowds: few would wish to see a film about angelic activity. Only a few days ago, the death of a Vatican exorcist was on the national and international news, His death would not have been news if he had been involved with good angels'. Many reject a belief in angels but hesitate to disbelieve in devils."

Click here to read the rest of Fr David's homily.

Final Address to the Congress of Abbots
by the new Abbot Primate


Click here to read the Final Address given by the new Abbot Primate, Dom Gregory Polan, at the end of the Abbots' Congress on 16th September.


Here we see him after his election, greeting Abbot Paul.

Second Mass at Rotherwas


On Saturday, 17th September, a Requiem Mass was celebrated at Rotherwas Chapel by Dom Boniface Hill of Downside Abbey for the repose of the soul of Henry Lubienski-Bodenham, on the centenary of his death at the Battle of the Somme. Henry had been a boy at Downside and Headboy of the School. He was killed just 4 days after Cecil Francis Joseph Wegg-Prosser of Belmont House.


Rotherwas Chapel, dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady, together with the Great House and Estate had been in the hands of the Bodenham family from 14th Century until the First World War.


A group of Friends of Downside arranged for the Mass to be celebrated and a small schola of Belmont monks sang the Latin Mass.

Abbot Paul meets Pope Francis

On the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, Pope Francis received the abbots of the Benedictine Confederation in a private audience in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace. He encouraged us and our communities to be faithful to the Benedictine Rule and Tradition, reminding us that we are the heart of the Church, which relies on our prayers and example. He emphasised the Benedictine motto "PAX", saying that our monasteries should be "oases of peace" in a troubled world. He told us not to worry if our communities are smaller than before and ageing. We must never doubt the value and the beauty of our vocation and the fact that it is God's precious gift to each one of us.

Pope Francis then greeted and spoke with all the abbots present. He expressed great interest in Belmont and in our foundation in Peru and sent his blessing to all our monks and oblates, asking us for our prayers for himself and his ministry.

New Abbot Primate of
Benedictine Confederation elected


On the morning of 10th September 2016, Abbot Gregory Polan OSB of Conception Abbey, Missouri, USA, was elected Abbot Primate at the Congress of Abbots meeting in Rome, held every four years.


Abbot Paul is taking part in the Congress of Abbots and is pictured here with the new Abbot Primate.




Fr Cadfan retires as Monastery Guest Master


After many years' service to the Community as Monastery Guest Master, Fr Cadfan retired at the end of August.


We know that all our guests would wish to join us in thanking him for the wonderful way in which he has cared for visitors to Belmont.


He will now dedicate his many gifts in developing and extending Belmont's ecumenical relations as our Ecumenical Officer.


Our new Guest Master is Br Patrick, recently ordained a Deacon in Rome.




New Mission for Fr Andrew

On Monday, 29th August, Fr Andrew became Parish Priest of St. Joseph's, Warndon, Worcester, a parish in the Archdiocese of Birmingham for which Belmont has agreed to take on pastoral care for the next three years.

The parish takes in the northern part of Worcester and the church, presbytery and primary school, all on one campus, are just half a mile from the M5 Worcester North exit. We wish Fr Andrew every blessing and happiness as he begins this new mission as part of Belmont's pastoral and spiritual outreach.

Holy Mass at Rotherwas Chapel

On 15th August, Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady, patronal feast of Rotherwas Chapel, Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr Abbot in the presence of a large congregation.
This was the first Mass to be celebrated at this beautiful and historic church since it closed in 1912. It had belonged throughout penal days to the Bodenham Family.
A full history of the church can be found on the English Heritage website and others. The Mass was organised by the recently-formed Friends of Rotherwas Chapel in conjunction with English Heritage.

Click here for photographs from the Mass.

PAX
Of your charity pray
for the repose of the soul of

THE RIGHT REVEREND DOM JEROME HODKINSON

Monk of Belmont
Abbot 1970 - 1986
Titular Abbot of Shrewsbury

who died on the evening of 12th July 2016.

He was 87 years of age,
had been professed for 68 years
and ordained a priest for 61 years.

His Requiem Mass and Burial took place
on Friday, 29th July.

Click here to read Abbot Paul's Homily

           Requiescat in pace.

New Novice at Belmont

On the evening of Sunday, 10th July, Vigil of the Feast of St Benedict, Patron of Europe, our postulant, Wyn Thomas, was clothed as a novice. He took the name Benedikt (yes, with a K) in honour of St Benedict and also of a close friend, who died recently, an Austrian Benedictine monk, who had been a great help to him spiritually. No doubt in time we will all get used to writing Benedikt with a K. Br Benedikt, whose first language is Welsh, was born in Carmarthenshire and, until he came to Belmont as a postulant, worked at the National Library of Wales. Aberystwyth. He also has a License in Ecclesiastical History from the Gregorian University, Rome. We pray for his perseverance and happiness in the monastic life.

Br Patrick's Ordination to the Diaconate

Dom Patrick Lobo was ordained as a Deacon by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon O.P. of Liverpool at the Basilica of St Paul outside the Walls in Rome, together with eight fellow students from the Beda, on Wednesday, 15th June 2016. Br Patrick was accompanied and supported by Abbot Paul, Fr Michael and Br Alistair from Belmont and Canon William Isaac of Cardiff as well as by members of his family and the Benedictine Community of St Paul. Following the beautiful and moving Ordination Mass, there was a truly magnificent reception for all guests at the Beda College.

Click here for a few photographs taken after the Ordination.

PAX
Of your charity pray
for the repose of the soul of

THE VERY REVEREND DOM LUKE WARING

Monk of Belmont
Cathedral Prior of Rochester

who died on the evening of 9th June 2016.

He was 89 years of age,
had been professed for 68 years
and ordained for 63 years.

His Requiem and Burial took place
on Thursday, 23rd June.

Click here to read Abbot Paul's Homily

May he rest in peace.



 

Corpus Christi Procession


On the afternoon of Sunday, 29th May, for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Community celebrated Pontifical Vespers at the earlier time of 4.00pm.


Immediately following Vespers a Corpus Christi Procession in honour of the Blessed Sacrament took place in the grounds of the Abbey.


Click here to see the photographs of the procession



 

Annual Torchlight Procession


On the night of Wednesday, 11th May, the annual Torchlight Procession in honour of Our Lady was held at Belmont Abbey.


This was the 31st May Procession to be held at Belmont since the event started on the second Wednesday in May 1985.


Click here for more information and photographs





 

 



Centenary of the Archdiocese of Cardiff


The Archdiocese of Cardiff was created by Pope Benedict XV on 7th February 1916, ultimately the fruit of the apostolic labours of Bishop Joseph Thomas Brown and Bishop John Cuthbert Hedley, both Benedictines whose cathedral church was at Belmont.

 

To celebrate the occasion, the monks of Belmont sang Vespers at
St David's Cathedral, Cardiff, on Saturday, 6th February.

Click here to see the photographs from the Vespers.

There was also a special Mass of Thanksgiving,
celebrated by Archbishop George Stack,
at Belmont on Sunday, 7th February.

Click here to see the photographs from the Mass.

Click here to read the Homily given by Abbot Paul.

Dom David Yates makes his Solemn Profession

On 2nd February, the feast of Candlemas, Dom David Yates made his Solemn Profession as a monk of Belmont Abbey. The Rite of Profession took place during the Conventual Mass that had begun with the Blessing of Candles in the Monastery Cloister and Procession into the Abbey Church.

A large congregation took part, including Dom David's mother and a group of friends who had come especially for the great day. Following the Mass, Dom David entered into a three-day retreat, the three days in the tomb, as is the ancient monastic custom still practised by the English Benedictine Congregation.

We congratulate Dom David and ask your prayers for his intentions.

Click here to read the homily given by Abbot Paul.

Click here to see the photographs from the day.