At the Mass

From left: Francesco Choi; Placidus Schinagl; Rev. Father Mauritius Wilde, prior of Collegio Sant'Anselmo; Rev. Father Bernhard A. Eckerstorfer, rector of the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo; Alessandro Trespioli; Jithin Valloor; Rev. Father Fernando Rivas, vice-rector and vice-prior of the Athenaeum and Collegio

The week of 19-23 April was a busy week for the rector of the Pontifical Athenaeum, Rev. Fr. Bernhard A. Eckerstorfer. On Monday, the community celebrated the “octave” of his 50th birthday with a special morning Mass and a festive lunch complete with music and a big cake.

As Fr. Mauritius Wilde, the Prior of the Collegio, said at the lunch:

“Dear residents, dearest Fr. Rector Bernhard,

“Today we celebrate 50 years of your life. We are grateful that God and your parents gave you life. We are grateful that you have chosen the monastic and priestly path. And we are grateful that you have agreed to leave the beautiful Kremsmuenster abbey to be the rector of our prestigious Athenaeum. We thank you for your faithful service.

“The number 50 is a round number, it is in fact the number of fulfillment. We wish you the power to do many good things in this year and in the years to come.

“In the Old Testament, the fiftieth year is the year of jubilation. We wish you years of joy.

“And after 50 days God poured out his Holy Spirit. We wish for you, most of all, that the Holy Spirit inspires you, accompanies you and protects you!”

Then, on Wednesday, the community celebrated the Solemnity of Sant’Anselmo, which is traditionally a celebration of the Pontifical Athenaeum. Hence, Rector Fr. Bernhard celebrated the Solemn Mass, delivered the homily and hosted the festive lunch afterward. This is what he had to say:

“Like some of you, I too was quarantined last week. A quarantine is an opportunity to understand the importance of a community like ours.

“Two years ago, the feast of the Grand Chancellor was unified with this feast. As we belong to the Benedictine Confederation, I take this opportunity to remind you that the Pontifical Athenaeum is entrusted to the Benedictines. Thus all of us, Benedictine teachers and students, are responsible for our university, so that external professors and students find the Benedictine and Anselmian spirit here.

“In this context I would like to thank the College, the Fr. Prior and the officers for their good collaboration. Together we celebrate this feast of Sant’Anselmo. Good wishes and buon appetito.”

We congratulate the “Rettore Magnifico” on his celebrations and thank him for his efforts to manage a unique time for the Athenaeum. You may click this link to find his homily:

Altre Notizie

  • Explore our gallery of former residents and see how the spirit of faith, hope, and love has shaped our Benedictine community over the years. Story and link here.

  • The participants of the Monastic Formators’ Program have spent several weeks at Sant’Anselmo and have proven themselves to be delightful guests. The directors of the program, Fr. Brendan Thomas OSB and Fr. Javier Aparicio OSB, have written a story explaining the program and its value to Benedictine and Cistercian communities.

  • On 3 April, the Most Reverend Abbot Notker Wolf OSB, former Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation, died suddenly. Here is the text of the sermon delivered by Prior Mauritius Wilde during the Sant’Anselmo Memorial Mass and links to the obituary, videos, photos and sermons.