The Benedictine Representatives

Dom Mauro Lepori OCist, Abbot General of the Cistercian Order; the Grand Chancellor Fr Gregory J. Polan OSB, Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation; Michael Casey, OCSO; and Dom Bernardus Peeters, OCSO, Abbot General of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance

6 April 2022

The Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo with the patronage of the Australian Embassy to the Holy See celebrated the solemn conferral of the Doctorate Honoris Causa in Theology to Fr. Michael Casey, OCSO.  Numerous academic authorities, professors, students, monks, and nuns from various parts of the world attended the ceremony at Sant’Anselmo.

Among others were present: H.E. Mons. Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; H.E. Mrs. Chiara Porro, Ambassador of Australia to the Holy See; The Grand Chancellor Fr Gregory J. Polan OSB, Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation; Dom Bernardus Peeters OCSO, Abbot General of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance; Dom Mauro Lepori OCist, Abbot General of the Cistercian Order; Prof. Donna L. Orsuto, Professor of Spiritual Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University; and Reverend Sister Gabriella Masturzo, OCSO, Trappist Monastery of Vitorchiano.

You may watch a video of the conferral, held mostly in English, and Fr. Michael’s speech, entirely in English, on the Ateneo web page.

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Fr. Michael Casey, OCSO

Born in Ringwood, Melbourne, Australia, in 1942, Michael Casey, OCSO, has been a monk of Tarrawarra Abbey, Australia, since 1960. He was solemnly professed on 17 March 1965 and ordained to the priesthood on 15 June 1968. After ordination he completed an MA and STL at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and in 1980 received his doctorate from Melbourne College of Divinity for a study of desire for God in the writings of Bernard of Clairvaux. His first book, entitled, A Thirst for God: Spiritual Desire in Bernard of Clairvaux’s Sermons on the Song of Songs, was published in 1988.

For many decades Fr. Michael has been engaged in exploring different aspects of monastic spirituality, writing, and giving conferences throughout the world. In fact, at the conferral of the doctorate, Fr. Michael joked that he has given conferences, keynote addresses, and monastic chapter retreats on every continent except Antarctica. 

Fr. Michael has published more than a dozen books and 100 articles, many of which have been translated into several languages. His special interests include the Rule of Saint Benedict, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint Aelred of Rievaulx, monastic tradition, and formation. His latest books are: Coenobium: Reflections on Monastic Community (Collegeville: Cistercian, 2021); A Vision for Renewal: The Social teaching of Pope Francis (Strathfield: St Pauls, 2022); and To Love this Earthly Life: Pathways through Ecclesiastes (New York: Orbis, 2022). One may buy his books on the Paraclete Press web site, the Liturgical Press web site, and on Amazon.

The community of Sant’Anselmo extends its hearty congratulations to Fr. Michael for his doctoral degree and a warm thank-you for his years of research and service to the international Benedictine community.

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