On Thursday, October 8, 2020 the Community of New Melleray Abbey celebrated the annual Mass of Remembrance for those buried in a Trappist Casket or urn and for their loved ones. Because of the pandemic, the Abbey has been in lockdown since mid-March and was not able to open the Mass to the public. However, we did film it and have made it available for you to see. Please click below to be forwarded to YouTube.com where it can be viewed. Please know that you remain in our thoughts and prayers in these uncertain times.
July 1, 2020
Dear Brothers of New Melleray,
Peace to you in the Lord!
I write to you on a matter of concern to each of you and certainly to me as you delegated Father Immediate. We are all well aware that your Abbot, Fr. Mark, will end his six year mandate as you superior this July 15, 2020. He has been clear that he will not be available in the capacity of superior after that date. The normal scenario would be an election on that day, or the appointment of a superior ad nutum if it does not seem possible or advisable to hold an election.
The stark reality of today’s world pandemic is that I am unable to come to you anytime in the near future. What follows then is that I state in writing that Abbot Mark’s mandate has ended on July 15th and we then move to a sede vacante situation, that is the house is without a superior. Then Cst. 39.1 is applied that says, “The Father Immediate assumes responsibility of all things when a daughter-house is without an abbot”. Which means that:
The Father Immediate is responsible for the daily administration of the house, but he is not the “superior” of the house (which, precisely, is without a superior). Of course, no important decisions affecting the future of the community can be made during this period.
The Father Immediate has the option to appoint a delegate from within the community to act in his name. It would normally be the prior, but it could be someone else. In any case, it would be misleading to call that person “the superior”.
I have asked your Fr. Stephen Verbest to act as my Delegate during this period and Fr. David Bock and Fr. Ephrem Poppish to serve as our advisors. I am very grateful to them for their willingness to serve in these capacities. The four of us will meet regularly by phone throughout the sede vacante period.
As soon as feasible, I would then make a Visitation, accompanied by Dom Gerard to determine whether it is advisable to have an election or whether it is more opportune to appoint a superior ad nutum.
I want to also take this opportunity to express my gratitude to your Abbot Mark for his very generous service throughout these last six years. I feel certain that you join me in wishing him many blessings in this next stage of his monastic journey.
It only remains for me to ask you to please join your good prayers to mine that this very unique “season” of your community history may bring many blessings to your common life and prayer.
Peter McCarthy, Abbot of Guadalupe
Delegated Father Immediate of New Melleray
cc: Dom Eamon Fitzgerald
Dom Richard Purcell
Dom Armand Veilleux