Monks Host Fr Steve Avella for Lectures
From May 13 to 16, Fr. Steve Avella, Professor of History at Marquet University, offered lectures to our monastic community. Fr. Avella’s area of expertise is the study of the complex interactions of the Catholic church with communities of the western United States. He has been a full member of the faculty since 1991. Fr. Avella began by reviewing the history of the Catholic church in America with emphasis on the drama of Irish immigration and notable prelates like Bishop John Carrol who gave American Catholicism a distinctive character. He then accompanied us through the controversy concerning “Americanism” which was pointedly challenged by pope Leo XIII. The “Modernist” controversy and then the era of “bricks and mortar” bishops in the 40’s and 50’s were described in colorful terms and at times related to challenges faced by American Catholics in our own day. Fr. Avella has great appreciation for our Trappist communities in this country and has visited several of them. He concluded his lecture series by inviting the monks to reflect on the history of our own monastery with confidence concerning the beauty and importance of our monastic witness for the future.