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ST. JOHN'S FIRST ABBEY CHURCH TRAITE DES ETUDES MONASTIQUES OF DOM JEAN MABILLON, O.S.B. A GEOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF AMERICAN BENEDICTINES WIMMER LETTERS AROUND THE BEAT CLERICAL VOCATIONS TO THE AMER ICAN-eASS INESE CONGREGAT ION DETACHMENT THE NECROLOGY THE CHRONICLE POETRY WITH THE EDITOR The solid line drawing of St, John's first abbey church on the cover heralds this issue's commemora.tive theme, the coml11tmity's first abbey church. The removal of the abbey church bells early this year quietly signaled the approaching day when St. John's first abbey church would give way to the new church, The first chapter in the eighty-year history of the old abbey church. the story of its construction. will be re-presented in this year's issue of The Scriptorium with the immediacy it had for its contemporaries, A future issue will treat of the first abbey church's subsequent history, its decorati on and furnishing, and the eventful ceremonies held within its walls. Two articles carryon the work of translation begun several years ago. The translation of Dam Jean Mabillon's, Traite ~ Etudes Monastiques, a classic of Benedictine spirituality, has been carried ahead another step. With this issue the series of Wimmer letters has been. perforce, brought to a close. The one person most responsible for the work so far accomplished, Bro. Conrad Zimrnermann9 O.S,B., died at the age of eighty-seven, 16 February 1960. His untiring efforts to make these primary documents of American church history available to all are worthy of emulation. Benedictine life is not only rich in history~ but fruitful in the Church's life today. Two articles will attempt to present some facets of contemporary AmeI'icanBenedictinism. The first, "Clerical Vocations to the American-Cassinese Congregation," is a statis~ tical analysis of the growth of the American-Cassihese Congregation during the past half-century. The oth·. erp "A Geographical study of American Benedictines," comprising thirty-five maps, will unfold the l~_de~ spread presence and variety of Benedictine aotivity in the United States. This article is the frultof a co-operative project ·to which novices, clerics 9 and Brothers have contributed. If the mapspl'ove of sufficient interest, another series will be projected. ~'iction, poet:ry~ and othel' litel"aryefforts frequently fCtlnd a place in earlier issues of The SCl"iptorium, This yearan old tradition is reaffirrti'e'<lwith the publication of several poems and a piece of fiction, "Detachment" • "Around the Beat" is an old Collegeville expression, whichhas only reoen-ny passed out of usage, for walking the wooded paths around the abbey lakes. The expression~ however, makes an appropriate title for an article whioh will inform its readers of the abundant wildlife to be found "around the beat'·. Completing this year's The Scril?torium are "The Necrology," introduced last year to record the lives of the deceased members of the community and now completed up to and inclusive of the year 19599 and "The Chronicle,u which needs no introduction. Authors and staff wish to express their gratitude forthe indispensable help of their confreres, whether that assistance was given in shooting or printing pictures, holding a tape measure, nimbly typing, or patiently proofreading. Special thanks are due to the abbey archivist,Father ChristopherBayer~ OcScB.~ for tracking down invaluable materials~and to our advisor, whose suggestions have benefited the whole issue. Fi= nally, to those of our readers who have written in the past and also to those who intend to offer their comments, criticis'ms, and suggestions on this issue we express our sincere thanks. I N T ROD U C T ION On the afternoon of 22 April 1958, almost one hundred chapter mem- 1 bers of St. John's Abbey gathered to consider the construction of a new abbey church. The plans of architect Marcel Breuer were approved, and the chapter voted to begin the construe tion of St, John's second abbey church. Excavations were well under way before the end of May, 1958, under the direction of the McGough Construction Company of St. Paul, Minnesota. The discussions which served as a basis for this decision began as early as the 1920's when a committee, which included the Reverends Gilbert Winkelmann,O.S.B., Basil Stegmann, O,S.B., and Ulric Beste, O.S.B., was appointed by Abbot Alcuin Deutsch, O.S.B., to study the idea of building a new abbey church, and of remodeling the old church to serve some other purpose. The size of the old church was a most important consideration in the question of whether to replace it with a new church, The old church did not have a seating capacity of more than 450, and the inadequacy of this began to be felt acutely after World War II when the lay student body, which never numbered more than 500 before the war, increased to over 1100. Further, the years following World War II brought large classes of novices to the monastery, swelling the choir to such an extent that it overflowed first into pews behind the altar, and then finally into pews in the nave of the church, The chapter meeting that finally arrived at a decision not to enlarge the first abbey church but to construct a new edifice came exactly seventy-nine years and three days after the chapter which had approved of the construction of the first church, That chapter meeting took place on 19 April 1879 with twelve members present,l 1 The minutes of this chapter meeting will be found in appendix I. Past issues of The Scriptorium have contained articles on the various buildings -0; parts of buildings that have housed and served the St. John's community. Among these have been articles devoted. tn part at least, to the most important community building, the abbey church. None of the articles, however 9 have developed in detail the growth of the fabric of the building itself, its brick, stone, and mortar. With the concrete shell of the second abbey church already casting its shadow upon its eighty year old predecessor, it is appropriate that some record should be made of how that house of God was built and how it served this Benedictine community for so many years. No plans or drawings of the first abbey church can be found at the present time. Accordingly, scale drawings of the main lines of the church have been made and are included in the article. The drawings were made after a painstaking measurement of each surface. The body of the article is the chronicle of the Reverend Xavier Whi te, O. S. B•• written at the actual time of the church's construction, with interspersed comments and data drawn from additional sources, especially the commentary of the Reverend Alexius Hoffmann, O.S.B., on Father Xavier's chronicle. Father Xavier White was a well-educated man, and one of the few members of the St. John's community of his day whose mother tongue was 2 English. He was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1834 and ordained in 1862 for the archdiocese of Toronto where he acted as secretary to the archbishop for several years. After serving for some time in the dioceses of Marquette and Green Bay, he came to St. John's in 1877. He taught literature, speech, mathematics, and surveying in the college, and during several summers was in charge of the brick kiln about three hundred yards east of the building site. 2 Because of his literary ability he served for many years as the abbey chronicler. His knowledge of mathematics and surveying, as well as his work in the brickyard, made him the ideal man to write the chronicle. He clearly reveals himself to be at home with the details of construction. The style of the chronicle itself, which is repro- .duced here in an edited form, is far from polished. It contains many colloquial expressions and "Germanisms?" which perhaps reflect the fact that German in one form or another was the predominant language of the house. His style with all its "on the job" flavor has been left intact in this article. The following chronological summary of the building period is given as an introduction to the White chronicle. 1879 March April Contracts for the building and for supplying the stone were signed. Work began on the footings and stone basement walls. 2 Cf. The Scriptorium, XV (June, 1956), 48-49. First St. John's Abbey Church 4 May-August September October Apr iI-September May October November November-December April May June july Jartuary....March Ma.rch-July June July August September October Work continued on the basement walls. The main floor was placed, brickwork on the main walls was begun, the corner stone was laid. Bricklayers continued work until October 31. 1880 Bricklayers continued to work on the main walls. The stone pillars of the main floor were put in place. The main roof was put on the church. The tinning of the roof and bricklaying on the towers ceased on November 5. A certain amount of carpenter work was done on the inside of the church. 1881 Carpenters began to work on the cornices and eaves. Bricklayers resumed work on the towers. The basement chapels were plastered. basement chapels were blessed on of the towers waSCom~ 29. were at work on the arches the church. church was plastered. were put up 6rt top of the brick A severe wind storm on July 25 tore all the tin from the roof. A new shingle roof was put on. The marble altars and a pulpit were put in place. The church was consecrated October 24, From this chronological sketch several things can be noted o The first is that the Minnesota winter determined the length of the building season, at least as far as outside work was concerned. The season usually ran from mid-April to early November. The year 1881 seems to have been a slack building year, for the chronicle has little to say about this year and nothing at all after August. THE WHIT E C H RON I C L E Before beginning the chronicle itself, Father Xavier makes Some remarks about the action and deliberation that took place before the decision to build was finally reached. -A.-M.-G.-D. -su-b -in-v. -SS-.P.-N. Benedicti Stique -Xa-v. Before commencing to chronicle the course of events connected with the building of the monastery church it may be proper to state briefly a few preliminary facts which will show the necessity that demanded a church edifice. The Frame House with the abbey "chapel" in the foreground. For many years the community had felt the ·want of a church and the need grew with thee growth of the community until it became almost intolerably imperative. On festivals were the inconveniences especially felt. The largest available place in which to assemble the Brothers, the college students, the seminarians and the people of the attached mission was a centre room in a frame building to which a lateral projection had been attached, the whole "chapel" furnishing a space __' In several places in his manuscript Father Xavier left blank spaces for facts which he did not know at the time he wrote and unfortunately never filled in later. Other sources have made it possible to fill in some of these blanks, and this addition is indicated with square brackets, In most cases, however, the eighty years which have lapsed between the wri ting of the Whi te chronicle and the present have served only to obliterate the facts, and the blanks have been left, accordingly, unfilled as in this instance. These confined limits had compelled the choir to take refuge in an upper room of the frame house a part of the side- 5 wall of which had to be cut away that through the aperture thus formed the singers might see the altar and sanctuary. They had done more ~ they had almost excluded !lomp and ceremony from ecclesiastical celebrations wherefore the clerics and seminarians educated in the monastery had no opportunity to learn practically the beautiful and significant ritual of our holy Church; again~ the parishioners and others attending divine service at the monastery felt the inconveniences and some more garrulous and less charitable than others did not abstain from critical remarks. In truth the ceremonies of last Holy Week were a confused jumbling of persons and things; just imagine~ the repository was in the sacristy where everything el§e pertaining to the ceremonies had to be stored~ where the priests and ministerS had to vest~ but where the people could not enter nor into which they could even see, little attachment to an attachment --it was about twelve feet square, condition For at.least had talked the monastery priories and and the cirsorry that b!l(:l,UIU~.Ut::;:,;::>; others inception so Rt length Abbot Alexius resolved to which owed its prolonged existence to "h~n"'''+'' a year before concluding the contract over the matter with the Fathers dwell and with those residing in the surrVUUU~!Jl~ sions. All 'agreed that the time had tances required a church edifice; were so Scanty even the 6 writer does ? however, an energetic Abbot whose administration for the past four years had taugh t the Fathers generally to believe that if he undertook to build he would find means to complete the undertaking; wherefore the greater part of the discussions? which were always friendly. treated/of the location~ the material r the style and the decorations of the projected church. In fact, on many occasions ,.had a stranger been present he would have thought that the Faithers were discussing the merits of a grand and completed structure, On the feast of the patron saint of the bishop of Green Bay (Dec, 3 r 1878) the Abbot visitedMgr, Krautbauer? and r having seen the new cathedral of that city then being erected, thought it a building suitable to the wants of the monastery and sent F, Gregory,LS'teil r o,S o B..:.,7, Prof o of architectural drawing and Br, Andrew LUnterburger~ OoS,B~, who, in the world had been a building contractor? to see the Green Bay Cathedral that afterwards they might make plans and spe.,. cifications for the new monastery churcho Through the kindness of Mgr, Krautbauer~ F, Gregory was put in possession of the cathedral plans which he learned afterwards were an adaptation of the plans of the Benedictine church (of the Assumpt.ion) in St. Paul, Minn. The presented plans F o Gregory remodelled until finally he succeeded in producing what r wi th sligh t modif ic.at ions, was afterwards adopted in Chapter. THE W HIT E C H RON I C L E Before beginning the chronicle itself. Father Xavier makes Some remarks about the action and deliberation that took place before the decision to build waS finally reached. ~.~oQoQo sub inv o SS.~o~o Benedicti Stique Xav o Before commencing to chronicle the course of events connected withi:he building of the monastery churchif may be proper to state briefly a fe..., prelimil1~ry facts which will show the necessity that demanded a church edifice. The Frame House with the abbey "chapel" in the foreground. For many years the community had felt the 'want of a church and the need grew with the'growth of the community until it became almost intolerably imperative. On festivals were the inconveniences especially felt. The largest available place in which to assemble the Brothers, the college students, the seminarians and the people of the attached mission was a centre room in a frame building to which a lateral projection had been attached, the whole "chapel" fur-nishing a space 0 In several places in his manuscript Father Xavier left blank spaces for facts which he did not know at the time he wrote and unfortunately never filled in later. Other sources have made it possible to fill in some of these blanks, and this addition is indicated with square brackets. In most cases, however, the eighty years which have lapsed between the writing of the Whi te chronicle and the present have served only to obliterate the facts, and the blanks have been left, accordingly. unfilled as in this instance. These confined limits had compelled the choir to take refuge in an upper room of the frame house a part of the side- 5 Pictures of the Green Bay Cathedral indicate that the plans took little remodeling •. The most noticeable difference is in the design of the towers. Whether the Green Bay Cathedral was actually adapted from the plans of the Assumption Church in St. Paul has long been called into question. Pictures do not show much similarity, and both designs--Green Bay and St. Paul--were quite common and without, it seems, any dependence of one upon the other. Now Father Abbot began to talk with builders and having received the most satisfactory proposals from Mr. LBenedic!7 Thompson, entered into an agreement with him. The contract being drawn up the Fathers were invited to examine it and to s~gest any cha.:;ges which they thought advisable. Finally on L14 March l87.2( the contract for building according to the plans and specifications was concluded, the signatures of the contracting parties attached and preparations for the work were commenced. As Father Alexius observes, tilt appears that the Abbot had hitherto proceeded with only the verbal assent of the Fathers, for not until April 19, 1879 was any capitular action taken. u3 On Monday in Holy Week, April seventh, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, Brother turned over the first furrow of the trench in which the foundation was to be laid. At this point Father Xavier inserts copies of the building contract and the contract for furnishing cut stone. These will be found in appendix II. He also includes a copy of the specifications for the brick and stonework which are included here because of their more immediate connection with the construction itself. Specifications of the Stone and Brick Work for the Church at St. John's College: The whole length and bread th of the building except inside of towers to be used for basement and consequently the walls to be well faced; outside the same, that is, that part which may be seen; all the joints to be pointed outside, and inside to be smoothened; but this is only to be done after the wall is perfectly dry. Partition walls to be of stone or brick as may be directed by the Rt. Rev. Abbot. Main part of stone wall to be--say three feet thick, ~he footiti~s 5-6 ft.; footings of pillars about 9 ft., the lowest course with gradual offsets to floor beams. The same to be observed with the footing of the wall. Broad stone to be used for the footing. All the stone walls of basement, pillars not excepted, to be of good rubble work.". Rubblestone means the common boulders and smaller stones which were picked up in the fields, woods, and along the shore of Lake Sagatagan. There has never been a scarcity of this particular building material 3 Hoffmann, Rev. A1exius, a.S.B., "Notes on the Chronicles of Rev. Xavier White, a.S.B.," manuscript in the archives of St. John's Abbey, p. 1. 7 at Collegeville e According to the following portion of the chronicle, the pillars in the basement were not made of rubbles tone but of cut granite from the quarry in St. Cloud, Minnesota. to be laid in best mixed mortar, thoroughly banded, and the intermediate space of the broad stones to be well filled wi th. mortar and little stones and not with mortar onlYe Pillars of basement to be from 3-4 feet square with leveled corners, doors and windows with arching, and to be placed as will be directed. Ventilations to be put in to air the space under basement floor, as will be found necessary. The foundation to be concrete or otherwise as may be found necessary. Number of windows and doors to be getermineil by the Rt. Rev. Abbot e Brick wall to be per plan. Flues to be formed in the thickness of the wall. Every 5-6 or 7th course to be a header, as may be deisred by the LRt. Rev. Abboil. Two or more chimneys with one or two flues as may be demanded. They are to be topped out in accordance with the rest of the brick work. After the copies of the contracts and specifications Father Xavier makes a note about the arrangements Abbot Alexius had made for the 8 lime for mortar. Fr. Abbot contracted with Mr. LJ. B;I Contar of Shakopee for lime at fifty cents per barrel. It costs seventy-four cents per barrel for freight, viz e forty on the St. Paul & Souix City and thirty-f our on the Northern Pacif ic Railroad. Accordin~ to the procurator's Cash Book, 1876-1881, lime was purchased at first for fifty cents~r-;-ZOO pound barrel, or $60.00 a carload of 120 barrels. However, the amount listed for freight for a carload of lime was only $34.00, or twenty-eight and a third cents a barrel. Lime waS one of the largest commodities purchased for the church. All the lime bought and the freight charges to transport it to Collegeville cost around $2400 or about one eighth of the total expenses for materialS, exclUding the bricks which were produced here. From September 1879 on, lime was also purchased from a Mr. Ge A. Carlson, lime dealer from Red Wing, Minnesota. The price of the lime did not always remain at fifty cents a barrel. Conter's price varied from forty-three to sixty cents a barrel e The freight on a car of lime from Shakopee also was reduced to $28 e OO. The lime from Carlson in Red Wing cost forty cents a barrel and the freight was $26 e OO a carload. 1879 April 16 The masons came today to commence work but they were disappointed at finding no lime. Fe Abbot had telegraphed the lime contractor but receiving no answer he went down on the 14th inst. The masons go to work to get the place ready. 17 On the 17th F. Abbot having returned from Shakopee inspected the excavation and is displeased because the ground is dug in no order--after no plan, but, as thl? Abbot says, "You dug where it was soft, It but soon things got into some shape, and lime having arrived from Shakopee on the 19th, 19 the masons commence to make mortar. The first stone of the foundation was placed in position on the 19th. It is a huge granite boulder of irregular shape, it is laid in the north-e as t. corner. . From that corner the north line of the church was lined and leveled. Now Brother Philip has his hands full. He has to dig and draw stones and sand and lime, for the few stones drawn last winter, are not a circumstance to what is needed, viz. from 400 to 500 cord. Brother Philip Kilian, O.S .B., was dean of the brothers and superintended the hauling. A cord would be a pile of stones four feet high, four feet wide, and eight feet long. All the teams available are at the work, and, since there are no stone wagons ready, every way and means is employed to bring the stones. Some are snaking them with chains, some drawing in carts, and some in common wagons. 23 But on the 23 came relief to the stone drawers, Brs. Leo and Andrew arranged trucks wi th low bottoms hanging under the axle trees of the wagons and this makes things convenient. Fr. Gregory went down to the quarry at St. Cloud. 24 We have very much cord wood in the bush. I do not know how many cords, and fires are running in every direction through the bush. The brothers are fighting the fires, but we will have to lose much, if not all our wood. The Brothers are taken away from the building on account of the fires, but the work does not stop. 25 F. Gregory reports the men at the quarry very busy getting ·out,sills,watertables etc.; etc., he says they will be on time. Nine men are on the building, they are laying the foundation of the south-east tower. 28 Two men lately received injuries at the work. They were but slight, however: one injured his leg, a stone slid on it, another injured his hand, a stone rolling on it; he had to quit work. May 2 Digging the trench for cross wall to separate the west from the middle chapel. More stone trucks. 9 10 4 F. Gregory went down to the quarry yesterday. 10 Since the 28th of April we have had rain at least once and often twice each 24 hours; and 9 to0 9 they were generally no small showers but real heavy rains 9 sufficient to cut ditches in the hill sides. Yesterday a "wash-out" made its way under the front wall and between the church and the house. Just aback of the monastery proper was a miniature lake. The Abbot and Brothers witll shovels and teams and plows were out in a fearful rain storm opening wa tercourses and banking up against the wall. They succeeded after a few hours to get the water a "free pass" to other parts and prevent its washing against the foundation. It rained during the whole time and even after the job was done but the Abbot remained with the Brothers and encouraged them by word and example. 11 Prayers were publicly said for good weather. The rain showers are of daily occurrence and very heavy. The church foundation wall being surrounded by slightly rising ground suffers considerably from rain running in to-wards the basement and much labor is required to keep the ground banked up so as to shed off the water. 14 The teams commenced today to draw dressed stone from St. Cloud. Considering the state of the roads it is going to be a fearful job to get the stone hauled up here. Father Alexius Hoffmann writes that from this statement "it may be inferred that the granite was from the local quarries. There was as yet no Collegeville station, All the hewn granite was 'hauled' by our teams a distance of twelve miles."4 The granite referred to here was bought under contract from the firm of Krammermayer and Hirschbachof St. Cloud. A copy of this contract is in appendix II. The Collegeville station mentioned by Father Alexius was buHt during the summer of 1879. The railroad tracks? however? had been laid and in use for several years 9 and it seems that Some of the materials which came in large quantities such as lime and lumber were unloaded at Collegeville even before the station was completed. 23 Car load of lime from Shakopee. Teams banking up a-round the wall. Wall of monastery broken through and the door frame set up at the end of the lower corridor to form the entrance from the monastery into the Brothers' Chapel. 24 Another door frame set in the wall on the north side, an entrance from without into the Brothers' Chapel. June 5 Of late F. Gregory became convinced that large boul-ders were not the best stone to put into the foundation wall; but, most especiaLly? did he deem them unfit for the footings of the pillars. He gives his reasons thus: When the masons put in these huge boulders they make 4 ~., p. 5. them lie close enough to touch each other laterally, but they do not pack underneath and between them, hence open space, hence the walls resting on the boulders are supported by only so much of the boulders as comes in contact with the earth, which, in case of round or conical boulders, is often only a point: This is bad enough in the wall, but in the pillar footings! F. Greg. declared it cannot be done. The matter caused some discussion in which F. G. got some sharp cuts, but he declared himself more willing to have nothing further to do with the building than to use the boulders in the footings. A heavy rain made the ground so soft that the boulders could not be moved, hence small stone were used. 15 F. Anthony LCapser, O.S.BJ now takes the place of F. Gregory in the care of St. John?s Parish. Gregory had too much work. He taught classes, was rector, and had to superintend the buildings. This was too much, hence the Abbot relieved him. Fa ther Alexius comments at this place, "!father Gregori! was always an overworked man. Although a priest, he wore lay clothes most of the time since he was superintendent of construction of the church, and worked wi th his own hands. ,,5 23 Benedict Thompson the builder is fixing up the front wall to make it look well. He has in some large rock, The north wall he has men busy "pointing. It (Exhibition day coming on the 24th) The students are busy fixing up the play hall for. exhibition. 28 The front of the church is ready for the water table and the teams are drawing it from the quarry at St. Cloud. Bad roads makes the work hard on the teams. 11 The watertable is a layer of cut-granite blocks which finishes off the rubblestone basement wall. The blocks are one foot thick. As the diagram indicates, the bottom nine inches is verticle and flush with the stone wall. The stone then is cut back at a forty-five degree angle, and the brick of the walls which begins at this point is about three inches back from the surface of the rubble wall of the basement. July Brick Granite watertable RUbblestone 17 The masons went down to build the foundation for the house at Collegeville. It will be 30 x 50 and 20 ft. high. In the center will be a cellar 12 x 18 x 6. The Brothers do the carpenter work. 5 Ibid., p. 7. 12 This was the Collegeville station house mentioned earlier. Henry Broker lived there and for many years acted as stationmaster and U. S. Postmaster. 19 Bot !boughY quarry stone for the inside pillars. According to specifications, the pillars in the basement were to be of rubblestone. The chronicle entry of June 5, however, seems to indicate that Father Gregory had some misgivings about the use of rubblestone even for the footings of these pillars. The stone referred to here was bought from the quarry of Breen &Young in St. Cloud for $184.00 and came to Collegeville in four train carloads between August 22 and September 11. The freight was $6.00 a carload. 30 The masons commenced to lay water table ~ foundation up to height all around outside~ inside croSs walls not yet finished. August 2 On the 2nd Aug. they finished. The stones were cut pretty exactly; however, two stones for the front were too short, had to be changed for two other longer ones. This change caused the stones on the south side & near the west corner to run short, hence several wide spaces between the stones; again on the north side near the east corner is another short stone. Where the south wall joins the northwest corner of the monastery the watertable runs past the wall instead of running against it, because by [Siy a mistake in setting the line of the walls. The laying of the water table tested the accuracy of the work in several points. Yet considering that this is the first building of which P. Gregory has had charge, and the first large church erected by the contractor, every thing goes well and only a skilled eye will detect the few small discrepancies. 7 The masons had to stop work today because the stones f or the pillars in the basement have not come. Weather is beautiful. Harvest is progressing finely and many of the masons having farms are glad to get home to see to their harvest work; indeed some of them had already gone. 8 F. Gregory was down to see Mr. Young who waS to get out the stone. He met him in St. Cloud and Mr. Y. promised to have a carload of stone here on next Monday. 15 The work on the church has been entirely stopped for more than a week. On the 7th Mr. Thompson went home and did not come back. Then soon the men did not know what to do and they went home very angry on the 16th. Some of them went on Monday morning previous--the 11th. When Thompson returned on the morning of the 18th, he had no mason. Then he got two and with these he has been working since. On the 2ls t the Abbot told him he should put on more force because the fine weather was passing and the building was progre&sing too slowly. There is and has been all along sufficient material to continue work. There was not stone for the pillars, but there was brick and lime for the walls. When Thompson returned he commenced brick work. His excuse for being absent was sickness in his family, but the workmen complained that he did not even send them word so that they might know what to do. The samecomplaint could be made by F. Gregory. Had he and the workmen known what was delaying Thompson they could have arranged so that the work need not have stopped. 22 Three teams are drawing stones from Collegeville to which place they are brought by rail from the quarry of Young and Breen. The stones are about four feet square and a foot thick. Other stones are cubes of two feet on each side. The Brothers were all day getting one load of stones from Collegeville. One stone made a load and three wagons therefore brot Lbroughi7 three stones. Granite weighs about 165 pounds per cubic foot. The 4 x 4 x 1 foot stones would have weighed about 2640 pound9, and the two foot cubes half that much. Next day the teams returned with the first load, one stone each--at one o'clock, and went back for the second about three p.m. There are to be drawn 38 of these stones and they cost two hundred dollars. 23 Last evening F. Abbot had a talk with Mr. Thompson which resulted in an effort on Thompson's part to get more masons. F. Abbot sent to mill-men at various points to get offers or "bids" for the lumber and timber for the church; he also made some arrangements to aid the Sisters in getting up their new house in St. Joseph. (Collegeville house is going on slowly. Only our Brothers are at it and it is too far away from here.) The stones for the pillars were drawn into the building over the front wall &slid down on skids, then drawn on a truck by the derrick to the place where they were needed. Seven men got into place eight stones, & the poor fellows worked hard all day. 29 P. Gregory went to St. Cloud to see Breen &Young a-bout the stones. They say it is difficult to get the required size (4 x 4 xl) .P. G.·· told them to ge t a smaller size (4 x 2 x 1). The stones should have been all here now. As yet only nine, large size, have come. If they be not here by Wednesday of next week, the masons will be idle. Now the masons are turning the arches under the sanc tuary, The arches are 24 x 2S! inches and are well buHt, These arches are four in number and are located in what is the present basement sacristy. They support the solid, overhead brick 13 14 walls which separate the apse of the church from the two sacris ties of the main church. These overhead walls reach up forty-seven feet to the main roof and are twenty-six inches thick; accordingly, the supporting arches had to be "well built." September 2 Brother Andrew went down to Anoka to select timber and lumber. F. Abbot had written to several firms for "bids" sending a bill of the required stuff. fReed & Sherwooijof Anoka offered_the best terms and Andrew went to select what is want~d, he left at 4 A.M. Between this time and the completion of the church, eighteen carloads of lumber were bought from Reed &Sherwood at a cost of $3520~78. Freight was $14.00 per carload. 8 Nine stones came and mean looking, wedged-shaped, irregular dimensioned--ugly things they are. Breen & Young are treating us meanly and F. Abbot had to go to them this morning to make them do even as well as they are doing. He thre atened them to go elsewhere and not pay them for what they had sent. 9 B. Thomson is home, burying a child of his. The men have not exactly had to stop work in the building, but they had to change from job to job. Gregory invented work by putting iUB7 stone walls instead of beams resting on pillars to carry joist. These stone walls are the ones under the basement floor which connect the footings of the three lines.· of pillars (besides the two main rows of pillars, there is a row of three steel pillars through the center of the main basement chapel). in aneast"'west direction beneath the nave and the transept. There is also one wall running north and south under the center of the main basement sacristy connecting the footings of its three pillars. The lumber bought excellent quality. hand. at Anoka is arr1V1ng rapidly and is of Getting pillar stones over the wall by 17 This morning just as the masons had finished the pil-lars and were moving away the derrick, Mr. Thomson received a severe blow on the head from a block attached to a pair of shear poles which fell while the Brothers were raising them. Several others narrowly escaped injuries. A car load of Red Wing lime came today. 21 Yesterday afternoon stone masons went to St. Joseph to commence the Sisters' house. They are just about finished here. 22 Brick masons are at work on the wall, new hands, hired Some (2) last week and others are yet expected. 24 Laying of the Corner Stone, Father Abbot assisted by Prior Norbert as deacon and Pater Severin Gross as Subdeacon, Pater Francis Merschman as Master of Ceremonies, in the presence of twenty-two Fathers and twelve clerics, and of the Brothers, who were at home, laid the corner stone, on the feast of the B. V, M, de Mercede. The public were not notified of the matte~ hence-few were present except our own, The corner stone is the one in the south spire. There is a granite block three feet wide and eighteen inches high in the center of the front wall of each of the towers, just above the main floor level. Apparently Father Xavier makes this last statement to distinguish which one waS the actual cornerstone, On the face of the stone in the south tower in raised characters; is the following: "18+ 79," On the stone in the north tower are the letters, "s, Joannis Bapt," This second stone was most likely an afterthought to make the front of the church look symmetrical, The contract with the stonecutting firm refers to "corner stone," in the singular, and the Workmen's Ledger from the procurator's office which covers the period 1875-1881, under the names Krammermayer &Hirschbach, stonecutters, makes a special entry on 17 November 1879 for the payment of $30.00 over and above the contract sum, ,"for extra work, corner stone etc," In it is the well, containing the following: Sadliers Almanac of 1879, Supt, Burt's Educational Report of 1879, The following newspapers--English: Freeman's Journal, Cleveland Universe, N. W. Chronicle, N, Y. Tablet, Pioneer Press, St. Cloud Times; German papers: Kreuz Zeitung, Der Wanderer, Wahrheits Freund, Katolisches Wochenblatt, Die Amerika, Die Columbia, Der Nordstern, Katolisches VolksbIatt. Besides the above named priests the following were also present at the ceremony: Subprior Peter Engel, P. Benedict Haindl, Anschar Frauendorfer, Joseph ViII, Antony Casper, Simplicius Wimmer, Valentine Stimler, Vincent Schiffrer, Bernard Locnikar, Ulrich Northman, Paul Rettenmaier, Aloysius Hermanutz, Ignatius Wesseling, Leo Winter, Gregory Steil, Ludger Ehrens, Xavier White, Augustine Brockmeyer. Clerics: Bede Northman, Edward Guenther, Ildefonse Molitor, John Katzner, Martin Schmidt, Alfred Mayer, Jerome Heider, Thomas Borgerding, Conrad Glatzmeier, Urban Fischer. There were no secular ecclesiastics save the seminary students. ARe vol t 25 This day Thomson the contractor went home. He says to see about some funeral rites of a child of his lately deceased. Soon after his departure the men began to talk hard of him, and it came out that many of the men were not near paid up, Some of them having a claim against Thomson for more than $70. 15 16 If this were true, it was a substantial sum of money that the men had not received. For according to the Journal books of the period typical wages that the men received for a day?s work of ten hours were: bricklayers (the highest paid) $3.60; carpenters $2.25; some laborers $1.50; and other common laborers received even less than this. The workweek was six, ten-hour days. On Friday two of the malcontents left the work. Father Abbot tried to assure the men. He kept things running though Thomson was away and a regular rebellion among the men. Some said that about $500 were due the men, and Thomson had drawn about all that was due him on his contract. On Monday Thomson returned. F. Abbot took him to the Abbatial room, talked over things with him, called also the men, talked with them and learned how things stood. So enraged were the workmen that they sought for Thomson to thrash him, but some friendly ones warned him not to go down to the workmen's sleeping apartments and he escaped by staying all night in the Monastery. Tuesday morning the Abbot sent for Thomson and the end of the interview was that Thomson gave up his contract and went to work as a journeyman on the building. How Thomson deserved such treatment from his men 'tis hard to see. He gave them good wages and did not drive them at the work. Some of them say he did not keep his time book correctly. It may be, but he says he can swear to his account. And owing to so much broken time it waS very easy for the men and the boss to get different accounts each in his own interest. Some of their conduct however is not at all justifiable. If he did owe them money the building was good for it. Now some of them did mean things besides mean talk. One took away his trowel; another, his coat; some others cut up or tore up articles of his clothing. A C hap t e.r a f Err 0 r s It is well that the contract is out of his hands, if the building will go on any better now than it did before. Together with the mismanagement heretofore mentioned we can point out a lot of blunders that show the incompetency of the boss builder. It Is a patent fact that scarcely any two windows in the whole basement are on the same level, one is up, the next one down. This irregularity compelled the carpenters to cut the joist and frame around the arches over the windows on the north side, while the joist are well above the arches on the south side. Although it was in the plan that the timber to support the joist of the upper floor, should rest on the triple wall (enter into the wall of the steeples) yet when the carpenters came to lay these timbers, they found no rest for them and had to take a crowbar and dig a place in the wall of the steeples on both sides of the church in which to rest the end of the timbers. Again when stretching the timbers across the top, over the choir chapel, on which to rest the joist of the sanctuary floor, recourse had again to be had to the crowbar and pickaxe to dig a hole in the wall for the end of the timbers. Again when setting up the doors leading to the sacristy from the sanctuary, the pick and crowbar had again to be used to level the wall. When putting on the joist the whole wall or nearly the whole wall was found to be leveled to a waving line and to vary from! an inch to three inches out of a level. When the south west corner was run up a few feet Wilson•.• Richard Wilson, a bricklayer from Red Wing who worked here in October 1879 and all during the building season, April through Novembel', of 1880. found that the line of the corner descr ibed a curve, he said Thomson did it and so it remains. The 1st north east corner was up a couple of feet; it was found wrong and torn down again; the same fixing at the northwest corner of the steeple when started the brick were again torn up and a new start taken. This chapter is far from being complete yet it contains enough to show that a change of bossing might be beneficial. u pro a l' October 4 Last Saturday Oct. 4, the masons sent by Thadeus... Probably Brother Thaddeus Hoermann, O.S.B., who was the abbey drayman and procured all the needed supplies from St. Cloud and St. Joseph. f or a keg of beer and they had a drinking bout in the upper story of the wash house (their sleeping apartment) that ended in a row. Most likely this "wash house" was the laundry building, a two-story building, 50' x 24', which stood from 1878 to 1917 on the shore of Lake Sagatagan, southeast of the monastery. George Shepherd got boisterously drunk &, among other phantasties, was going to suicide by leaping from the windOW, jumping into the lake, etc. Finally, he startl::d in his shirt, for tbe monastery threatening to enter the abbot's room to insult him. John Kochlein brought Shepherd back, tried to get him to bed, threw him unto a bed, but in the fall Shepherd's face came into contact with the bed post and he was badly hurt. Saturday night was all confusion among the masons. Sunday morning Shepherd was at the door of the old stone house at 4! A.M., met F. Prior, made com- 17 18 plaint, got only an evasive answer (the prior was going to say Mass)t complained to F. Gregory and others, threatened to leave, if Koch1ein was not sent away, etc., etc. to the end of a long chapter. Monday the rest of the men (Wilson, Grogan, Koch1ein) went to work. Shepherd felt too bad after the spree, In the afternoon S. went to St, Joe having threatened to have John Koch1ein arrested. Koch1ein got paid up and Tuesday the work went on quietly, S. staid in St, Joe. Wednesday S. appeared early in the morning, ready for work, went on the wall, then all the masons struck. They would not work with Shepherd, Mter a consul tation between F, Prior and FF. Ulrich & Gregory and a talk between F, Prior Norbert and the men, S. was called and dismissed. Though he knew the feeling of the men towards him Shep. staid on the work until he was sent off, This shows his mean disposition. He would force himself among the men, ye t he had quarrelled more than once with everyone of them, He would injure us by having four good men sent away on his account. T r 0 u b 1 e On Monday morning (6th October) the sheriff came from St, Cloud and garnished Thomson's ~Tages, he was sent by Nicho1aus who had been mortar mixing, and who thought that Thomson was defrauding him of his wages. I do not know whether he was or not, but I do not think he was defrauding. This week F. Abbot is in Bismark and good for him he is, he does not know the fuss and will not learn it un til it is passed, 9 A little brush among the men. The wall on the east side of the choir chapel, separating it from the big chapel, is out of line and "Who's to blame?" A line over it would pass six inches from the center of the wall at its middle point. The northwest sacristy door is set up on a sk;ew. The north sacristy wall separating it from the sanctuary was started and torn up yesterday no less than three times. 10 One mason, John Koch1ein, went home today to see a friend, F. Gregory is not pleased with him for several reasons, He it was whom F. G. sent to arrange the southeast corner of the transept for another and the corner is set out 4 inches too wide. So F. Greg. told me today. 13 F. Abbot had to go to court today. Nick Miller gar-nished Thomson's wages and P,'Abt. had to give testimony if anything was coming to Thomson. Nothing is due Thomson from the monastery, to it he owes money. Koch1ein is back and brot with him another mason, The toP of one of the pillars had to be torn up today and rebuilt, the carpenters could not lay joist on it as it was built Early view of the completed abbey church. Laundry building, referred to as the "wash house," on the lake shore. on t1;le uskew. It Saturday LOctober 1.£7 the doorsills for the front door came, broton a six wheeled truck from the quarry below St. Cloud, Today the stone dresser from St. Cloud had to come and cut a half an inch off the length. He said he had not been sent the right length. F. G. denies the charge. 14 Thomson came home last night. He told no one how his suit went, He went away this morning & told no one where he was going nor why he would go. The sill of the front door is in place. This time the wall is too low, hence it had not to be torn down, but the sill is raised on wooden blocks and masons are filling in under it with brick and mortar. 15 Today the two front door frames were set in place and two side doors going into the towers. The vestibule of the church measures twelve feet six inches by twenty- seven feet four inches wall to walL The doors at one t~ine opened off this vestibule into each of the towers on the first floor level. The doors have long been bricked shut, and on the vestibule side niches for statues were put in their place, but the patch-over job is apparent inside the towers. The first floor level of the south tower is used as the baptistry and the north tower as a Marian shrine. The wall to wall measurement of these areas is 'eleven feet six inches square. They are almost completely open on the inside toward the church (the opening is about ten feet wide) with a thirty-eight inch thick arch over the top to carry the t'owerwall, which is the same thickness all the way to the top. Father Raymond Basel, a.S.B., stated in an interview on 6 January 1960 that the arrangement of the front or east end of the church has been as di-for as he can and he came to St. John's c F F G G E A main entran.ce E entrance from monastery 20 B baptistry F former doorways C Marian Shrine G body of church D vestibule The inner front door was let down into the wall six inches, for this purpose the wall was dug away, to put in the side door the wall waS dug away the size of the sills and three inches deep. For the projection of the inside of the tower walls the joist had to be sawn away, they had been laid clear over the projection and brick laid between them. A change in the plan for an opening into the south tower from the church, caused a part of the south west corner of the tower wall to be torn down and rebuilt in another shape. 18 It is said now that Thomson asked some money of the Abbot and being refused, he got vexed and left. This is true and shows how cheeky Thomson is. He is in debt to the Monastery, was working off his debt and got mad because he would not be allowed to get deeper into debt. 20 Father Abbot is continually on the building this week. Work goes on lively and much more correctly. In fact since Thomson went, F. Gregory has taken every thing into his hands and all goes much better. The men work cheerfUlly, no new blunders are being made. Heretofore F. Greg. trusted to Thomson and hence the record of errors that we had to make. The last lot of blunders was Thomson's, too, that F. Greg. had to patch. The most blame that can attach toP, G. is trusting to Thomson, but then he had the contract, what could be done? November 1 The ground is covered with snow,first time this fall, Work suspended on the building, Eight masons idle, 4 All the masons and tenders". Tenders were bricklayers' helpers who .were responsible for keeping the bricklayers supplied with brick and mortar, etc. have gone away, They have.worked none since last Thursday on account of the cold, so on Tuesday 4th of Nov, they went, 27 In the last week of Nov.(27) the teams begin to haul cut stone from St. Cloud and pile them up in the front garden for safe keeping, 1880 April 7 On the 7th the Brothers commenced to get ready for the masons, They worked all week at scaffolds etc., so that if all goes well, the masons may commence on the 12th. There are several bricklayers and tenders here, ready. 10 Father Abbot started for Rome. F, Peter goes with him. 12 On the twelvth April the masons went to work upon the walls. 19 Last week the masons lost part of two days on account of cold. Today it is blowing, last night it snowed, no work today. Yesterday afternoon the clouds were thick and low~ they had a dead redden hue. It was so dark at 2! P.M. that it was necessary to light the chapel lamps to re ad vespers. 20 On the 20th of April it was so cold th at the masons could not commence before 9 A.M. 26 The men lost a good deal of time last week on account of bad weather. One of them said he would go home if the weather did not get fairer. Snow & rain prevail, Father Alexius comments under the date of April 28, "Snow. But shortly after the mercury leaped up to 85% (sic) in the shade. "6 They use aderrick this week to hoist brick, i,e., a horse is the lifting power. 6 Ibid., p. 25. 21 22 May 3 The men commenced to raise the stone pillars. The stone cutter is here doing what fixing may be necessary. 15 The stone prisms that form the pillars give signs of inaccurate workmanship. The bases are uneven so that some of them rock on a point or two; they are not cut at right angles to the plane of the sides so that, when the prism sits on its base, it leans sidewise. Three of them are worse than the others & had to be wedged into a perpendicular position with iron & stone wedges and plugs of lead. Some of the lateral faces have deep indentures because the blocks from which they were cut were so rough and not large to permit being dressed. The "stone prisms" of which he speaks are the six pillars in the nave. The shafts of these pillars are octagonal, twenty-four inches thick and thirteen feet high. They were plastered immediately. If the stone firm that furnished the cut stone could produce nothing smoother than the watertable and the other stone that is visible on the outside of the church? as seems likely? the stone shafts of these pillars were probably never meant to be seen. As it turned out, there was no alternative but to plaster them. 16 While the men were engaged placing the cap stone on one of the columns, a guy line of the derrick gave way & let the cap stone down. Luckily it fell but a few inches & rested perpendicularly on the top of the prism. The men on the scaffold around the column were frightened, but, thank God, not hurt. 19 There is much botching at starting the arches over the south line of columns? a good deal of last year's work--building up & tearing down again. Let it rip --less said the better.· 22 The coping for the gable over the main entrance is not cut properly & will not fit in place. The stone cutters are vexed but from appearances the fault is theirs. F. Gregory had the right angle? both in the plan & in the masonry, but they did not cut by the plan. The masonry is all right and the cutters will come up next week & fix the stones. A scaffold fell & precipitated 3 men 25 feet to the floor. Luckily they are only bruised around the head & scratched. Planks, joist, brick? mortar, tools &c were piled up on the floor in confusion but men uppermost. F. G. told F. Prior that "every body had said the scaffold was not safe." The F. Pro "went for him?" wanted to know why it was not made safe, why he had not paid some attention to what every body said. The Prior wound up his injunctions by declaring that he wanted no men killed around here through carelessness or stupidness & that, if it were necessary to spend 200 or even 300 dollars more, he wanted the scaffolds made safe. June I The stone cutters came and worked several days whit-tling stones; the coping was fixed up and adjusted to its pI ace but when the mason tr ied to se t up the saddle stone that serves for a pedestal to the cross over the front door, the angle cutin the stone would not fit. Brother Frank took the stone in a buggy to St. Cloud and got it fixed. 8 Official reports show that duringMay there were fif-teen days on which rain fell, with a total precipitation of thirty inches of water. This month promises to be worse. The brickmakers are loosing money. Nearly all the brick made during two last weeks are ei ther damaged or spoiled. On the wall the men scarcely did more than earn their board last week on account of bad weather. The broken cross sent up by the stone cutters became so satura ted wi th wa ter that the cement which bound on the frac tured arm, gave away, and the broken arm, to prevent its falling off, had to be taken down. This cross is a small granite cross on the gable just above the main entrance. The gable projects out about fourfeenillches from the main facade of the front wall and is finished with a granite coping. The cross with the broken arm, which Father Xa.viertalks about, is s till the re. 29 For about two weeks the weathefhas been fine. The brick yard folks have gone ahead, but, alas! it is, I fear, too late to be able to keep the masons going. Four hundred thousand brick are yet needed. About 20,000 old ones yet remain, about 75,000 new ones can be ready in ten days but they cannot b'egin to make as fast as they will be laid up on the building, hence a stay in the work seems inevitable. The force employed has dwindled down to three masons. There are four men, a horse and a boss attending these three. July Beginning of July the Brothers commence to fix for a new brick yard. I presume they do so: 1st, because the men at the old yard do not seem to be able to make brick fast enough and 2nd, because they make such very miserable brick. The trash of brick now used in building the church is very trash indeed. One half are mere bats and so soft as to be scarcely fit for scooing outside of a kiln. 7 First kiln of brick burnt this year on the old yard. 73,500. 23 12 On the 12th July commenced hauling new brick. The most severe storm of the season, wind, rain, lightning. It was so dark at supper (6 P.M.) that the reader had to have a lamp. 15 The large circular window over the door was put in position today. It did not take long--things went well. He refers here to the frame of the rose window in the front wall of the church. The frame is of wood, and is thirteen feet nine inches in diameter. There is a rose window of identical form in each of the end walls of the transept. At the time the church was built there was no building to the west, but this back wall never had more than two small windows on the basement level. A plaster apse was built on the main floor level several feet inside the brick wall, so no windows were need~d. 24 Rose window of the east facade. Immediately below windowis the gPanite cross with the broken arm. 17 A mason got hurt badly. B. Leo & a laborer were work-ing to elevate the platforms and stage of the elevator, the laborer got his hand caught. To extricate him Leo cut the rope that raises the elevator which fell on the mason who, too, was trying to relieve the laborer. 19 The teams hauled home the last of the new brick to-day. They are very varied, some melted and some only smoked. Br. Frank commenced to mould. His work promises well--good but slow. LI~ grinding the first pit of mud, wrenched the temper-wheel into many curved forms. 20 The plan was tried, in early spring, to give the Brothers & farm hands a later but better breakfast and to. dispense 5it'iJ morning lunch. In the mean time F. Gregory gave his men on the building not only lunch but also beer and that twice a day. Some Brothers &farm hands thought that too thin, About the end of June these got lunch again, and now (July 20) beer is stopped on the builders. The man who got hurt last Saturday had stolen a can of beer from the table &hid it in the basement; the other fellows drank it during the afternoon. 21 Today Br. Frank finished moulding his first pit. 23 First brick laid in the new kiln, In one week (12,000) twelve thousand were made and about one half bf them set in the kiln, 29 Commenced burning the second kiln on old yard, It is said to contain 116,000 brick, Father Alexius comments under this date, "The Chronicler (Rev, Xavier White) has much to say about the brick yard, In fact, he and Bro, Frank (Zwissler) superintended the burning of the brick, Where he got his knowledge I cannot say, but he talked as if he knew it all-at least he knew as much about it as anyone here," 7 The extant records make it extremely difficul t to determine how many bricks were made here and when they were used. Ignatius Greven was employed from 1876, it seems, to make brick at $4,667 per thousand. The first year he made 170,000, Mter 1877 he had men working for him, and in that year they made 744,580 bricks, Joseph Lauer was a part-ner with Greven in 1877 r bu t the following year he seems to have tak- 25 en over the contract, During that year of 1878, 308,000 bricks were made, In 1879, 194,500 bricks were made. During all of these years the rate of $4.667 prevailed and all these bricks were charged to the "Buildings Account." The following buildings were built at this time: a pumping station, a two-story, 50 x 24 foot laundry building, a two-story carpenter and blacksmith shop, aslaughter~ house, a smokehouse, and a shoe shop. Some of the bricks undoubted-ly went into the church, since bricklaying started late in 1879 on that building, On 7 November 1879 Abbot Alexius made an agreement with Joseph Lauer to furnish 600,000 first class brick at $3,83 per thousand, 434,100 were made in 1880, It seems that Brother Frank worked independently of Mr. Lauer and at a different location, The Journal books never charge the "Church Account" for brick, but when bricks were sold to the neighboring farmers in small amounts, the proceeds were always credited to the "Church Account," In 1881 Lauer and his men made 401,600 brick, For half of these he got $3,83, and for the res t $4,00 per thousand, Since the roof was placed on the church at the end of 1880, and the only brick work that remained to be done was the tops of the towers, few of these 401,600 were used on the church. Some of them were used for the convent at St. Joseph, the brick work of which was begun in the summer of 1881 with brick from St, John's kilns. 30 The rafters for the side roofs of the church are up, Under each one a chip one inch wide & one half inch thick had to be stuck to support the rafter, The rafters are supported on a frame-work in the center, and 7 Ibid., p, 27, 26 were cut at the ends so as to rest on the wall and the ends of the rafters be built into the wall, but either the wall was not high enough or the frame work too high or the gap cut in the end of the rafters was too large. Had these been cut and fitted on the building instead of in the shop this fault would have been avoided. Again some of the rafters are too short or the wall is crooked, some inches. The carpenters say the fault is in the wall, it is wider between walls towards front on S. side, The masons have been nearly all week fitting stones &c on the top of the little interior project ions that are to sustain the arches under the main roof--these stones were unevenly,. badly cut by the stonecutters. This week men &teams are harvesting on old farm, Three laborers have left the building. Wages outside are high, A scholastic (John Steinkogler), •• This scholastic became Father Lawrence Steinkogler, O.S.B. He was ordained in 1885, He transferred his vows to St. Peter's Abbey, Muenster, Sask., Canada in the 1920's and died there 30 June 1950. is tending masons; there are several others in the fields. These last three weeks only two masons. It is merely playing ttbuild house"--can't get brick. Ergo losing money. August 3 On Tuesday morning the fires were closed in the 2nd kiln of 116,000 brick on the old yard. 5 Abbot came home. 10 The masons are fixing the windows in the side of the church above the first part of the roof in the wall that rests on the pillars. The windows referred to are the clerestory windows. 13 The new kiln on the old yard turns out satisfactory, The teams commenced hauling on the 13th a few loads. 20 On 20th Cary, bricklayer, came back to work & brot Kelly, another bricklayer, with him. 24 At 2 P.M. fire was started in another kiln of 103,000 brick at the old yard. Lauer is going ahead. 30 On the morning of the 30th the kiln was finished. Six masons on the wall today. Same on the 31st. FFs. F. and U. bought the tin for church roof; it is on its way from St. Louis. (Francis and Ulric had been in St. Louis) , September 4 Break on R.R. Ergo, two days out of lim~ (3rd and 4th) 5 Sunday, Sept 5, after dinnerBr. Frank started fire in the kiln, it is said to contain 94,000 brick. 6 Brothers commenced cornice on the church. 7 Frank butnFroof of his kiln last Hauling brick from Lauer's kiln (good Frank shut down fires, afternoon of 9 the centresb as to make the kiln liable He had fife props against one side. The ! burnt, good only for inside work. Bad Frank's brick yard. night. Sleepy~ brick). Brother inst. He melted to tumble down. brick are about fizzle--Brother 22 On the 22nd the last scaffold of brick work was begun. Lauer closed down moulding, 22 Sept. 30 Lauer commenced to burn his last kiln of 140,000 on Thursday the 30th Sept. October 2 On Saturday Oct. 2nd, Brothers commenced to put up the frame work of the main roof of the church. 5 On Tuesday, 5, Lauer finished burning his last kiln. 7 On the 7 Oct. F. Abbot came from St. Paul having contracted for the tin roof. The Abbot waS making arrangements for tinners to do the job; .. the tin had been bought over a month before. A Mr. Joseph Haag from St. Paul took the job. This is only one of several occasions when the Abbot personally went out to hire men to work on the church. All around the tower &front of building the stone are placed. The work of placing them commenced on the 7 and finished on the 9th. The stone he speaks of here is another watertable course which is at the height of the eaves of the main roof, or forty-nine feet from the main floor level. The stones are twelve inches thick and rest upon a band of ornamental brick work composed of dentils and a corbel of five courses of brick, which also goes around the towers and across the front of the building. 9 The center arch on front gable is more than its own width from center. Bad. At the top of front wall just below the gable of the main roof is an arcade or series of small decorative arches in the brick work. 'they rise stepwise, nine on each side with one at the peak. What 27 he means is that the brick work was laid out so poorly that the cen~ ter arch does not coincide with the peak of the roof~ as can be seen in the picture. The same thing happened on the gable of the south transept wall. Front gable of abbey church. Notice that the brick ornamentation is not centered with the peak of the roof. 28 Brother Leo Martin fell from the scaffold~ where he was working on the roof of the church~ Saturday~ 9th Oct. shortly after 3 P.M. and died about 6 P.M. of the same day. He was conscious to the end & received the last Sacraments with holy hope & resignation. Father Abbot received B. Leo's perpetual vows at 5! P.M. His time had transpired on the 29th ul t. Father Alexius comments here, "Bro~ M.' fLeo Martiy was, like Bro. Andrew, an excellent carpenter and a pious religious, but less impetuous than Bro. Andrew. The two did most of the work. The forms for the vaults in the center aisle and transepts were made by secular carpenters. I remember the two principal ones--Yankees--serious, quie t men who wen t through the ir work wi thout any noise--mos t of the time was spent by the others in talking (except Bros. And. & Martin LLeo Marti~). Abbot Alexius felt Bro. Leo's death keenly and wrote us (at St..:.., Vincent's Abbey fjr. Alexius was in the novitiate there that yeay) on the occasion. ,,8 11 Four tinsmiths came from St. Paul to put the roof on the church. They are getting ready to go to work tomorrow. 15 On the night raged in this ing. of the 15th inst. a fearful snow storm section. It stopped work on the build- 18 Monday 18th fine day. Snow is beginning to thaw. Cary, the mason, left yesterday. Went to St. Paul, wants to be nearer home. The tinners are not behaving well. At this time of year and in the condition of our church every hour te11s.,They could be engaged putting the tin together when the weather is bad or cold &could then clap it on quickly during the intervals of good warm weather. But they are fritting away their time this week, talking about quitting because they can't make enough, &c, &c. The job would pay them if they worked with industry and foresight. It is shameful to act as they are acting and in the circumstances. 23 On 23rd Oct. at 5! P.M. the driving wheel of elevator was broken by the bad management of the man who drove the horse. 25 Men are hauling up brick with windlass. and only one tinner at work. The boss & are in St. Paul A fine day other men 26,27 Father Abbot had a talk with Jos. Haag, the boss tinker, and now his force is pitching into the work. 29 Elevator fixed and at work. 31 Sunday, Oct. 31, Roofers worked all day. The weather is very uncertain, the walls can be protected only by the roof, hence the necessity of utilizing every hour. November 1 All Saints. The workmen refused to work on the wall today, but at noon, Father Abbot got them to understand the position, and they took hold. The festival was celebrated as well as our church accommod ations permit. Two Solemn High Masses, two sermons, and two Benedictions. There was no talk at table and no extra refreshment. Reason was that on last St. A1exius day one man got hurt at the building and it waS attributed to his having taken beer at table; wherefore none was given this feast lest something similar might occur. 2 The wheel of the elevator broke again today. The elevator must go so close up that if the horse makes one step too much something must give. Had the platform been put 3 or 4 inches lower this trouble would not have occurred. The roofing adjoining the north gable of the house and west of the south spire waS up &nearly ready for boarding when it was found the plan was a failure and the style of that part of the roof had to be changed. Bro. Andrew says it causes a loss of at least one week's work for one carpenter. There is no way of knowing what the original plan for the roof of this area was. If the church had not been joined immediately to the existing monastery building, no doubt the roof over the side aisle between the west side of the tower and the east side of the transept would have been finished in the same way as the north side of the church. As it is, the space between the north wall of the 29 existing building and the south clerestory, and from the west side of the tower to a 1ittle past the west side of the existing building was closed in making a large room 14'6" x 31'6", 16'~" high t at the level of the third floor of the existing monastery building. The roof of this room is at the level of the eave of the main roof of the church. It is almost flat, but has a slight slope away from the tower toward the west. The outside of this room is shown on the picture (opposite page) which was taken from the courtyard. 5 Friday , Nov. 5, the brick masons & helpers ceased work, and went away on Saturday. The spires can be covered &everything can be saved. On Saturday some of the roofers went home but the boss stayed around until Wednesday fixing up; then he went home. The tin is all on the roof, but all the soldering is not done & likely will not be done this winter. The carpenters are closing up the church--windows &doors, preparing to work inside this winter. November-December: The carpenters work in the church laying floors and such like; they also floor two of the basement chapels. December 30 21 April Tinning, or sheeting the ceiling of the choir chapel in the basement, with fluted sheet iron. 1881 About 8th,'pews for New Chapel got here from Minneapolis. 25 Carpenters working at the eaves &cornice of church. May 3 Afternoon on 3rd the tinner who has contrac t for roof came here with his men, They are to finish church roof and attach gu Hers to the eaves of all the build-ings. 19 Elevators are up in both church towers ready to raise brick to any height. June Plasterers are working on the two back basement chapels. The work is by the job. The stained glass windows for the church are here from Chicago. The stained glass windows for the church were made by the firm of George A. Misch &Co. of Chicago and cost $5330.44. The descrip- Courtyard view of the abbey church 31 tions of the windows and their subjects given in early years seem to indicate that all the windows presently in the church were put in at this time except the one of St. Bernard above the side door leading to the enclosed walk along the south side of the church. This enclosed walk was not built until a number of years 1a ter, after the west side of the quadrangle waS completed. July 10 First kiln finished burning 10 of July, Good brick. 16 F. Abt blessed two back basement chapels. These chapels were in what is now the basement sacristy at the west end of the basement and in the present middle crypt chapel in the transept. "According to the Prior's diary," writes Father A1exius, Uthe chapels were blessed by the Abbot after 5 p.m" the blessing being followed by 'Pontifical Benediction' Le.,with the B1. Sacrament-- the Abbot being attended by deacons. -- We felt happy and proud, now that we could have service in what was considered so superb a 10ca1ity--a1though the walls were unadorned by anything but The east front of St, John I s Abbey eal"1y summer 1881 showing the progress of church oonstruction in the preceding year, 32 Midsummer 1881. Father Gregory and his men early summer 1881. Late summer 1881 with towers completed. plain station pictures and the high (and only) altar of the former 'church' served the same purpose in the new chapel. The chapel now to be used till the larger ones could be finished was the middle one, beneath the transept. The altar stood between two windows at the northern extremity, and the priests had to pass through the entire congregation in order to reach the altar from the sacristy...9 17 Feast of St. Alex. , F.Abt. pontificated and preached in centre chapel. First Mass in basement by Xavier. At the Solemn Pont. Mass, F. John Ka tzner, solemn profession. Four brick layers commenced on spires. August 29 On the 29th Aug. the towers were finished and the bricklayers went to work at St. Jos. on the convent. At this time Father Xavier wrote a column for the St. Cloud Times in which he described the building developments at St. John's~ the issue of Wednesday, 28 September 1881, he wrote, "Sixteen pieces of clear pine 50 feet long, 6 x 6 inches were brought to the college last week from Reed &Sherwood's mill, Anoka. They are the frame timbers for the spires." 1882 January 28 Four carpenters in church at work on 28 Jan. February 5 F. John Katzner, O.S.B., was ordained priest in the chapel of the monastery church by Bishop Seidenbusch on 5 Feb. 14 On 14, F. Gregory came home (from White Earth) to boss the carpenter work in the church. On 12 May 1881 Father Gregory had gone to the Indian mission at White Earth, Minnesota, to direct the building of the church which he had designed there. Some laborers went with him from St. John's. Ground was broken for the church on May 15, and it was blessed by Abbot Alexius on 11 June 1882. The church was built of brick from St. John's kilns, Father Gregory's absence from St. John's during most of the 1881 building season helps to account for the slackened pace of work on the abbey church during that year. 23 The four carpenters and Bro. Andrew's three and 3 other young fellows, lathers, are all working in the church at various parts of the work. The 4 strangers keep constantly at the arches, 9 ~., p. 32. 33 34 The whole ceiling of the main church, under the side roofs as well as under the main roof, is composed of ribbed vaults. The vaults are made up of a heavy wood frame--wood arches-~covered with lath and plaster. The amount of surface to be plastered and the fancy rib work as well as the moulded capitals on the pillars and pilasters accounts for the large number of plasterers employed and the long time it took to finish the job. The wages of these plasterers and the plasterers' helpers came to $2851. 61. March 6 The 4 carpenters commenced big centre arch today having finished the side arches and the sacristies. The boys and Brother Martin are finishing the great basement chapel. 14 Six plasterers with helpers are at work plastering. They commenced today; by day's work they are hired, because of the very great difficulty of making any calculation for job work. 20 Plasterers quit work; it was too cold. 22,23 On the 22 & 23 the plasterers commenced again. 31 The carpenters have finished the arches. Bro. Andrew is not among the carpenters, for some days he has been unwell. May 2 Tuesday evening second May, Fe Abbot was standing at his window just after getting home and saw the boss of the plasterers bowling down the hill towards t];1e monastery. The Abbot remarked to a priest standing near, "There comes Lyster, and he is drunk." "Yes," replied the priest, "and he was so drunk last Sunday that he could not come home." So it was. Lyster and most of his men were the most drunken crew that could be gotten together. On Wednesday morning the Abbot dismissed Lyster and Wm e Sullivan, the most besotted of the gang. Two others left with the above two. Kelly, a plasterer, had borrowed one of Lyster's horses and had a saddle from the Brother Carl. These were in Loso's stable at St. Joseph. Lyster took horse and saddle and tried to sell both. Kelly is in a pucker, for he has to make good the saddle. Lyster brot the horses and saddles to St. PauL The horses that Lyster had, he bought from the monastery and while here kept them to bring whiskey to the men, or the men to the whiskey. He pretended that he wanted them for his business in St. Paul, buthe sold them near Avon the day he left here. 4 On the 4th F. Abbot & F. Ulrich went to St. Paul. F. Abbot will send up plasterers and then go to New York about a marble altar for the church. 8 Three decent plasterers have come on to work. Now in all, there are seven. 9 Murphy and Young, two plasterers, came today~ 10 It is so cold that the carpenters had tb come down from the spire. 11 Two more plasterers today. Interior view of the abbey church showing the austerity of the unpainted plaster walls. 35 13 Father Abbot returned from New York having made the round trip in one week. He bought six altars at an outlay of $5000, candlesticks, lamp, gong, etc. for the new abbey church. The three marble altars in the upper church were purchased from Anton Kloster of New York for $4550.00. Several hundred dollars were spent in freight charges and erection. Probably this price included the reredos which was originally behind each of the altars because the Journals make no mention of these as separate items. The remaining three altars spoken of by Father Xavier were wooden altars used in the basement chapel and may also have been bought from Kloster. June 7 On the morning of June 7, the plasterers who were re-ceiving $3! per day &board struck for $4 per day & board. TIley compromised and went to work at $3 and 3/4 ($3.75) per day &board. 36 8 Corpus Christi. All worked all day long. (Afternoon F. Abbot went to White Earth where the church will be dedicated on next Sunday.) At 5 P.M. June 8th, 1882, the cross was f as tened in posi tion on top of the north spire by Bro. Andrew and his crew of carpenters. At 2:30 P.M., 4 February, 1960, the whole north spire, thirty-five feet high with its cross, and weighing approximately five and a half tons, was lifted off the top of the tower by the crane of the McGough Construction Co. with its one hundred and fifty foot boom. Six days later, on Wednesday, February 10, the south spire was similarly removed. The removal of the spires was necessitated by the fact that the five bells in the towers had to be taken out for shipment to Cincinnati, Ohio where they were to be remounted for the banner of the new church. 15 The cross was placed on the south spire. For the ar-chi tect and workmen on the spire it was a happy event. When the first cross was to be raised the workmen got it upon the spite before it was blessed and P, Gregory climbed up and blessed it before the men got the scaffold down. The same thing was repeated at the ge tting up of the second cross. 21 Scaffolding all out of church and nearly all off from the towers. The tower scaffold waS built of short joist fastened with bolts &was taken apart. The inside of the church scaffold was of long poles and it waS sawed down in sections. No damage of any kind was done. 22 The church roof is amiserable piece of work. It rained through it on the night of 21st as if it were an old mat or a basket. To show something of the spirit of the men that F. Gregory had to deal with we relate: Apfel and Reardon work~da'tthe cap of one pillar for two and one half days; this was at a time when they were d~term~ ned to stretch the work out into July. Again Reardon alone did the same work--put the ornamental cap on a pillar --in one day and a quarter; this was when he wanted to rush Wanner who was working on the cap of another pillar. Wanner was over two days at his cap, but Wanner did not belong to the Apfel-Reardon clique in which two others of the plasterers were joined. W. kept on the even tenor of his way, always doing a good days work. One of the Clique, a Kelly, was of this first whiskey gang of plasterers and when they were shipped he begged to be kept on. F. Abbot had pity on him because Kelly was married and had children and was poor. Therefore the Abbot kept him at work but he joined the clique that struck for higher wages, got it and then resolved to make the job last. 26 Boys are busy cleaning up the new church for exhibition to be held tomorrow. All the boys work willingly. F. Ulric is bossing. 27 Tuesday, Exhibition Day, There are in the church about persons, Exhibition Day was the equivalent of the modern graduation except that no one graduated, Those finishing the commercial course got a diploma, medals were awarded, and speeches, etc. given. On this occasion Father Alexius remarks, "The annual Exhibition of the College was held in the sanctuary of the new church--which was, as I have said above, unfurnished at the time. The entire audience did not fill the sanctuary. The 'Band' was stationed in the apse--its blaring strains must have mightily re-echoed in the building. I played with the Band on that occasion."lO July 1 On Saturday, July 1st, Reardon, Tobin, Kelly, and Fosterwerepaid off, the plastering being about done. Wanner, the moulder, came to work on Monday, he had made himself disagreeable to plasterers & carpenters by his criticisms. Alex Bold, an old "far down," saw W. measuring another man's work & old B. went for W. and there would have fought him, had not Pere Gregory interfered. Wanner was paid off. Bold &McInerny are finishing & fixing around the house. Apfel went away some days ago, he is a pill. 25 About 4 P,M. on the 25th, a severe wind and rain storm passed over the convent (Abbey) and tore away part of the roof of the church. Tin was driven over the fields like straw before the wind, Word was sent to F. Abbot, F, SUbprior (Peter) going for that purpose. Shingles were bought, men employed and the damaged roof fixed up in a few days. After the storm of the 25th July and while the roof of the church lay bare, a steady rain set in. On the night of Sunday 30th it rained all night, all day Monday and all night. Father Alexius says that some considered the lack of respect shown for Corpus Christi, June 8, --Hall worked all day long"--as one reason why the roof was ruined by this storm. ll August Carpenters are shingling church roof, September 8 The new roof on the church is finished and Bro. Francis taking away the debris, Fest, Nat. B,V.M. The month of Sept. 1882 waS occupied wi th al tar fixing, more than two car 1,oads of rna terial--6 aHars in all--value $6,000, 37 10 Ibid" p, 36. 11 Ibid. Bernardus Locnikaq n.S,.B. 38 arrived in St. Joseph and were brought hither by teams. F. Gregory being busy with his men, and Bro. Andrew at West Union house, F. Vincent superintended the erecting of the altars and for a few days had help from St, Jos. The altars came safely from New York, nothing was broken and nothing misfitted. The pulpit too came safely. There was however a slight misfit in this piece, In putting up the table of thehighal tar a mismanagement caused .thefront upper cornice just under the table to fall down and break into several parts, some fixing got the thing into shape again and the work went all through without any other mishap, During the week beginning with the 16th October, the Sister from St. Joseph fixed the sanctuary carpet and pu tit down, At the convent they made many things for the church, such as hangings for the throne &many other things. F. Vincent painted crosses on the walls in a very artistic manner and hung the stations. He finished these jobs on the 21st October. In two successive issues of the St, Cloud Times, Catholic Citizen, and N. W, Chronicle invitations were issued to the Alumni to be present at the Benediction of the church. The consecration of the church by the Right Reverend Rupert Seidenbusch, O.S.B., Vicar Apostolic of Northern Minnesota, on 24 October 1882, brought to a joyous conclusion the construction period of St. John t s first abbey church. A detailed account of this event together with the sub$equent history of the church and a description of its decoration and furnishing will be found in the next issue of The Scriptorium. A P PEN D I X I Resolutio Revdmi Capituli die 19. Aprilis 1879. Propositis a Revdmo Domino Abbate tam consilio novae ecclesiae aedificandae quam ejusdem ecclesiae mox erigendae descriptione (plan), R.R. Patres Capitulo praesentse unanimi voto assenserunt. Sequuntur nomina R,R. Patrum Capitulo praesentium: Revdmus D. Alexius Edelbrock Abbas Rev, Bernardus Locnikar Rev. Franciscus Merschman u Norbertus Hofbauer " Gregorius Steil tt Antonius Capser " Petrus Engel tt Ulricus Northman " Ludgerus Ehrens tt Simplicius Wimmer " Xaverius White tt Alphonsus Kuisle In cujus rei testimonium ex mandato Revdmi Dni Abbatis Die 19. Aprilis 1879. A P PEN D I X I I St. John's College, St. Joseph, Minn. March 14. 1879 I the undersigned do hereby agree with Abbot Alexius Edelbrock to build a church according to certain plans and specifications in his possession to put up the stone basement this year and to complete the brick work next year (1880). I am to get $4 a cord. i.e. for 128 cubic feet of stone measured in the wall. and $3.25 per 1000 brick. i.e., 22! brick per cubic foot measured in the wall. I am to be paid for only one half of the openings. I am to employ 5 or 6 competent masons and all my hands. The Abbot Alexius Edelbrock has to supply only the necessary materials. viz.: stone, brick, cement. lime,--and to board myself and my men. I guarantee good and satisfactory work, and in case of noncompliance with this my pledge, I am willing to indemnify the Abbot to such an extent and for such an amount as shall be just and equitable. In witness whereof Bendy's Thomsen March 18. 1879 It is hereby agreed between Abbot Alexius Edelbrock party of the first part and Henry Kammermayer and Jos. Hirschbach party of the second part that a consideration of Two Thousand and Nine Hundred Dollars is to be paid by (the party of) the first part to the party of the second part for furnishing window sills, door sillS, window caps, water tables, column caps, six columns, copings, cross and corner stone for a church according to plans and specifications furnished by the first part--all to be of dressed granite delivered on wagon in the city of St. Cloud. The party of the second part agrees to give satisfaction to the party of the first part by making good work such as demanded by the plans and specifications and to commence work at once and to complete its partof the contract within such time as will not delay the bricklayers of the church of the party of the first part. As a guarantee of our good faith and an earnest for the completion of our part of the contract we give our bonds in the amount of Two Thousand and Nine Hundred Dollars; and in case we fail to fulfill our part of this contract--either in not furnishing good and satisfactory work or in not delivering the stone when they shall be demanded by the party of the first part, we are willing to pay one Thousand Dollars to the party of the first part, and over and above this loss, to pay such damages as shall be assessed against us by three men to be chosenbythe first and second party. 39 40 The first part agrees to pay? from time to time, to the party of the second part such sums as it shall be entitled to. In witness of the above we have hereunto subscribed our names: (signed by) Alexius Edelbrock, party of the first part Henry Kammermayer, Joseph Herschbach, party of the second part NOTES ON THE CRYPT FLOOR PLAN The table at the top of the plan indicates the three values of lines used in the drawing. The two heavier lines represent wall areas. The thickness of these two heavier lines is a part of the scale representation and must be included in measuring wall thickness. The width of the line used to indicate details is to be disregarded for purposes of measurement. The thickness of the walls as they are shown on the drawing includes the plaster surface, which varies in thickness from one-half to three inches. The bases of the towers. at the extreme right of the drawing. are indicated as solid even though they are not so in fact. The walls are rubblestone, probably about four feet thick. Since there is no opening into them, it was impossible to determine their exact thickness. The empty space inside the walls is probably partly filled with dirt and rubble. The steele columns indicated in the transept were similar to those beneath the main nave. Though these columns were removed in 1909 when the sanctuary floor above waS rebuilt. their footings were left intact beneath the crypt floor. Since the Journal book of 1880 indicates the purchase of useven steel columns, '1 the seventh column was used most likely where the wood column is at present l in the center of the sacristy. It was removed in 1909 when the vault was put in as the rubbles tone walls of the vault served to support the high altar on the floor above. The base of the vault beneath the crypt floor was not demolished. Originally there were two windows in the·west wall of the church on the crypt level, but these were closed up when the school wing was built adjacent to the church in 18831886. Their exact location is not known, but they were between the two columns which form part of the west wall. Two more windows were in the north wall of the transept in the same location as those in the south wall. The north windows and the stone wall between and above them were removed in 1909 when an organ pipe room was added. A thin wood wall with two double doors separates this room now used for storage from the transept itself. Before the vestibule and host bakery were builtin 1942, the door which now leads into the bakery led to the outside. Until 1909 when the covered walk was put in on the floor above, this door was sheltered by a small vestibule exactly like the one at the northeast corner of the building. Chapter e 1 eve n THE EXISTENCE OF SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIES IN BENEDICTINE MONASTERIES IS A STRONG PROOF THAT STUDIES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HONORED IN THE ORDER After all the proofs that we have just set 41 forth, it may seem superfluous to bring forward still another. Nevertheless, it would not be right to pass over without men-tion the solid and compelling argument, namely, that schools and academies have long been associa ted with and conducted by Benedictine monks. We have already indicated what types of youths were trained: firstly those who had a possible vocation to the Order, and secondly those who desired instruction and ed~ ucation before beginning secular careers. The former type were called nInterns" and the latter "Externs." Perhaps this matter needs a little amplification. We know nothing for certain about the existence of such schools at Monte Cassino from the time of St. Benedict until its destruction by the Lombards. Several facts, however, seem to indicate quite clearly that the cultivation of learning was far from neglected at that abbey. Mark the Poet lived there during this period. Anyone who takes time to read his verses about St. Benedict will readily admit that they rank with the best poetry produced during the early Middle Ages. Paul the Deacon, who lived during the eighth century and who was familiar with Mark's writings, assures us that the poet was a disciple of St. Benedict himself. Whether this is true or not, we are at least certain that he was a monk of Monte Cassino, It should not be forgotten that during St. Benedict's time children of the illustrious families of Rome, such as St. Maurus and St. Placid, were educated there from their early years by the monks. When Abbot Petronax restored the abbey, he also re-enkindled the love of studies. We know that Paul the Deacon, who had been the secretary of Lui tprand, King of the Lornbards, taught reading and writing to his confreres. The biographies he wrote about the illustrious monks of Monte Cassino give convincing proof that even tohis day study was held in high honor there. The Benedictines sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great taught both virtue and cuI ture in their monastic centers. It waS in Saints Peter and Paul at Canterbury that St. Benedict Biscop acquired the monastic training and education that he later made so much a part of the two monasteries he founded. The Venerable Bede, so proficient in all branches of learning, not only instructed his fellow monks in these monasteries, but even taught secular students in the church at York as well. Nor was he acting exceptionally in this~ for St. Aldhelm and others followed his example. Such was the policy of the early monasteries and those founded at a later date, such as Glastonbury, St. Albans, Malmesbury, Croyland, and others. St. Boniface was 42 raised from the age of five in one of these Anglo-Saxon abbeys, ana it was there that he acquired the knowledge of the arts and sciences that he would eventually carry to the continent and himself teach at such monastic centers as Fulda, Hersfeld, and those in Friesland. During this same period we can point to flourishing centers of learning like the abbeys of St. Gall, Richenau, Pruem under Abbot Regino and a little later St. Alban in Mainz, St. Maximim and St. Mathias in Trier, Melk, and Hirsau. Abbot John Trithemius has even left a catalogue of the instructors at Hirsau. Still another monastic school was the academy at Schafnabourg which boasted of the f amous chro~ nologer, Lambert. Simultaneous with the rise of these abbey schools in England and central Europe there arose a number of important monastic academies in France. Among the more renowned were Fontenelle under St. Wandrille and St. Ansegis~ Fleury under St. Mommole and later under Adreval, Aimoin, Abbo, and others; and Lobbes under St. Ursmer and later under Ratherius, Folcuin, Herigerus, and their successors. The list of monastic schools famous during the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries is a long and impressive one: Anianeand Cornelimuenster under St. Benedict; Corbie in Saxony and Corbie in France under Adelard, Wala, Radbert, and Ratram; Ferrieres-en-G&tinais under Abbot Loup; St. Germain d'Auxerre under Heric the instructor of Lothair, the son of Charles the Bald, and the famous teacher of the succeeding century, Remy; St. Michel in Lorraine under Smaragdus at the time of Louis the Pious; and finally, to be brief, Gembloux, 49 JolY9 des Ecoles, ch~l7. Bee, and St. Evroult-d'Ouche each of which produced many learned monks. Through the centuries these schools continued to be associated with Benedictine monasteries, flourishing, declining, being suppressed and being re-established hand in hand with them. In our own day the Order conducts the Universi ty of Salzburg and Benedictines are on the facul ties of the Universities of Salamanca and Douay. Both the Congregation of St Maur in France and that of St. ~lacid in Flanders conduct seminaries. Joly notes: "It seems that one of the first concerns of St. Benedict was sacred learning, which he considered to be an exercise serving as a source and preservative of Christian piety. In this he was merely making his own the attitude of the Eastern monks, large numbers of whom withdrew from the world in order to have greater leisure for the study of Christian philosophy. ,,49 In a later chapter this point will be brought out when we consider the lives of Saints Basil, Gregory of Nazianzen; and John Chrysostom. Here I would just like to mention Cosmas i a teacher of Chrysostom. He was born in Italy and there received his monastic training and knowledge of rhetoric, arithmetic, music, geometry, astronomy, dialectic, 43 and theology as well. When carried off to Syria as a captive, he bemoaned the fact that he no longer had anyone to instruct. Later he met Chrysostom to whom he gladly imparted all he knew of these various branches of learning. Finally we have St. Gregory, bishop of Agrigento in Sicily, who had as his teacher in grammar, poetry, rhetoric, and philosophy a famous hermit to whom he had been directed by Macarius, patriarch of Constantinople. These examples give ample evidence that monks, both Eastern and Western, joined the study of humanities to the study of Sacred Scripture and virtuous living. If the fact that studies were a commonplace in monasteries of every region and period would not justify them for monks, then certainly the fact that they have enabled monks to contribute much to the common good of society would justify them. The valuable services monks performed in preserving ancient learning is conceded by all. Nevertheless, I will say a little more on this subject at the end of the first section of this work. Chapter t weI v e POPES AND COUNCILS OF THE CHURCH HAVE ENJOINED THE PURSUIT OF STUDIES UPON MONKS RATHER THAN PROHIBITING THEM. If studies were really intrinsically opposed to the spirit of monastic life, surely some of those holding authority in the Church during these many centuries would have protested against or even forbidden their continuance in monasteries. But as I have shown, the Fathers gave their approval to studies for monks, and as I shall now bring out, popes and councils even obliged monks to pursue studies. The Council of Vienne held in 1312 under Clement V issued the following regulation~ '~In order that appropriate training not be lacking to such monks as are to pursue studies, in each of the monasteries which seek permission for it, let a teacher be retained who will diligently instruct them in basic courses."SO Th~s ordinance is primarily interested in keeping sound and orthodox the reading and understanding of Sacred Scripture. But because the prelates realized how necessary profane knowledge is in accomplishing this, they allowed the monks to receive instruction in fundamental subjects. Later Benedict XII confirmed this ordinance of Clement V as laid down at Vienne and extended its scope. After commanding that itbe rigorOUSly carried out, he added that such basic courses should not only be taught in monasteries, but also in priories as well that had sufficient revenue to support a teacher. He listed the basic courses as grammar, logic, and philosophy. He added that all this was to be car- 44 ried out in such a manner tha t there would be no fraternizing of the young religious and the secular students, lest the latter weaken the monastic spirit and piety of the former. Finally the pope bids that when their philosophical courses have been completed, the religious be trained in canon law and other theological courses. Many other such regulations of popes and councils could easily be cited to prove our point that studies are a proper part of monastic life. There can be no doubt that the popes desired studies to be honored in the Cistercian Order a The Statuta Antiqua of the Order points out th at the houses of study for young Cistercians established at the wish of popes and cardinals at Paris! Oxford, Montpellier, and 1 'Etoile, should be maintained in perpetuity. This regulation can hardly be said to be a result of the Council of Vienne, since it is found in the collection of statutes of the general chapters held in 1289, twenty-three years before the Council. These houses of study had been set up to accommodate young monks sent to study at the large universities. Although the religious at these schools lived together apart from the secular students, there was still enough con tact with them during classes to slowly but surely weaken the religious outlook and monastic spirit of the student~monkso There is extant a letter written to St 0 Anselm, while he was abbot of Bec, about a young monk of St. Pierre~ sur-Dives who had been sen t to Paris to study and who "on account of his studies lived in Paris, residing at the monastery of St. Magloire • ..51 The example of this monk sent to study at 50 Clement .. lib. 3, tit. 11. 51 Anselm., lib. 2, epist. 14. a secular school while staying at a monastery illustrates how ancient such a procedure is among Benedictines. There is evidence that the same procedure was used for monks of Cluny, Marmoutier, la Chaise-Dieu and elsewhere during the succeeding century. Arnold of St. Astier stipulated in statutes which he had drawn up in 1320 that for the honor and benefit of his community six young religious were to be sent to some celebrated university to study theology and canon law. A similar statute was made by the abbot of Tulle who subsequently became bishop of that city. The provisions of the provincial council of Cologne held in 1536 regarding studies for monks should be noted here. Firstly, each monastery was to have a learned and devout instructor for the young, and those monks who were more disposed for studies should be excused from all manual and menial tasks. Secondly, each monastery was to have a learned and pious preacher to arouse in the young members a spirit of contempt for worldly things and a desire for wi thdrawal from them. Thirdly, several young religious, who have the necessary abilities, should be sent to public ecclesiastical universities to study. They must board, however, "in religious communities under the watchful eyes of superiors, lest under the pretext of furthering their studies they imbib'e a spirit to- 45 tally at variance with their monastic profession. In all fairness, it must be pointed out that this third regul ation of the council was not worded as s trongly as the first two. While they laid down quite apodictically that each community was to have such an instructor and spiritual guide for its younger members, the third regulation said that "it would not be displeasing to the council" for young religious to be sent to the universities~ this latter being permitted, whereas the former two are commanded. The Council of Trent laid down that in all monasteries where it is at all possible there is to be su52 Conci1.Trid., pervised study of Sacred Scriptu~ies for the young members. 52 sass. 5, cap. 1. Religious houses which neglect ihis are to be compelled to comply by their local bishop. The council does not frown upon other studies which help to understand Sacred Scripture, and they precisely allow young monks to be sent to universities provided that they live in religious houses while attending 53 Concil.Trid., them. 53 Hence we can rightly draw the conclusion that this sass. 25, cap. 4. holy council, which had uppermost in mind the re-establishment and reform of religious groups to their original spirit and fervor, did not consider studies to be either dangerous or in direct opposition to the monastic vocation. The above are some of the chief regulations that councils have made through the centuries regarding studies for monks. There is apparently no declaration which forbids the pursuit of studies to those striving for monastic perfection or any that points to the laxity that is wont to arise from time to time in monasteries as originating from the pursuit of studies. Careful reading of the ordinances of councils, especially of the eighth and succeeding centuries, shows that they single out as the roots of decay: war and the resultant lack of necessities, commendam abbots, human frailty, negligence, and laziness on the· p art of the monks. Accord ing to the Council of Verneuil in 844 this negligence among monks arises sometimes by studium and other times by desidium. In this context studium surelydoesnot mean studies or learning, but negligence rising from a deliberate and set intention. Chapter thirteen AN EXAMINATION OF SOME OF THE PROBLEMS THAT MONASTIC STUDIES MIGHT OCCAS ION. We do not pre tent to maintain that the pursuit of studies by monks cannot cause difficulties, and serious ones. But, then, almost any type of activity can give rise to problems if it is undertaken and pursued in an incorrect man- 46 ner; such are the consequences of human nature. Most things can be abused, and who is to say that an inordinate degree of studies causes more harm than simple ignorance? Nevertheless, we will consider a few of the problems that to some seem to arise almost necessarily from monastic interest in studies. One of their first misapprehensions is that studies are opposed to humility and mortification, the foundation stones of monastic living. The words of St. Paul that learning causes pride and self-exaltation are quoted, and it is claimed that studies engender harmful curiosity, dissipation, and contention--qualities entirely out of place in religious life. It is an observable fact that knowledge can foster arrogance and vanity. Such is quite frequently the case when knowledge has not been preceded by the cultivation and practice of virtues, charity and humility in particular. For this reason great pains must be taken to see that young religious who are going to pursue studies are thoroughly grounded in these virtues before they be allowed to begin them. And by all means they should be withdrawn from studies if it appears that in their individual cases bad effects are being produced. Who would be foolish enough to hold that because studies have lessened the spiritual strivings of some monks, all monks should be kept from them? Many an unlettered person is just as proud as a learned scholar sometimes is. Usually one discovers that it is not the really intelligent people who are mos.t vain about their learning, but those with 54 Trithem., orat. 5, in capito a mere smattering of knowledge. HIgnorance is more often found humble. ,,54 As Abbot Trithemius notes: in the proud than in the 55 Augustin., serm. 354, n. 2. 56 Pierre Nicole; Continuation des Essais de Morale, t. VII,p.~ I am quite willing to grant that learning can lead to vanity and arrogance, and perhaps too frequently does. But, I repeat, should learning be abandoned because of this? Is not the better solution remedying the things that cause monks to fall from virtue through studies wrongly pursued? If we monks must forsake learning as a necessary cause of vanity, then all mankind must join us in fleeing it; for all men alike are obliged to avoid vanity. Let us recall here the pertinent ideas of that uncommonly wise and uncommonly humble doctor of the Church, St. Augustine: "Knowledge, says the Apostle, puffs one up. What then? Ought you to flee knowledge? Should the one to be selected be the one who knows absolutely nothing for fear of his being proud? Why botberto instruct the ignorant if ignorance ·is preferable to knowledge?,,55 Nothing seems to me more to the point on this subject than the following passage found in a series of moral essays based on the Epistle for the third Sunday after Easter: 56 It is a truism that learning and erudiHon should not be strenuously striven after by those who lack the requisite abilities. In fact, real harm can come to them from their attempt to attain proficiency in their studies. Secondly, experience seems to indicate that since studies are so often abused by the worldlyminded, those who do not possess them are often better off than those who do. If one would conclude that these foregoing statements, if adhered to, would produce a general state of mental torpor and ignorance among men, such a conclusion would be ill-founded. All that can rightly be concluded is that if the choice were left up to each man, he should consider himselfmore fortunate innot having talents than in having them. If the choice were his, he ought to prefer not having talents that would attract the attention of the world than having such abilities which arouse the interest and admiration of his fellow men. But the fact is, however, that the choice is not left up to each man. It is God who bestows the capacity for study by the number of natural talents ~Thich He plants in each man. He who has been given the necessary capabilities for study is under obligation to use them and to render an account to God for the way in which he has used them. Moreover, each man should not act as jUdge in regard to his own capabilities, but should seek the advice of prudent and far-seeing advisors who best can determine his individual goal. If these advisors, weighing the needs of the Church or state and the qualities of the one seeking their 47 48 advice, urge him to apply himself diligently to studies, the person would be far more wrong in leaving his talents go undeveloped than in throwing himself wholeheartedly into the field of studies, Not all who are secure in their faith always appear so to the world, especially if they are engaged in works or find themselves in situations which appear tobe a danger to faith. Some hold that a man is most secure in his faith when he does not engage in any task that requires special talent or training on his part. On the other hand, we know that there are professions so dangerous to the faith of some that the best safeguard is not cultivated ignorance but the resourcefulness and strength that learning provides. There is far more virtue in striving hard to acquire qualities that earn the esteem of the world than to disguise, under the mantle of false humility, laziness and its sister vices, A lack of spectacular talents and aChievements, which is truly the fruit of humility and the source of inner peace, may be more desirable than great talents. But there is nothing worse than this lack of learning becoming the offspring of laziness and pride which leave the soul coarse and hardened. The above passage I find so topic and so apropos, at this point, that I quoting it in full, leaving to each reader in regard to monks and studies. pertinent to our could not resist its application Similar ideas were the kernel of St. Augustine's advice to Abbot Eudoxius. After exhorting the community to adhere faithfully to the practices of their monastic vocation and to shun all seeking after high ecclesiastical dignities, he counseled them not to refuse such offices-=even under the pretext of a desire to retain monastic solitude and peace-when God had selected them and manifested His selection through the hierarchy: "Neither strive for such positions with ravenous ambition nor refuse them in order to pamper your laziness, but submit to God's will with a meek heart."S7 But to return at last to the original objection that we began treating, it is absolutely correct to endeavor to banish harmful curiosity, dissipation, and contention from within the cloister. Our point is, however, that studies properly undertaken and pursued produce effects totally opposed to these disorders. Monastic studies must have as their aim one of the following: a deeper and more extensive knowledge of Sacred Scripture; profitable use of the time set aside for lectio divina; an increase of personal virtues or the cultivation of well-ordered affections; detachment from the world and love 57 Augustin., epist. 47. 58 Hier-on., in epist. ad Rustic. of solitude and silence. Studies carried on or fostered by monks for reasons or aims other than these, we condemn. Study of Sacred Scripture must hold primacy of position for, as St. Jerome noted long ago, "Love the wisdom of the Scriptures and you will easily triumph over the vices of the flesh," 58 Studies pursued solely for the above-mentioned ends rule out all harmful curiosity because they are restricted to the scientia sanctoru~9 that i~, to knowledge which leads to religious perfection. They exclude dissipation because they tend to fill the heart solely with heavenly truths. Finally, such studies are quite opposed to fostering contention, since they have as their goal the right ordering of affections and the promotion and love of monastic solitude, silence, and peace. We can already hear your objections, You say that what we have just said is fine in theory, but in actual practice the situation is quite different. You tell us that the philosophical and theological courses commonly demanded of young monks lead only to harmful curiosity, dissipation, and contention, since disputations themselves are the chief method employed in acquiring these types of learning. We agree that these philosophical and theolog- 49 lcal studies--if they are considered in themselves apart from the purposes which monks have in studying them--especially if it be necessary to devote one's entire life to them, can easi-ly produce all the harmful effects that you fear they always do. But is it necessary to reduce the study of philosophy and theology to a round of disputations 9 contentions, and rival-ries? Cannot these subjects be taught in a positive manner by setting forth simply the principles and explaining difficulties that arise without chicanery? By a method such as this, could not the young monks receive that knowledge neces-sary to enable them to profit by the ir re acting of Sacred Scr ip-ture and the Fathers? Why must the methods of the universities be employed? It is true that many religious communities use the methods of the secular schools in training their young members. We cannot deny the value of such methods entirely. However, as we shall see in Part II, chapter 9, there must be moderation in their use. Even if this is not possible, it must always be borne in mind that these intensified and specialized studies usually last only a few years. Religious are assigned to them for four or at the most five years, and then only after they have had at least a year of training and preparation in the novitiate. Once his years of such study are completed, the monk is free to reap the fruit of them by further study of the Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers in privacy and quiet. To argue that the work of monks is not to teach others but to weep and do penance is not ad ~. The primary 50 purpose of a monk's study is his own personal benefit and progress. Even if it happens that Divine Providence 7 working through ecclesiastical officials, commissions some monk to instruct others, the first purpose of his studies is his own instruction and edification. He should always keep this f oremost in mind while studying. He should seek to fill his mind with divine truths in order to sustain better the trials of religious life and reap more profit from its many advantages. An example of such an outlook and attitude is to be found in the Venerable Bede. Who more than he was devoted to study and even to the teaching of others? Who, at the same time, was more given to a life of virtue and holiness than he? It is said that to see him pray it would seem tha t he gave no time to studies, and to see the volumes of his writings it would seem that he could give no time to prayer. Though constantly occupied wi th study and teaching both his fellow monks and seculars, the Venerable Bede was most faithful in the regular observance of monastic duties. As he wrote: ttEven among the observances of regular discipline, tt59 or as he says in another place, among ttthe innumerable duties of monastic life," ttl would take delight in studying, teaching others, and writing. ,,60 If only God would grant that all monasteries were peopled with many men of both virtue and knowledge such as Bede. Another objection that is raised against monks studying is that it curtails manual labor, which, so it is claimed, is essential to a monastic vocation. Surely if such a curtailment is the necessary result and consequence of studies, then it is a serious objection against them. But need all manual labor really be absent from the lives of those who devote themselves to study? Some maintain this saying that they need for study all the time that remains apart from the long choral offices. We pointed out above that intense studies do not last during a monk's entire lifetime. When the monk has acquired all the training that he needs, which normally takes only a few years, it is right that he again devote some of his time each day to manual labor, which by necessity had to be restricted or curtailed for a few years. Manual labor is too beneficial and wholesome to be abandoned entirely by a monk. This is such an important matter that 1 shall treat it at length in the next chapter. 1 shall content myself here in saying that monks must never, under the pretext of study, wholly dispense themselves from this exercise. However, superiors may always dispense certain of their subjects from manual labor, especially if most of their time is occupied in teaching others or in some business serving the common good. But in granting such dispensations superiors should always bear in mind that just as there are few persons capable of arduous and unceasing study, so too 59 Beda, in Histor. Angl. 60 Beda, ad Accam. 61 Priel'e Gontinu~ chap. 8. 62 Matt. 15:14. there are few monks who can receive such a dispensation without exposing themselves to the peril of acquiring a distaste for study. And the fruits of such a distaste are depression and sloth. All in all, it seems wisest not to demand studies of all monks. All have not received from God the requisite abilities for it. Likewise, those should be dispensed from it who through love of humility, prayer, solitude, and silence feel more drawn to manual work than to studies. For such dispositions are the end and goal of all study, and whoever has reached them has no need of other studies. According to a very holy author of our time: Therein lay all the knowledge of the first Christians. Work and worship, not study and science, made them wise in holy matters. Their understanding was clearer and their comprehension greater because they strengthened it with the practice of the Gospel. Instead of taking delight in teaching, they preferred to be listeners; instead of being happy only in commanding, they sought to be followers; instead of being fond of gadding about and doing nothing, they were most happy living quietly in their homes. Holiness of life was their theology, not learned dissertation, a thing which St. Basil decries for reducing the knowledge of God to mere words. 6l If only monks would model themselves on the pattern of these early Christians: Then there would be no real need for any other type of learning and study except in the case of superiors and those endowed by God with special talents for teaching, strengthening, and enlightening others in their doubts and difficulties. Now that we have examined some of the difficulties that studies are supposed to produce, we must in all fairness look at some of the problems bred by ignorance and lack of study. Most would agree that if religious communities were always sure of having truly enlightened and zealous superiors, th€re would be little need for the subjects to devote much time to study. But most would also agree that to expect this is to expect a miracle since superiors are chosen from the communities themselves. Hence a superior cannot be expected to be wiser than the wisest member of the community to which he belongs. And if learning is neglected in that religious group, it is pointless to expect that God is going to work miracle after miracle in order to give them wise superiors. What happens in such an ill-favored community? It soon becomes a community without light. The leader and guide is as blind as those who follow: "They are blind guides of blind men.,,62 The first effect of such darkness is gross ignorance which refuses to be changed by either the spirited 51 exhortations of superiors or the private study of sUbjects. The next step is indocility, which finds the monks intractable in matters of obedience and hardly susceptible to spiritual counsel and guidance. Then comes outright rebellion against authority and the disappearance of other qualities indispensable to community life. Finally ignorance leads to an absolute disgust for the Divine Office, which is no longer understood; an unwillingness to apply oneself to lecti6 divina, which seems a waste of time, and a performance without fervor of all the other duties of regular monastic observance. For other evil effects born of a lack of studies in monasteries consult chapter 48 of Torquemada's commentary on the holy Rule, where a dozen or so are listed. We grant that it is possible for a newlyfounded religious house to sustain itself for some time in its initial fervor without the help of studies. But this good spirit and enthusiasm will be short-lived if care is not taken to nourish it with learning. It may almost be set down as a universal principle, mutatis mutandis, that piety and virtue alone have always been able to sustain ecclesiastical and religious endeavors at their outset, but that it also always became necessary for learning to come to their assistance as time passed in order to defend them against attack from wi th- 52 out, and from the dissoluteness of their own members within, C hap t e r f 0 u r tee n WI-ffiTHER STUDIES CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF MANUAL LABOR IN A MONK'S LIFE Part One: The obligation of doing manual labor and some reasons for exemption from it. Almost all persons would agree that manual labor is an important part of any form of monastic observance; many hold that it is absolutely essential. We know that the Desert Fathers made it one of the principal points of their mode of living. In his RUle, for example, Abbot Isaias recommends three basic elements of monastic life: constant prayer, meditation on the psalms, and work with one's hands, ,,63 From the very beginning, however, there have been monks such as St. Epiphanius and Theodoret of Cyr, who in their striving for continual prayer have rejected manual labor as a hindrance. This group was known as the Euchites or Messalians and flourished especially in North Africa. At the invitation of Aurelius, bishop of Carthage~ St, Augustine composed awork for their instruction entitled De Opere Monachorum. In this treatise, St, Augustine attempts to point out to them, using the example and words of St. Paul, that they have an obligation to do some manual work, About the same time Isidore of Damietta attempted the reform of a small community headed by a certain 63 Isa., Reg., cap. 11, - 64 Isid., lib. I, epist. 49. 65 ~., 298. 66 Guile1m. , epist. ad Frat. de MontaDei, n. 32.--- Archimandrite Paul, who lived in an edifying manner yet did no manual labor. Isidore pointed out to them that such an omission was contrary to the teachings of Jesus and opposed to the example of the Apostles. He questioned whether they really had a just title to eat if they did not wish to earn their livelihood by working. Furthermore, he told t
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|Title||First Abbey Church Part 1 (Scriptorium vol 17-19, pg 1-40 and map)|
|Rights||Copyright© 2015 Saint John's University Archives. All Rights Reserved.|
ST. JOHN'S FIRST ABBEY CHURCH
TRAITE DES ETUDES MONASTIQUES
OF DOM JEAN MABILLON, O.S.B.
A GEOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF AMERICAN BENEDICTINES
AROUND THE BEAT
CLERICAL VOCATIONS TO THE
AMER ICAN-eASS INESE CONGREGAT ION
WITH THE EDITOR
The solid line drawing of St, John's first abbey
church on the cover heralds this issue's commemora.tive
theme, the coml11tmity's first abbey church. The removal
of the abbey church bells early this year quietly
signaled the approaching day when St. John's first
abbey church would give way to the new church, The
first chapter in the eighty-year history of the old
abbey church. the story of its construction. will be
re-presented in this year's issue of The Scriptorium
with the immediacy it had for its contemporaries, A
future issue will treat of the first abbey church's
subsequent history, its decorati on and furnishing, and
the eventful ceremonies held within its walls.
Two articles carryon the work of translation begun
several years ago. The translation of Dam Jean Mabillon's,
Traite ~ Etudes Monastiques, a classic of
Benedictine spirituality, has been carried ahead another
step. With this issue the series of Wimmer
letters has been. perforce, brought to a close. The
one person most responsible for the work so far accomplished,
Bro. Conrad Zimrnermann9 O.S,B., died at
the age of eighty-seven, 16 February 1960. His untiring
efforts to make these primary documents of
American church history available to all are worthy
Benedictine life is not only rich in history~ but
fruitful in the Church's life today. Two articles
will attempt to present some facets of contemporary
AmeI'icanBenedictinism. The first, "Clerical Vocations
to the American-Cassinese Congregation" is a statis~
tical analysis of the growth of the American-Cassihese
Congregation during the past half-century. The oth·.
erp "A Geographical study of American Benedictines"
comprising thirty-five maps, will unfold the l~_de~
spread presence and variety of Benedictine aotivity
in the United States. This article is the frultof
a co-operative project ·to which novices, clerics 9
and Brothers have contributed. If the mapspl'ove of
sufficient interest, another series will be projected.
~'iction, poet:ry~ and othel' litel"aryefforts frequently
fCtlnd a place in earlier issues of The SCl"iptorium,
This yearan old tradition is reaffirrti'e'