Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

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Saint Meinrad monks elect Fr. Kurt Stasiak, OSB, as new archabbot

June 02, 2016

Fr_Kurt_Stasiak_election.jpgThe Right Reverend ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Kurt Stasiak, OSB, was elected archabbot of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, IN, by the Benedictine monks of the community on June 2, 2016.

He becomes the 10th abbot and seventh archabbot in the community's 162-year history, succeeding Archabbot Justin DuVall, OSB, who announced in January that he would resign the position upon the new abbot's election. He had served as abbot since December 31, 2004.

Archabbot Kurt, 63, has served as prior of Saint Meinrad Archabbey since July 9, 2010. The prior is the second in leadership in the monastery.

Born in Rüdesheim, Germany, on October 9, 1952, Archabbot Kurt professed vows as a Benedictine monk on August 15, 1975, and was ordained a priest on April 27, 1980. He received a Bachelor of Science in biology from Saint Meinrad College in 1974 and a Master of Divinity in 1980 from Saint Meinrad School of Theology.

He then earned a licentiate (1986) and a doctorate (1993) in sacramental theology from Pontifical Anthenaeum of Sant′ Anselmo, Rome.

From 1978-81, Archabbot Kurt served as administrative assistant to the president-rector. In 1980 he was appointed associate spiritual director for Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology for three years.

From 1986-90, he taught sacramental theology in the School and was assistant to the novice/junior master in the monastery. Also during that time, he served as secretary to the archabbot (1986-89) and as vocation director for the monastery (1986-90 and 1992-98).

Archabbot Kurt taught sacramental/liturgical theology in the Seminary and School of Theology from 1986-2016. For 10 years, he also served as the director of spiritual formation.

Other assignments have included provost-vice rector of the School of Theology (2005-08) and chair of the Archabbey Church Renovation Committee (1993-97).

He is the author of several books, including A Confessor's Handbook (a revised and expanded edition was published in 2010); Sacramental Theology: Means of Grace, Ways of Life; Return to Grace: A Theology for Infant Baptism and his most recent, From Sinners to Saints: A Guide to Understanding the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He has written numerous articles and book reviews for a variety of publications.

He has also given days of retreat and recollection for clergy and laity. He has been serving as the monastery's master of ceremonies.

The election of Archabbot Kurt followed a centuries-old process. The monks of Saint Meinrad gathered this morning to celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit, seeking guidance and wisdom prior to the election.

Following Mass, the monks met privately in the monastery's Chapter Room to select their next leader. Presiding at the election was Right Rev. Vincent Bataille, OSB, president of the Swiss-American Congregation of the Benedictine Confederation, to which Saint Meinrad belongs.

The new archabbot, who is the spiritual and temporal leader of the community, takes office immediately. The blessing of the new archabbot will be held in July.

Saint Meinrad Archabbey, one of only two archabbeys in the United States, was founded in 1854 by a Swiss monastery. Currently, the community consists of 90 monks.

The Archabbey's works include Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, which educates priests, permanent deacons and lay ministers for the Roman Catholic Church.

Saint Meinrad also operates Abbey Press, a marketer of inspirational gifts and publications, and Abbey Caskets, which sells wooden caskets and cremations urns to the public.