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Head Of The Benedictine Order Re-elected To Second Term

2009-04-02

Notker Wolf
Abbot Primate, Order of Saint Benedict
My real responsibility is to ensure union among the Benedictine orders and all of the confederations, and to be the chief representative of all of the orders, and to make sure the monasteries are collaborating. For this I go to all of the national reunions of abbots or superiors just to be there and have discussions with them. They also asked me to come because they said: you have the most experience on how it is done in other parts of the world.

The order has somewhat of a special kinship with Benedict XVI, who took his papal name in part because of his admiration of Saint Benedict, the founder of the Order.




Notker Wolf
Abbot Primate, Order of Saint Benedict
The Pope is from Bavaria, and as we say, Bavaria is a land that is benedetta, blessed and Benedictine. There are many Benedictine monasteries, and Benedictines had a great influence on the Bavarian mentality. So this is where he comes from. Every year for more than 20 years he has done a private retreat to a Benedictine monastery in Bavaria.

There are approximately 25,000 Benedictine monks and nuns around the world, with strong presences in the United States, Western Europe, India, Vietnam, China, South Korea and the Philippines. Their main work is the education and formation of young people, with over 150,000 students worldwide.

Wolf says that the state of Benedictine monasteries around the world is often a reflection of the state of the church in the country where they live.

Notker Wolf
Abbot Primate, Order of Saint Benedict
The monasteries reflect the demographic situation in a country, and also the situation regarding the faith in a country. If there is really a strong faith, or if everything is secularized. In a secularized world, there should not be as many vocations, but there are.

Wolf says the most important issues for the Benedictine order are the celebration of the liturgy and community life. But when it comes to their work, the members heed the words of Saint Benedict, who said only when you can live by the work of your own hand are you truly a monk.