August 3, 2012

Priest and two brothers celebrate 50 years as monks of Saint Meinrad

Benedictine Brother Angelo Vitale, left, and Benedictine Brother Flavian Swank pose in front of the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln in St. Meinrad. The brothers, along with Benedictine Father Matthias Neuman (not pictured), recently celebrated 50 years as monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey. (Photo courtesy of Saint Meinrad Archabbey)

Benedictine Brother Angelo Vitale, left, and Benedictine Brother Flavian Swank pose in front of the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln in St. Meinrad. The brothers, along with Benedictine Father Matthias Neuman (not pictured), recently celebrated 50 years as monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey. (Photo courtesy of Saint Meinrad Archabbey) Click for a larger version.

Special to The Criterion

The Benedictine monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad recently celebrated the 50-year jubilees of monastic profession for Brother Angelo Vitale, Brother Flavian Schwenk and Father Matthias Neuman.

Brother Angelo is a native of Connellsville, Pa. In 1958, he enrolled at St. Placid Hall at Saint Meinrad, a school for those interested in becoming brothers in the monastic community.

He joined the monastery in 1960 and made his profession as a Benedictine monk on May 13, 1962.

Since then, he has served in several capacities, including as a baker, barber, cobbler and tailor.

Currently, Brother Angelo works in the tailor shop, where he sews and repairs the monks’ habits, and also fixes shoes and other leather goods.

Brother Flavian is a native of Jasper, Ind. He entered the monastery in 1961, and professed vows as a Benedictine monk on May 13, 1962.

He has served in various capacities at Saint Meinrad, including as an assistant plumber, monastery house prefect, mail and delivery driver, and caretaker for the monastery rock garden. He also is an artist, and specializes in wood-burning creations.

Father Matthias is a native of Huntingburg, Ind. He enrolled at Saint Meinrad’s former seminary high school in 1955, later studied at the former Saint Meinrad College then earned a Master of Divinity at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in 1967.

He later earned licentiate and doctorate degrees in systematic theology at Sant’ Anselmo in Rome.

Father Mathias joined the monastery in 1961 and professed vows as a Benedictine on Aug. 15, 1962. He was ordained a priest on Sept. 24, 1967.

He taught theology at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology from 1969 to 1981.

The next year, he began an eight-year stint as professor of theology and director of the pre-theology program at the former Saint Meinrad College.

His other ministry assignments included director of the Summer Session Program, director of continuing education, and associate pastor and pastoral resource theologian for the Diocese of Nashville, Tenn.

Currently, he serves as chaplain at Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, and as an adjunct professor at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. †

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