October 30, 2020

2020 Vocations Awareness Supplement

Three Saint Meinrad monks celebrate anniversaries

Criterion staff report

The Benedictine monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad celebrated the jubilees of three of their confreres on July 26.

Honored were Brother Rabin Bivins and Father Colman Grabert on their 60th anniversary of profession of vows, and Father Germain Swisshelm on the 60th anniversary of his ordination as a priest.

Brother Rabin, a native of Owensboro, Ky., professed vows as a monk of Saint Meinrad on May 7, 1960. He came to the monastery in 1957 to attend school at its former St. Placid Hall.

In the early 1960s, Brother Rabin worked in various assignments, including in the monastery’s shoe shop, as a volunteer fire fighter and as a house prefect in the monastery. He also served at Saint Meinrad’s former monastic foundation in Peru from 1965-67.

Brother Rabin has worked as a locksmith at Saint Meinrad since 1984. In 1996, he became the first brother in the monastic community to be named subprior (third in leadership), serving in that position until 2007.

He currently serves in the monastery infirmary and is the monastery’s almoner and director of community outreach.

Father Colman, a native of Evansville, Ind., professed vows on Aug. 15, 1960. He received priestly formation in Saint Meinrad’s high school and college (both now closed), and at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. He was ordained a priest on Sept. 5, 1965.

Father Colman earned a licentiate in sacred theology from the Collegio di Sant’Anselmo in Rome in 1969. He then served on the faculty of the seminary from 1967-94.

For many years, he served as the monastery’s principal organist, as secretary to the archabbot, house prefect, gardener and in the mail service. He currently ministers as director for guided retreats and offers preached retreats at the Saint Meinrad Guest House and Retreat Center.

Father Germain, a native of Orrville, Ohio, professed vows on Aug. 15, 1957, and was ordained a priest on Sept. 25, 1969. He later did graduate studies at Indiana University, the University of Oklahoma and San Marcos University in Lima, Peru.

He taught at St. Placid Hall from 1962-67. In 1962, he was a founding member of Saint Meinrad’s monastic foundation in Peru. He taught at a seminary and high school in Huaraz, Peru, and served as an associate pastor at San Juan Lurigancho Parish in Lima. He also helped develop a Quchua-Spanish dictionary and a nine-volume manuscript of the New Testament in Quechua, which is a pre-Columbian language still spoken by the natives of the mountain regions of Peru.

For about 40 years, Father Germain has celebrated the weekly Saturday morning Mass at Saint Meinrad’s Shrine of Our Lady of Monte Cassino. Since 1996, he has overseen the preparing of readings for the Liturgy of the Hours in the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einseideln.

(For more information about Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, visit www.saintmeinrad.org.)


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