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Anglican leader pays tribute to English Benedictines

March 13, 2012

Speaking at the famed Abbey of Monte Cassino, the Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to the legacy of English Benedictines and traced their success as missionaries to their apostolic poverty and the centrality of their public worship of God. Such apostolic witness and commitment to solemn worship, he added, can serve as a model for evangelization today.

In one passage of his address, Dr. Williams paid tribute to Benedictines who were martyred in post-Reformation England:

The reconstituted English Benedictine Congregation suppl[ied] so many missionaries--and martyrs--to Britain, sustaining the small persecuted Roman Catholic communities for three centuries and more. It was one such missionary monk, Augustine Baker, who, in the midst of the pressures of ministry both in Britain and abroad (as a convent chaplain for some of his career), produced the seminal writings on the contemplative life edited and collected under the title of Holy Wisdom. And even when the conventual life of the houses of the English Congregation was most disrupted by the demands of ‘the mission’, the tradition of prayer as expounded by Baker was maintained, and a contemplative formation was still preserved.


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