Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

To Prefer Nothing to Christ: St. Meinrad Archabbey 1854-2004

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

To Prefer Nothing to Christ: St. Meinrad Archabbey 1854-2004

Article excerpt

To Prefer Nothing to Christ: St. Meinrad Archabbey 1854-2004. Edited by Cyprian Davis, O.S.B. (St. Meinrad, Indiana: Saint Meinrad Archabbey. 2004. Pp. xi, 520. Paperback.)

Monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana were in the forefont of several important movements in the United States Catholic Church before Vatican Council II, including the liturgical movement, the missionary movement, the reform of religious life, and the drive to bring Catholic seminaries in line with modern educational standards. This is a common theme of the varied essays in To Prefer Nothing to Christ, which celebrates the Archabbey's 150th anniversary by augmenting and updating the 1954 history of the community by Albert KIeber,O.S.B. The essays range from biographical sketches of two important abbots, the founder, Martin Marty (1834-1896), and the "second Founder," Ignatius Esser (1890-1973), to studies of the monks' missionary endeavors among the Sioux Indians of North America and the Swiss immigrants of Uruguay, to specific studies of the community's efforts in seminary education, liturgical work through the Priests' Eucharistie League, and chaplain ministry to near-by Benedictine Sisters. The artistic contribution of the community is also well documented.

Each essay is self-contained and interesting in its own right, though the quality of writing varies. Taken together, the essays give a general though partial impression of the character and history of the St. Meinrad community; a more comprehensive overview of the Archabbey's history would require a reading of the Kleber history as well. …

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