Greetings from the Benedictine Community
Mark A. Cooper, O.S.B. '71
Chancellor of the College
There exists a saying regarding St. Benedict’s Rule that Benedictine monks all over the world would know, understand, and appreciate. It is this: “If the monk keeps the Rule, the Rule will keep the monk.” That is, if the monk follows the instruction, the wisdom, the way of a moderate but thoughtful response to all issues, all these found within the few pages of Benedict’s Rule, then the monk’s vocation, even throughout a long life, will be kept intact, and the monk will at the end of his life attain what he came to the monastery to seek…union with his Creator.
There have been several books written suggesting beneficial application of the wisdom in Benedict’s Rule, to business, to relations between individuals, to the workings of both government and society.
Dr. Favazza we offer that you taste of the Rule and its wisdom, hoping that you will find there assistance, solace, inspiration, and support, as well as a deep friendship with Benedict, its author.
You have in front of you the task of running a modern and complex institution. Challenges are legion: financial, societal, legal, historical, and very, very, human challenges. We believe Benedict through his Rule offers you much direction and support.
Benedict writes on maintaining good zeal: “Just as there is an evil zeal that separates from God…so is there a good zeal which separates from evil and leads to God…Monks must practice good zeal with great fervor…let them give one another precedence…let them bear with greatest patience one another’s infirmities, whether of body or character. Let them vie in paying obedience to one another. Let none follow what seems good for himself, but rather what is good for another.”
Are these not practices of patience and humility to be encouraged in any team that will serve an institution well over the long-haul?
Benedict counsels on decision-making: “As often as any important business is to be done in the monastery, let the abbot call together the whole community…for God often reveals what is better to the younger.”
Is this not sound advice for any major decision-maker?
Benedict speaks subtly yet eloquently to the matter of the divine worth of every human being. “Great care and concern are to be shown in receiving poor people and pilgrims, because in them more particularly Christ is received; our very awe of the rich guarantees them special respect.”
Again, a thoughtful and unselfish manner in meeting others which could serve well any leader.
Dr. Favazza as we welcome you, we pledge our support and assistance. We offer you the wisdom of Saint Benedict to support and encourage your success in leading this fine institution forward as a model of Catholic higher education. May the Lord guide you and may the Lord bless your good work for Saint Anselm College.