Visit of Abbot Cuthbert an important step for Colebrook community

By Catherine Sheehan

A special guest attending the ordination of Fr Bede on 3 April was Abbot Cuthbert Brogan OSB, the abbot of St Michael’s Abbey in Farnborough, England.

Abbot Cuthbert’s visit to Hobart was of great importance for the Benedictine monks at Colebrook. As well as attending the ordination, his visit was also for the purpose of formalising an agreement between the monastery at Colebrook and the English Province of Benedictine monasteries.

This significant step will pave the way for the community to eventually be fully integrated into the wider family of Benedictine communities.

Prior of Notre Dame Priory in Colebrook, Fr Pius Mary Noonan OSB said he had known Abbot Cuthbert for almost 20 years and that his visit to Tasmania was in response to a “request for support”.

Abbott Cuthbert Brogan OSB (left) with Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett following the ordination to the priesthood of Fr Bede Cannavo OSB. Photo: Josh Low

“This visit was of the greatest importance for us, since up to now we have been a fledgling community operating somewhat alone under the Archbishop,” Fr Pius said. “Henceforth we are now associated with the broader Benedictine Order through Farnborough Abbey which is part of the English Province of the Subiaco-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monks.”

Fr Pius said there was “much to be grateful for” as the agreement would provide his community with greater support.

“It’s hard to overestimate the importance of this. Benedictine monasteries, due to the fact that they are not part of the pastoral team of the dioceses in which they settle, have always taken great care to retain bonds with other monasteries who live a similar kind of consecrated life.

“This provides for mutual help and meetings about many things ranging from material support to canonical structures within the broader Church. It also means that we are now on the way to being fully acknowledged by the Benedictine Confederation (the whole group of Congregations together) as Benedictines.”

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