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Merry Christmas from the Monks

Christmas Card Photo

As we approach the holy festival of Christ's Birth, may we all hold in our hearts this world so much in need of the healing and loving presence of the Christ-child.  From far-flung places in such turmoil, to our own city, to our own families, may we seek the peace that only the Lord can bring.  Let us pray for one another, that this holy festival may bring us the grace to see Christ present in each and every day, each and every person, that we may make our own the prayer of the Church spoken on the last day before Christmas:

Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus, and do not delay, 

That those who trust in your compassion,

May find solace and relief in your coming.


Have a blessed Christmas!

—  Fr. Gregory Mohrman, O.S.B.


The photo above is the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham at the Oratory of Ss Gregory and Augustine, which was a gift of His Emminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, Archbishop-Emeritus of St. Louis.

In England, until the Reformation, the Blessed Mother was invoked as “Our Lady of Walsingham.” The statue at the Oratory is a faithful reproduction of the medieval image of Our Lady under that title which stood in her shrine at Walsingham in East Anglia. For centuries, the Catholic faithful held Our Lady of Walsingham in highest regard, making her shrine one of the greatest pilgrimage sites in Europe. Desiderius Erasmus, the 16th-century humanist, visited the Shrine in 1511 and composed the following beautiful prayer:

Alone of all women, Mother and Virgin, Mother most happy, Virgin Most Pure, now we, impure as we are, come to see you who are all pure: we salute you: we worship you as how we may with our humble offerings: may your Son grant us that, imitating his most holy manners, we also by the grace of the Holy Spirit, may deserve spiritually to conceive the Lord Jesus in our inmost soul, and once conceived, never to lose Him. Amen

Photograph by Lisa Johnston | aeternus design

May the peace of Christ Jesus

be yours now and always.

The Monastic Community of
The Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis

Abbot Thomas Frerking

Prior Gerard Garrigan

Prior Paul Kidner

Prior Timothy Horner

Father Ralph Wright

Father Benedict Allin

Father Finbarr Dowling

Father Laurence Kriegshauser

Brother Symeon Gillette

Father Gregory Mohrman ’76

Brother Mark Kammerer

Father Dominic Lenk

Father Bede Price

Father Augustine Wetta

Father Michael Brunner

Father Ambrose Bennett

Brother Aidan McDermott

Father Linus Dolce

Brother Maximilian Toczylowski ’00

Father Francis Hein

Brother Sixtus Roslevich

Brother Andrew Senay

Father Cassian Koenemann ’97

Brother Cuthbert Elliott ’02

Brother John McCusker ’01

Brother Dunstan Holms

Brother Edward Mazuski ’05

Brother Athanasius Soto

Brother Benet Myers

Brother Justin Hannegan

Brother Joseph Igoe ’09

Brother Hugh Goossens

Brother Philip O’Donnell


“Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.”

Prologue, 1

“This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice.”

Prologue, 1

“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection.”

Prologue, 4

“If you desire true and eternal life, keep your tongue free from vicious talk and your lips from all deceit; turn away from evil and do good; let peace be your quest and aim. (Ps 33[34]:13)”

Prologue, 17

“Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom (1 Thess 2:12).”

Prologue, 21

“If we wish to dwell in the tent of this kingdom, we will never arrive unless we run there by doing good deeds.”

Prologue, 22

“What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace.”

Prologue, 41

“Therefore, we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service.”

Prologue, 45

“The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love.”

Prologue, 47

“The reason why we have said all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals what is better to the younger.”

Chapter 3, 3

“Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.”

Chapter 4, 20-21

“Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.” –Chapter 4, 25-26

“Bind yourself to no oath lest it prove false, but speak the truth with heart and tongue.”

Chapter 4, 27-28

“Place your hope in God alone.”

Chapter 4, 41

“Respect the elders and love the young.”

Chapter 4, 70-71

“Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ. “

Chapter 4, 72

“If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.”

Chapter 4, 73

“The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all.”

Chapter 5, 1-2

“Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.”

Chapter 6, 6

“The first step of humility, then, is that a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes (PS 35[36]:2) and never forgets it.”

Chapter 7, 10

“Let us consider, then, how we ought to behave in the presence of God and his angels, and let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.”

Chapter 19, 6-7

“On arising for the Work of God, they will quietly encourage each other, for the sleepy like to make excuses.”

Chapter 22, 8

“Every age and level of understanding should receive appropriate treatment.”

Chapter 30, 1

“Above all, let him be humble. If goods are not available to meet a request, he will offer a kind word in reply, for it is written: A kind word is better than the best gift (Sir 18:17).”

Chapter 31, 13-14

“Let all the rest serve one another in love.”

Chapter 35, 6

“Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the Work of God.”

Chapter 43, 3

“Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading.”

Chapter 48, 1

“The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.”

Chapter 49, 1

“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).”

Chapter 53, 1

“Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.”

Chapter 53, 2

“(B)ecause wherever we may be, we are in the service of the same Lord and doing battle for the same King.”

Chapter 61, 10

They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other (Rom 12:10).”

Chapter 63, 17

“We wish this rule to be read often in the community, so that none of the brothers can offer the excuse of ignorance.”

Chapter 66, 8

“Trusting in God’s help, he must in love obey.”

Chapter 68, 5

Never to do another what you do not want done to yourself (Tob 4:16).”

Chapter 70, 7

“No one is to pursue what he judges better for himself, but instead, what he judges better for someone else.”

Chapter 72, 7

“Let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and may he bring us all together to everlasting life.”

Chapter 72, 11-12

“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments is not the truest of guides for human life?”

Chapter 73, 3

“What book of the holy catholic Fathers does not resoundingly summon us along the true way to reach the Creator?”

Chapter 73, 4


Saint Louis Abbey

Saint Louis Priory School

500 South Mason Road
St. Louis, MO 63141
P. 314.434.3690    F.314.576.7088
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