See also past columns and past letters by Bishop Donald J. Hying.

Bishop Morlino officiates at blessing of new Abbess Print
Thursday, Sep. 27, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

GOWER, Mo. -- Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison recently officiated at the blessing of Mother Cecilia Snell, OSB, as the new Abbess of the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles at the Abbey of Our Lady of Ephesus in Gower, Mo.

Over the last year or so, Bishop Morlino has been in contact with the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, a traditional order of Benedictines nuns whose monastery in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph was recently elevated by Rome to the status of an Abbey.

These Sisters have become well known in recent years due to their chart-topping albums of sacred music (particularly popular is their Advent at Ephesus), though their actual “labora” is making vestments and altar linens. At their Abbey in Missouri, they also have a retreat house for priests.

Bishop Morlino said, “The Sisters have been growing steadily and continue to receive more young vocations, so many, in fact, that they have pushed their monastery to the point of bursting. As such, their now-Abbess has been in contact with a few dioceses about the possibility of sending Sisters to make a new foundation.

“I had gladly entertained the possibility when they came to us and gladly received Mother Cecilia for a few visits as she toured a few of the prospective dioceses. I have also been in contact with Rome to make certain that we are following all necessary steps and procedures.”

On his recent visit to the new Abbey church in Missouri, Bishop Morlino officiated at the blessing of the new Abbess and presided as four new postulants were received.

During the ceremony, the Abbess asked Bishop Morlino to announce that they had accepted his invitation to make a foundation in the Diocese of Madison.

Pending a final approval from the Congregation Ecclesia Dei in Rome, the Diocese of Madison looks forward to welcoming six to eight Benedictine Sisters to the Diocese of Madi