Friday, February 12, 2010

Our Lady of the Annunciation in Clear Creek Elevated to an Abbey

The following very good news came into the NLM today:

"The monks of Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek Monastery have the honor and joy of announcing to you their recent canonical erection as an abbey sui juris on February 10th, Feast of Saint Scholastica, and the nomination and installation of their first abbot, The Right Reverend Philip Anderson, on February 11th, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

"Please pray for the new abbot and his community."

Dom Philip was named abbot by Dom Forgeot, the Abbot of Fontgombault and thus becomes the first Abbot of the Abbey of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Clear Creek, Oklahoma.


The website of the Diocese of Tulsa now has this story up about this:
Clear Creek Elevated to Status of Abbey

2/12/2010 - EOC Staff

The 33 monks of Clear Creek Monastery near Hulbert received the happy news that their priory has been elevated to the status of a self-governing Abbey. Dom Antoine Forgeot, O.S.B., Abbot of Clear Creek Monastery’s motherhouse in France, announced the change in status to the community on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

At the same time, Father Phillip Anderson, one of the original 12 monks who came from the Abbey of Our Lady of Fontgombault in France to help found Clear Creek has been named Abbot of what will now be known as Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek Abbey. Father Anderson has served the monastic community since its foundation as its prior.

“It’s a moment of perfection and the moment you become fully what you were meant to be. To become an Abbey is to reach a certain point of maturity,” said Abbot Anderson.

Clear Creek Monastery was established in 1999 at the invitation of Bishop Edward J. Slattery. While the following 10 years were a time of decline for monasteries nation-wide and world-wide, Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey has grown from the original 12 monks to its current population of 18 professed monks (12 priests-monks and six lay brothers), with seven junior monks (under their first vows) and another eight novices and postulants.

Abbot Anderson explained that following its initial foundation, a monastery must achieve a certain level of stability, manifested in both its ability to attract vocations and in its ability to become financially secure before it can be named an Abbey. In the Benedictine Congregation of Solesmes, to which Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey belongs, this stability must be met within its first 13 years of existence. When those conditions were met, Dom Antoine Forgeot, Abbot of the Abbey of Notre Dame de Fontgombault, recommended the change in status to the Abbot of St. Pierre de Solesmes.

While final approval technically comes from the Holy See, that final approval has been delegated to the Abbey of Solesmes.

Clear Creek is the fourth daughterhouse of Fontgombault to be raised to the level of an Abbey and is the twentieth Abbey in the Congregation of Solesmes

Abbot Anderson said there will be very few changes in day to day life at Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey, although his role will change dramatically in liturgical and governmental terms. The new Abbey will operate independently of the former Mother House and he will assume a role in the community which is similar to the role a bishop exercises in the diocese, that is, the three-fold role of sanctifying, teaching and governing.

“Abbot Forgeot hopes we maintain a close relationship with Fontgombault and so do we,” Abbot Anderson said. “Our spiritual roots are in France.”

The public is invited to attend the blessing of Abbot Anderson at Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey on Saturday, April 10.

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