After eleven years of leadership under an administrator designated by the American Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monasteries, members of Saint Leo Abbey, Saint Leo, FL., are scheduled to vote for a new abbot on October 27.
The late Right Rev. Patrick Shelton of Saint Leo resigned June 6, 1996. In the intervening years, Saint Leo Abbey has had three administrators. The first two, Very Revs. Simeon Thole and James Tingerthal were designated by the Benedictine congregation, and the third, Very Rev. Robert Velten, was appointed administrator by the Congregation after a community selection process.
The election will be prefaced by a meeting Friday October 26 and balloting will begin Saturday at nine a.m. Eligible for election to the abbacy are the 575 priest members of the American Cassinese Congregation of Benedictines, representing the twenty abbeys in seven Western Hemisphere countries. The abbot will hold the position until his 75th birthday or for eight years, whichever is longer.
Installation of the new abbot of Saint Leo will take place at Saint Leo Abbey Church, Saturday, December 1, at a conventual Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert Lynch of Saint Petersburg, FL., and world wide President of the Benedictines, Right Rev. Notker Wolf, O.S.B., of San Anselmo Abbey, Rome, Italy, will be in the U.S. at the time and has been invited. Abbot President Timothy Kelly of the American Cassinese congregation is also expected to attend the blessing along with Fathers Simeon Thole and James Tingerthal.
The Saint Leo Abbey membership of solemnly professed monks numbers 18. Additionally there are three temporarily professed members.
“Please keep our monastic community in your daily prayers” – Rev. Robert Velten OSB and the Benedictine Monks of Saint Leo Abbey.