was given the wrong information about which Benedictine monk from Norcia Italy was going to visit us here at St. Catherine’s. Instead of the Prior, Fr. Cassian, it was Fr. Basil Nixen who came and offered the Holy Latin Mass. Monks do not use the Beretta.
Fr. Basil is the choir master at the monastery in Norcia. (He is also the cook and they eat no meat, except on Christmas and Easter, and, as you know, it is very difficult to come up with tasty food without any sort of meat, beef, chicken or pork.)
At the beginning of July, 2015, for the first time, they recorded a CD of Gregorian chant. It was a lot more work than they expected. The CD is presently #1 on the best selling list for all Classical music. He said what has been so difficult since the successful release, is the media trying to get interviews with them and disrupting their very busy monastic schedule.
The CD has 33 Sacred Chants centered on the life of Mary. They chose that because the name of the name of their monastery is “Our Lady Seat of Wisdom”. Fr. Basil wrote the only original song on the CD, “Nos Qui Christi Lugum”.
The company who recorded them was De Montfort Music from whom you can purchase the CD too. They have been very good about helping screen all the media interruption with their monastic life. Here is the link to Amazon if you would like to purchase it there.
I asked him when they get up and go to bed. Their day begins at 3:30 in the morning. They do not go to bed till around 9 pm, (6 hours of sleep a night). If you are lazy, there is a half hour siesta in the afternoon scheduled, if you want to take it.
There are presently 18 monks in their monastery. They live in the busy part of the city of Norcia, Perugia Italy. The church, and housing where they live, are in the center of the city and are surrounded by a great deal of tourist traffic. This is especially the case in August when the Romans all leave for vacation to someplace where it is not terribly hot.
The Benedictine rule is simple; Ora Et Labora, Pray and Work. But living that life is not so simple. It is, at times. a great sacrifice, especially to get up so early everyday and to live in such close quarters with 18 other men in community.
The monks at Norcia mostly do the Tridentine Liturgy, but they do do the Novus Ordo mass at times. Their only Sunday Mass in the Basilica of St. Benedict and St Scholastica is the Latin Mass. Of course, like the poor Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, doing both rites together, they also have come to greatly prefer the Holy Tridentine Latin Rites and Mass over the Novus Ordo Rites. But they can not be shut down because from the beginning they were given permission to do both rites, where as the Franciscan Friars began Novus Ordo and discovered the great beauty of the Latin Mass and wanted to switch over, as the Summorum Pontificum allowed, but the pope and bishops do not honor.
After Mass, we had breakfast with Fr. Basil, Fr. Saenz, Fr. Paso, (FSSP at Mater Misericordiae), Fr. O’Brien, (FSSP on his way to Nigeria next Thursday), and a FSSP seminarian.
We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to be praying, working and protesting against what is destroying our wonderful Holy Mother, the Catholic Church.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.