A biennial convention focuses on a theme relevant to the Benedictine heritage. These conventions, which are held at monastic institutions around the country, are open to any interested persons.
The next convention will be August 7-11, 2024 at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana.
The 2022 virtual ABA convention featured three excellent speakers on these topics:
- “The World of the Desert Ascetics” – Sister Laura Swan, OSB
- “The Well Wrought Word” – Rev. Dr. Donald Richmond, Oblate
- “Give me a word … Lectio Divina and the Sayings and Lives of the Desert” – Sister Mary Forman, OSB
Watch the 2022 ABA Digital Art Show.
Also read Donald Richmond’s essay “Practical Piety.”
The 2020 virtual ABA convention was a resounding success and introduced a number of new people to the organization. Speakers and their topics were:
- “Stability and Evangelization” – Sister Pia Portmann, OSB
- “The Monastic World in the Bright Light of Equatorial Africa and the Subcontinent” – Father Joel Macul, OSB
- “Viewing the World of Latin American Monastics” – Sister Ann Hoffman, OSB
- “Benedictine Time Travel: Going Back to Envisage Possible Futures” – Father Hugh Feiss, OSB
More details about the speakers and their topics are in recent issues of the American Monastic Newsletter.
Presentations may be purchased as video DVDs, audio CDs and Mp4 downloads by sending payment with this order form: 2020AVorder
or use Paypal to pay for purchases:
(Don’t forget to mail or email the appropriate information form if you pay digitally)
Recent previous conventions have included:
- 2018: “THE ARTISANS OF THE MONASTERY – St. Benedict’s Monastery, Saint Joseph, Minnesota, July 19-22.
- 2016: “KEEP DEATH DAILY BEFORE YOUR EYES” – Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove, Indiana, July 21-23.
- 2014: “BENEDICTINE MONASTICISM: THE PAST RECEIVING THE FUTURE” – Conception Abbey, Conception, Missouri, July 24-27. “Listening to the Oblate Voice: A Pre-Convention Conversation” was held Thursday, July 24, 2014.
- 2012: “Seek Peace and Pursue It: Monasticism in the Midst of Global Upheaval,” St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, Minnesota, August 5-8.
- 2010: “Benedictines and Evangelization,” St. Benedict’s Abbey / Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas, August 5-8.
- 2008: “Monastic Spirituality: Expanding Merton’s Vision,” Sacred Heart Monastery, Mount Marty College, Yankton, South Dakota, August 7-10.
- 2006: “Family: Matrix, Model, Muddle,” Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois, August 10-13.
- 2004: “Monastic Culture: Revitalizing Mind and Spirit,” St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minnesota
- 2002: “Monastics and Mentoring: Refounding the Tradition,” University of Mary, Bismarck, North Dakota
- 2000: “The Good News of Monastic Life,” Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Pre-Convention Papers
- 1998: “Hospitality: Prism for the 21st Century,” St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania
Many members of the Academy belong to ABA “sections.” Sections facilitate communication during and between conventions among members who have common interests. Current sections are Visual Arts, Monastic Research, Library and Archives.
The Archives Section is for those who keep the archives of their monasteries and for all friends of the archives. Monastic archives house community records which are no longer in current use but are of enduring value, ensuring their availability to scholars and researchers. The Archives Section is a resource for newly appointed monastic archivists as well as a community for all monastic archivists and archive volunteers. The Archives Section meets during the biennial ABA conference, at which time those in attendance discuss current projects and concerns. Between times, section members keep in touch by e-mail on an as-needed basis. If you would like more information or have suggestions, please contact: Virginia Jung, OSB, St. Scholastica Monastery, 7430 N. Ridge Blvd., Chicago, IL 60645 [email protected]
The Monastic Researchers Section is a forum for those studying monastic history, spirituality or related fields and includes many scholars who are not members of religious communities as well as the monastics. The section meets during the biennial ABA conference to inform others of their current projects and interests and to share resources. There is a regular newsletter which announces new publications by members, topics of current research and other items to facilitate networking among those fostering scholarship in this field. Sister Ephrem Hollermann, OSB, provides a regular newsletter about the recent publications and activities of the members.
The Visual Arts Section provides for sharing and support among ABA members who practice painting/drawing, sculpture/pottery, photography, textile arts or any branch of the visual arts. They are also invited to participate in an art display at each convention. Greg Evans, oblate, is the current coordinator.
The Library Section provides a forum for monastery librarians as well as librarians of their sponsored institutions and anyone interested in monastic resources. Jack Fritts currently chairs the section.
OTHER RELATED ACTIVITIES
Benedictine Studies Sessions are sponsored by the Academy at the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. The congress is a worldwide gathering of scholars that takes place every May, and the ABA is one of many organizations that sponsor sessions. Each organization decides its themes for the following year at the time of the meeting. In late summer a call for papers is circulated and all sessions have to be organized and confirmed by October. Thus anyone wishing to participate should consult the congress website during the designated time frame or, if someone has a particular area of interest and would like to propose a topic for a future session, they may contact the ABA organizer:
Hugh Feiss, OSB
Monastery of the Ascension
541 East 100 South
Jerome, ID 83338