This year's speaker is Reverend Martin Shannon, an Episcopal priest who has lived at the Community of Jesus a Christian community in the Benedictine monastic tradition based in Orleans, Massachusetts, where he was solemnly professed in 1989.
Fr. Shannon received an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a PhD in liturgical studies from Catholic University of America. His doctoral dissertation was on the contribution to the liturgical movement of Fr. Damasus Winzen, founder of Mount Saviour Monastery. Fr. Shannon has written articles in both Worship and the American Benedictine Review, hasbeen past president of the American Benedictine Academy, and has published several books. He is married with four grown children and serves his community in the areas of liturgy and formation.
"Open the Gates"
What can "A Monastic Approach to Dialogue Teach Us about Ecumenism in the 21st Century"
At the time of Mount Saviour's founding, Fr. Damasus Winzen received a message from a good friend and official of the Roman Curia, Giovanni Battista Montini, who eventually became Pope Paul VI, advising Fr. Damasus to "open the gates" of the new monastery, an exhortation that immediately resonated with the already hospitable and ecumenically-sensitive monastic founder. A decade later, and building upon his experiences with the new community, Fr. Damasus presented a lecture at Duquesne University entitled "A Monastic Approach to Dialogue," in which he set forth certain monastic values that can help to inform and advance the cause of church unity. 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a fitting opportunity to re-visit the contribution that monasticism has played and perhaps can continue to play in the ecumenism of the 21st century.