JERUSALEM – Wednesday, April 4, 2018, during a Mass presided by Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the new abbot of the Benedictine Monastery of the Dormition Abbey, elected on February 20, was blessed by the Archbishop.
Since February 20, the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of the Dormition have had a new Abbot. The Abbatial Blessing was conferred on Father Bernard Maria Alter – now seventh Father Abbot of the community – by the Apostolic Administrator at a Mass celebrated in the abbey even this Wednesday, April 4th.
The Abbey, filled, welcomed Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine, Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem and Palestine, Bishop Kamal Bathish, Father Francesco Patton OFM, Custody of Holy Land and about forty priests present to concelebrate Mass. Three priests from the Armenian, Lutheran and Ethiopian Churches were also present in addition to a few Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher who came to attend the ceremony.
In his homily, the Apostolic Administrator recalled that, in the same way that Jesus gave himself to us, self-giving “is not optional, something we can avoid. This is the way to go. […] The father of the community must be the first to give his life, who makes his Passover: ready to suffer and even to die for the life of his community. To die not physically, but in his plans, in his ideas, in his time.” The Administrator then went on to say that “the suffering and death of the Lord were for the life of the world. Thus, in a community, everything must be oriented towards the life of the community and its witness in the Church. The sacrifice of the Father of the community must lead to life. There is no life, if life is not given.”
During the Abbatial Blessing, the new Abbot received a crozier, a miter and an abbatial ring from the hands of the Archbishop, directly mandated by the Holy See. With this blessing, Father Bernard Maria Alter can now celebrate pontifical Masses as a sacred bishop.
Source: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem