September 21-26, Abbot Peter joined Cistercian abbots and abbesses from around the world, at the Cistercian General House in Rome for ongoing formation. In addition to sharing prayer and meals, superiors heard and discussed presentations by Br. John Mark Falkenhain OSB of St. Meinrad’s Archabbey and Professor Marianne Schlosser of the University of Vienna. Both Br. John Mark and Professor Schlosser presented on the topic of Obedience and Authority, Br. John Mark from a more psychological perspective and Dr. Schlosser from the perspective of the Catholic tradition. Sunday the superiors took an all-day pilgrimage, an outing to Subiaco, where St. Benedict lived as a hermit before establishing his monastic communities.
Both Br. John Mark and Professor Schlosser emphasized the need for superiors to be deeply obedient themselves before asking obedience of others, the need to remember that all true authority is based on virtue, and that the exercise of obedience should lead us to conversion.