Saint Benedict Festival
The monks of Mount Angel Abbey welcomed close to 700 friends to the Abbey on Saturday, July 9, for the second annual Saint Benedict Festival.
In spite of forecasts for rain and blustery weather, the afternoon remained dry and the Abbey lawn was filled with people, festival booths, live music, and ongoing games of bocce ball and croquet. The festival provides an opportunity for the monks of Mount Angel — located on the hilltop since 1882 — to celebrate the feast of Saint Benedict with friends of the Abbey.
Among the attractions this year was a farm-to-fork picnic prepared by Bon Appetit chefs, under the direction of Chef Paul Lieggi, and sourced from the neighboring farms and ranches of the Willamette Valley. Along with bison sliders, pulled pork, and various potato salads, there was plenty of Willamette Valley wines provided by local wineries and a variety of craft beer from the Abbey’s own Benedictine Brewery.
The Silent Auction, focusing on activities with the monks such as dinners, hikes and fishing trips, was again popular. But two new monastic offerings were also well received: The Abbot’s Attic Sale was filled with ‘collectibles’ brought out from the monastery attic and offered for sale. The array included antique glassware and small statuary. And a mini Scriptorium, attended by calligrapher Fr. Philip Waibel, O.S.B., gave attendees the opportunity to watch Fr. Philip pen short verses or their names on request.
The afternoon was book-ended by Midday Prayer and Vespers with the monks in the Abbey church. Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B., spoke words of welcome before Midday Prayer and words of thanks and farewell before Vespers. The afternoon, he said, was a wonderful expression of true Benedictine hospitality, with the monks and guests praying together, united in peace.
Mark your calendar now for the 2017 Saint Benedict Festival, on Saturday, July 8!