World’s Top Benedictine Abbot to Speak at Benedictine College

World’s Top Benedictine Abbot to Speak at Benedictine College

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Abbot Notker Wolf, OSB, Ph.D., will present a lecture at Benedictine College as part of the Kremmeter Lecture Series on Tuesday, February 10, at 7:30 p.m. in O'Malley-McAllister Auditorium.  Abbot Notker is the Abbot Primate, or head abbot, of the Benedictine Confederation of Congregations, the international governing body of the Order of Saint Benedict. He is a proficient flautist and his presentation, “The Rule of St. Benedict in a Globalized World,” will include a performance of J. S. Bach’s Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude, accompanied on piano by Dr. Ruth Krusemark, Mother Evangelista Kremmeter Professor of Benedictine Traditions and Values and chair of the Music Department. The abbot’s presentation is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the lobby of the St. John Paul II Student Center.

“I had the privilege on two different occasions to accompany him on the piano for his flute recitals at the Abbey,” Krusemark said.  “I found him to be highly engaging, entertaining and inspirational.  He has a wonderful sense of humor and enjoys talking about his experiences in rock music (he also plays the electric guitar).”

Dr. Krusemark was named to the endowed Kremmeter professorship at the 2013 Benedictine College Scholarship Ball and she will hold the position until she retires from full-time teaching.  The professorship came with a special fund to allow for campus programming, which she used to establish the Kremmeter Lecture Series.

“I believe our community is in for a treat,” she said of the Abbot Primate.  “He's a delight to talk with and is held in very high regard with Benedictines across the world.  I'm thrilled that he will be with us to share his wisdom and experiences.”

Abbot Notker was born in 1940 in Grönenbach, Bavaria, Germany. He entered the Archabbey of St. Ottilien in 1961, studied philosophy at the Pontifical University of Sant'Anselmo in Rome, and did further studies in theology and natural sciences (zoology, inorganic chemistry, history of astronomy) at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich. In 1968 he was ordained priest and in 1971 appointed as lecturer in philosophy of nature and science at the Benedictine University of Sant’Anselmo in Rome.

In 1977 he was elected Archabbot of St. Ottilien, responsible for mission houses all over the world as abbot president of the Benedictine Congregation of St. Ottilien. In 2000 he was elected the ninth Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation, and re-elected in 2008 and 2012. He has written at least 19 books, his latest concerning the issue of living an environmentally sustainable life for both a good future for the earth as well as for the individual in a spiritual/holistic fashion. His hobbies include flute, electric guitar and languages and he has performed both traditional Benedictine music and Christian rock since 1981.

Abbot Notker is also interested in interfaith dialogue and currently sits on the Board of World Religious Leaders. As an ambassador of Catholicism and the Benedictines around the world, his visits to Benedictine communities in many countries have allowed him to experience different cultures. He has made many appearances, including several in the People's Republic of China and North Korea.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.