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Fr. Francis Benedict, O.S.B.

Abbot, 1992-2008


FR. FRANCIS was born in 1948 and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He attended Queen of Angels Seminary and Alemany High School. In 1967 he joined (then) Saint Andrew's Priory and was sent to Loyola Marymount University to complete his undergraduate studies: he graduated with a BA in philosophy in 1972. He attended Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon from January of 1973 to May of 1976, where he wrote his master's thesis on the topic of spiritual direction, completing his MA in theology in 1977.

HE was ordained to the priesthood on July 10th 1976 and served the monastic community as subprior from 1977-1979 and 1984-1982, as guestmaster from 1976-1978 and 1985-1992, and as novicemaster from 1978 to 1983 and 1984-1985. In order to maintain a link with Valyermo's missionary origins he assisted the Benedictine Missionary Abbey of Inkamana in South Africa as high school teacher, novicemaster, and director of vocations from January, 1983 to January, 1984. Upon his return to Valyermo in 1984 he began working with people in 12-Step Recovery programs, a ministry in which he continues to serve.

IN 1984 the Oblate Program at Valyermo was restructured and invigorated through active cooperation between the monastic community and the oblates. One of the fruits of this work was the creation of several annual retreats emphasizing Benedictine spirituality for laity. Abbot Francis considers his work with the oblates one of his most important ministries.

IN 1992 Saint Andrew's Priory was elevated to the status of abbey, and on May 15th Fr. Francis was elected the first abbot of Saint Andrew's Abbey. He served the community as abbot for sixteen years: his motto as abbot was: Confirma Fratres Tuos / You will Strengthen Your Brethren.
Links to Fr. Francis' poetry and homilies: