Feast of St Benedict celebrated at Fountains Abbey
14th July 2017
The annual celebration of the Feast of St Benedict was held in the cellarium of Fountains Abbey on Tuesday 11th July. The Mass was celebrated by the Very Rev. Canon Timothy Swinglehurst Episcopal Vicar for Education, and con-celebrated by Fr Angelo Phillips, Fr Neil Byrne, Fr Michael Ingwell and Fr Michael Walsh. Despite the gloomy weather, the congregation numbered well over 500 and came from across the Diocese of Leeds.
The Liturgy was enhanced by the junior choir of St John Fisher Catholic High School (Harrogate) and Nigel Beetles.
Fr Angelo founded this event and has attended every Mass since at this former Cistercian Abbey, now managed by the National Trust. There is a Mass every year, alternately on the Feast of St Benedict (founder of the monastic Rule) on 11th July, or on the Feast of St Bernard (20th August) who was the founder of the Cistercians.
Further photos of the event may be viewed at https://www.patricksicephotography.co.uk/blog/fountains-abbey
St Benedict (c. 480 - 550 AD) is frequently cited as the founder of Western monasticism, having authored Regula Benedicti, which translates as The Rule of Saint Benedict. The work has since been used as a guide to contemplative religious life by monastic communities across the Catholic world, most notably the Order of Saint Benedict.
The English Benedictine Congregation is the oldest of the 19 Benedictine congregations, claiming continuity with the congregation established in the 13th century by the Holy See. Having survived Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s and subsequent centuries of state sponsored anti-Catholicism, the Benedictines maintain a presence across England to this day, consisting of three abbeys of nuns and ten abbeys of monks living in accordance with the principles set out by St Benedict, whose feast day we continue to celebrate on 11th July come rain or shine!