Recent Acclaim for Benedictine Men and Women of Courage: Roots and History, Revised Edition
Sister Ann Kessler took on an admirable task decades ago when she attempted an inclusive history of Benedictines—not only that of restoring women to the story, but also of the emergence of the global Benedictine community.
This newly revised edition provides an excellent resource for those beginning their journey with this ancient tradition—those in formation as oblates, ‘new monastics,’ and traditional monastics. Readers simply interested in some aspect of Benedictine history will find this book a useful resource.”
—Laura Swan, O.S.B.
St. Placid Priory at Lacey, Washington, author of The Forgotten Desert Mothers and The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women’s Movement
“We are fortunate that Ann Kessler’s invaluable and detailed study of fifteen centuries of Benedictine life is being reprinted. This book is not only a vast treasury of Benedictine history, but has also been a valuable source for scholars interested in social, intellectual, cultural and gender studies. Sister Ann Kessler, a former fellow graduate student of mine at Notre Dame, has always been known as a superb scholar whose wide ranging research and writing have enriched academic and religious communities for more than four decades.
—L. S. Domonkos, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Medieval and Renaissance History, Youngstown State University, co-author and editor of Studium Generale: Studies, University of Notre Dame; Louis the Great King of Hungary, Columbia University; and The Laws of the Medieval Kingdom of Hungary, Vol. I and III
Shortly after my election to the United States Senate, a wise farmer in my home state of South Dakota gave me the best advice I have ever received. Though simple, his words have stuck with me all these years: “Never forget where you came from. Come home. Remember us.” I could not help but see this charge through the lens of my Catholic upbringing, understanding my political service as a true calling to something far beyond myself. Every day in Washington, I embraced the call never to forget those I served while remembering I was a privileged participant in a remarkable chain of history. Like the sacred calling of monastic men and women traced in this book, I found myself grounded in a living tradition. No matter what I faced, I could never be uprooted from all those who had walked into the Senate chamber in both good and troubled times.
Sister Ann Kessler knows this calling to a centuries-old tradition well. Her descriptions of the changing events of Benedictine history show how monasteries have left a profound imprint, not only on Christianity, but on the development of the world. Monastics actively contributed to education, health care, community welfare, agriculture, and even the ever-changing politics of governments that supported, suppressed, or dissolved their institutions. This book’s story provides a purposeful touchstone, helping all of us to remember how religious communities fare well under some governments but tragically suffer under others.”
Former U.S. Senator, Author of Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever and The U.S. Senate: Fundamentals of American Government
“It is so good that many more persons will have access to this comprehensive work by Ann Kessler. This book has been a valuable reference tool for me as a long-term monastic researcher and historian. I am not aware of any one volume that contains as much historical Benedictine background. For several decades I have been aware of Ann Kessler’s vast store of knowledge concerning the Benedictine monastic scene. I was so pleased when Ann agreed to do the chapter on Elena Coranaro—the first woman ever to receive a university degree in 1678—in Benedict in the World, a book I edited with Roberta Bondi.”
—Linda Kulzer, O.S.B.
St. Benedict’s Monastery at St. Joseph, Minnesota, author and co-editor of Medieval Women Monastics: Wisdom’s Wellsprings and Purity of Heart in Early Ascetic and Monastic Literature
I am so gratified to know that this work is no longer out-of-print. So many of the monasteries of our St. Ottilien Congregation, world-wide, have benefited from its use and may need more copies for their monks and associates.”
—Abbot Fidelis Ruppert, O.S.B. (Retired 2006)
Münsterschwarzach Abbey, Germany, co-author with Anselm Grün, O.S.B., Christ in the Brother: According to the Rule of St. Benedict and in Everyday Life
—Antonio Linage Conde
Spanish medievalist, lawyer, poet and historian, University of Salamaca and Universidad CEU San Pablo, author of San Benito y Los Benedictinos in 7 volumes, Religión y Sociedad medieval, El catecismo de Pedro de Cuéllar (1325) and El Monacato en España e Hispanoamérica
I am so happy to see this significant book back in print. The revised edition of this important history will now be available for a new generation who missed it earlier. As the issues of monastic life and history only become more and more complex, Sister Ann Kessler is one of the foundational voices we need to hear. Without this wide-ranging and inclusive chronicle, the history of fifteen centuries of monasticism is left with a very valuable missing piece.”
—Joan Chittister, O.S.B.
Benedictine Sister of Erie, Pennsylvania, best-selling author of over 50 books, including The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life and Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today
“This is an appealing and unique history of the Order of St. Benedict because it is an account of Benedictines both male and female. Ann Kessler tells the whole story and she does it very well.”
—Benet Tvedten, O.S.B.
Assumption Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota, author of How to Be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job and The Motley Crew: Monastic Lives