Fr. Michael Calhoun, OSB, is elected the ninth abbot of St. Bede Abbey in Peru

Newly elected Abbot Michael Calhoun, OSB, of St. Bede Abbey in Peru stands between Abbot Philip Davey, OSB, (left), whom he succeeded, and Rt. Rev. Jonathan Licari, OSB, who oversaw the election on July 13 as the abbot president of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monasteries. (Provided photo)

PERU — Father Michael Calhoun, OSB, has been elected the ninth abbot of St. Bede Abbey. He succeeds Abbot Philip Davey, OSB, who served as spiritual leader of the Benedictine community here since 2011.

“I feel humbled and honored to serve the St. Bede community as its abbot. I pray for God’s grace to strengthen me and ask for the entire St. Bede community to remember me in their prayers,” Abbot Michael said.

Abbot Philip’s term expired on his 75th birthday on April 3. He has been serving as the interim abbot since then.

A Benedictine abbot is elected by the members of the monastic community. A six-month period of prayerful reflection began the process of discernment for Abbot Philip’s successor. Nomination of candidates took place by secret ballot followed by a discussion of each candidate.

Overseeing the abbatial election on July 13 was the Rt. Rev. Jonathan Licari, OSB, the president of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monasteries.

“A MAN OF FAITH”

Abbot Michael was born on Dec. 7, 1970, in Belvidere to Michael and Linda Calhoun and given the name Matthew. He grew up in Utica and went to St. Bede Academy, graduating in 1989.

Abbot Michael Calhoun, OSB

He professed first vows as Brother Michael on Dec. 8, 1994 and final vows on Dec. 8, 1999. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, on June 1, 2002, at St. Bede Abbey Church.

Abbot Michael holds a master of arts degree in Scripture from St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and a master of arts degree in Monastic Studies from the School of Theology at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

He has served on the faculty of St. Bede Academy, teaching religion, for much of the time since 1995. In addition, he was named prior of St. Bede Abbey in 2009.

“Abbot Michael is very much a man of faith, who grew in holiness through St. Benedict,” Abbot Philip said. “He is very devoted to prayer, and for many years has generously served the monks in a variety of jobs. I could not have accomplished the work I did as abbot without the daily support of the good prior.”

He added that his own experience shows that Abbot Michael “is a man of God and we will together continue to do good work for the glory of God and the St. Bede family.”

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