If a monk of our house ever has a question about the liturgy or our English monastic roots, he turns to Father Bede. This monk’s love for the liturgy was nurtured during a childhood in the Episcopal Church. When he was 13 he was received into full communion with the Catholic Church and soon after felt the call to priesthood.
After high school, Father Bede entered the seminary at Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana as a diocesan seminarian. The dedicated example of his teachers and friends there suggested to him the idea that he was called to a monastic vocation. His Episcopal roots, however, left him with a deep affection for all things English, especially the life and writings of Saint Bede, therefore it was at Saint Louis Abbey rather than Saint Meinrad Archabbey where he ultimately found his calling. At Saint Louis Abbey, many of his interests converged: the monastery was thoroughly Benedictine, steeped in liturgical tradition; and deeply English –– with an ancient and remarkable pedigree. Furthermore, it afforded him an opportunity to teach in the footsteps of his holy patron.
Since his profession in 1992, Father Bede has played a large part in developing the house’s liturgy as its Master of Ceremonies, and his influence in this area is sure to continue for many years as he instructs the novices in both liturgy and monastic history. He brings to his classes a wealth of knowledge and unstinting pastoral care. Consequently, the senior class of 1998 and 2007 dedicated their yearbook to him and those of 2002 and 2006 honored him as their favorite teacher and mentor; roles that he continues to play over many cups of tea, for many students, alumni, and monks.
In December 2007, after presentation by Father Abbot, Archbishop Raymond Burke appointed Father Bede to be the first rector of the Oratory of Ss. Gregory and Augustine. The Oratory is a non-territorial parish of the Archdiocese of St. Louis that celebrates the Mass and Sacraments according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Like many monks of the EBC before him, Father Bede now divides his time between parish work and some teaching in the sixth form.