When I moved here to Schuyler almost 6 years ago, as a German native I wanted to know where this place was compared to the latitude in Europe. The discovery I made was stunning: Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, NE, (41°30′32″N 97°3′16″W) is exactly on the same latitude as Montecassino (41°29′24″N 13°48′50″E) in Italy, which is the place where our founder Saint Benedict established his community in the 6th century. This monastery still in existence today is built on a mountain as a response to Jesus’ word: “A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). It was very touching to me to realize that my confreres, over 80 years ago, chose exactly this place. Was it intuition, or divine providence? It is a beautiful coincidence in any case, to be on the same latitude as Montecassino, “in line” with our monastery of origin.
After this discovery I wanted to know about our sisters in Norfolk, NE. They are our neighbors, friends, allies, combatants in Christ, from the beginning. Actually, they were here in Nebraska already 12 years before us. And again, a beautiful surprise. Their monastery is pretty much on the same latitude as Subiaco Abbey in Italy, the place where Saint Benedict spent three years in a cave as “his novitiate”. Today it is a Benedictine monastery located in the most beautiful surroundings you can imagine.
This connection between the “old world” and the “new world” encourages me that God leads us the way he wants to, even if we don’t notice at first. He plans everything with his gracious and merciful hand, and we – if we just listen to him – are graced to follow his plans and Jesus’ footsteps. May St. Benedict bless us here in Schuyler and our whole order of brothers and sisters around the world.
Fr. Mauritius Wilde O.S.B.