Dr. Jerome Oetgen, C’69, S’73, H’98, is following up Mission to America: A History of Saint Vincent Archabbey, The First Benedictine Monastery in the United States, with Always Forward: A History of Saint Vincent Archabbey, 1949-2020. The book was released in October.
Jerome Oetgen, a Saint Vincent College and Seminary alumnus who is perhaps the foremost expert on the history of Saint Vincent Archabbey, is also the author of An American Abbot: Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B.; editor of Boniface Wimmer: Letters of An American Abbot; and co-author of The Saint Vincent Fire: January 28, 1963. He has also produced, written and directed two documentaries on Saint Vincent, Fire and Ice, The Saint Vincent Fire of 1963; and Saint Vincent: A Benedictine Place, which received a Telly Award in 2016.
Oetgen is a retired U.S. diplomat, having served in Latin America and Spain. He also served as director of the Latin American Fulbright Program at the United States Information Agency in Washington, D.C.
Always Forward continues the account of the first Benedictine monastery in the United States, Saint Vincent Archabbey, as well as the parish, seminary, college, prep school, and scholasticate operated by the Benedictines, taking up the story near the conclusion to Mission to America. While Mission to America ended with the disastrous fire of January 28, 1963, Oetgen revisits the abbacy of Denis Strittmatter (1949-1963) adding in new material.
He next traces the story of Archabbot Rembert Weakland (1963-1967); Archabbot Egbert Donovan (1967-1979); Archabbot Leopold Krul (1979-1983); Archabbot Paul Maher (1983-1990) and Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, O.S.B., (1991-2020), his 29 years in office coming just shy of the 32 years of founder Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B.
Seminary alumni and friends can order the book on the Saint Vincent Archabbey Publications online store, available at www.stvincentstore.com.