Abbot Cletus has been re-elected to serve as Abbot at St. Bernard Abbey until the age of 75. The community met on May 14-16, and re-elected Abbot Cletus to serve them for the next ten years as the their spiritual leader.
Abbot Cletus, the 9th Abbot of St. Bernard, submitted his letter of resignation as mandated by the Constitutions and Directives for the American Cassinese Congregation at the age of 65. At the time he took office the mandatory retirement age was 65, but has since been raised to 75 years of age.
Entering the monastery in 1964, Abbot Cletus made his first vows in 1965. Since that time, he has served in about every capacity in the abbey. He has served as novice master, prior, was pastor for many years at Sacred Heart Church in Cullman. Abbot Cletus said, “Saint Bernard has provided me with home, and education. The support of community has been there with every part of my life. Now I have the opportunity to give back to the community through the work and responsibilities of the job given.”
The community at St. Bernard Abbey affirmed Abbot Cletus’ leadership over the past 14 years at 3 o’clock Friday afternoon. “I consider it a gift and grace from God to be able to serve as the community leader,” Abbot Cletus said.
The role of Abbot is a call to obedience. “I am honored to accept this role and to serve the community in whatever capacity is needed,” Abbot Cletus said.