FR. DONALD POTTHOFF
Fr. Donald Potthoff was the founding pastor of St. Dennis Parish in Diamond Bar, California, in 1971. He asked the Norbertines of St. Michael's for help with Sunday Masses after a visit to the abbey in 1977. He wanted one of the abbey's newly ordained priests to start coming on weekends to help with Masses. Abbot Parker told him that he would have to wait a year for these men to finish up graduate studies in Rome. Thus began a beautiful association of friendship that lasted until his death earlier this year. Fr. Potthoff was a kind, generous, soft-spoken mentor to the "new priest" (Fr. James Smith) who came to St. Dennis that next year. He was a priest of the old school and gently introduced Fr. James to parish ministry. After his retirement from the parish, Fr. Potthoff remained a good friend to the abbey and its priests.
|Dominic of La Vid (Spain)|
Dominic is found in the first accounts of the history of the abbey of La Vid, Spain. He was possibly a companion of Sancho, the founder of the Monastery of Retorta, and accompanied him on a visit to Premontre. On his return to Spain, Dominic lived apart from the world on the "Holy Mountain" near Osma where he initiated the religious life. This abbey, thanks to King Alfonso VI of Castille, was transferred to La Vid where the king had a monastery built and Dominic became abbot. According to tradition, Dominic was an illegitimate brother of the king. Dominic promoted the Catholic faith against the Moors. It is also reported that he encouraged the canons of the local cathedral chapter to return to a stricter way of life. He was 90 years old when he died in 1186. Several centuries later, in 1651, his mortal remains were transferred to the altar of the chapter room. The Norbertines of La Vid have always emphatically asserted that St. Dominc, the founder of the Dominicans, was a canon regular in their abbey and received there his introduction to religious life under the direction of Abbot Dominic.
Q: Did St. Norbert leave any writings?
A: St. Bernard of Clairvaux and St. Norbert were arguably two of the most important figures in the 12th century reform of religious life, and yet Bernard is more well-known today. This is largely because he left behind a huge volume of writings, which Norbert did not. The few writings we have which are attributed to St. Norbert are even contested by some scholars. Nevertheless, we present here the Saint's meditation on the priesthood which tradition hands down to us:
O Priest, who are you?
You are not yourself because you are God.
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ.
You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.
You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you? Nothing and everything.
O Priest! Take care lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you: "He saved others, himself he cannot save!"
Frank Strickland is the hybridizer of St. Patrick, a Hybrid Tea he produced in 1986. For some reason, the rose wasn't introduced to the gardening world until 10 years later, in 1996, by Weeks Roses. It took the world of rose shows by storm, and exhibitors loved it for its form, color and the long lasting quality of the bloom, which can last upwards of a week in a vase. This rose was a gift of a friend of the abbey, and it has done very well here, partially because it is a plant that likes the heat of our area. It is one of those Hybrid Teas that makes an attractive garden plant, with large plentiful foliage and a full form. Like many of the yellow and flame colored roses, we do not prune it heavily in winter, but merely remove weak or dead growth, shorten the canes by about 1/3 and shape the bush up a bit. Treated thus, St. Patrick is a vigorous bloom factory, and its giant yellow flowers, which are edged in green in the bud, come with regularity from early spring to past Christmas. A great rose.
St. Michael's Abbey has over 100 varieties of roses and
over 300 bushes on site. Come and see.