The abbey welcomes you as Christ
Saint Leo Abbey Events and Christmas Schedule

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017
7:00 pm Abbey Christmas Concert (see article below)

Sunday, December 24th, 2017 

10:00 am  - Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Advent
11:30 pm  - Christmas Carols/Prelude in the Abbey Church
Monday, December 25th, 2017 

12:00 am - Christmas Midnight Mass 

*On Christmas day there will not be a 10:00 am Mass.

Did you miss seeing the December 3, 2017  Christmas Party pictures?
December 23, 2017 7:00 pm. Abbey Christmas Concert

Organist Peter Kinzie and the monks of Saint Leo Abbey. 

Around the World. Peter Kinzie has been able to play and tour the "inside" story of the great organs throughout the world. This list includes the 30,000 pipes of the Wanamaker organ in Philadelphia, the great instrument at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City, and the oldest Mighty Wurlitzer in its original location, the one used during the silent movie era in the Chicago Theatre in Illinois.

In Europe, Peter Kinzie had the privilege to play a small organ previously played by Mozart, an organ once heard by Martin Luther, and cathedral organs in both Frankfurt and Cologne. One of Peter's greatest experiences was playing the great organ in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.

Peter also plays a number of concerts throughout the Southeast every year including Saint Leo Abbey.

A Remarkable Life. Not only has Peter shown great generosity to Saint Leo Abbey, he also has a remarkable life story.

Born in Germany at the end of World War II, Peter was evacuated to West Germany and lived in an orphanage near Dachau. He vividly remembers watching the Berlin Airlift as small packages dropped from the sky -- like Manna from Heaven -- Hershey chocolate. In 1956 Peter was adopted by an American family, moved to Florida and became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Living with his newly adopted family, Dr. & Mrs. Kinzie of Lake Wales, communication was a problem for a while as Peter knew no English and the family spoke very little German. Therefore, most discoveries were made by touch. In his new home, Peter happened upon this strange "beast" with "black and white teeth." Climbing onto the bench of an upright piano, thus began a musical adventure we can experience in concert, the result of his love of music and Saint Leo Abbey.

Peter Kinzie is also active with not only performances on the "king of instruments" but is the proprietor of Church Organ Concepts, which represents Viscount International, builder of the Abbey organ. Baldwin, contracted Viscount to provide digital instruments to include the Abbey Symphonic Organ. Peter is the Florida dealer for Viscount's new instruments powered by Physis® Physical Modeling Platform. In addition, through Church Organ Concepts, Peter represents a fine pipe organ firm - R.A. Colby.

Hope you can come, listen to the Christmas concert and meet Peter after the concert. You will enjoy the evening. 

This year has not been as cold as the past, but it can be a little cool in the Abbey Church so it might be wise to bring a jacket just in case. Yes, bring a jacket.


The concert is free and open to everyone. Bring a friend.
Spirituality for Twilight Years

As we end one year and look forward to a new one, Father Fidelis encourages hearts to grow into a mature spirituality. These are the best years with nothing to dread for the elder Christian.

As we approach the dusk of our lives, we are offered the tremendous opportunity of commencing a new chapter which will focus our attention on what it means to grow "spiritually graceful."  We have heard the statement "I don't mind growing old, but I do want to grow old gracefully."  Growing old gracefully may mean many different things to many people. It may mean being well disposed to the inevitability of aging. Or it may mean to turn our attention outside our self-concerns with aches and pains and offer volunteer service to worthy causes and organizations.  There are those too who have developed the art of leisure throughout their lives and find purpose and meaning in spirituality. These I would say have grown "spiritually graceful." 
But what does being spiritually graceful mean? First of all, it means we are fully alive in the consciousness of God.  It means all of our experiences find their connecting point in God.  It is God who gives meaning to our lives as we advance towards our sunset years. It means we have become receptive to God's grace which empowers us to be patient with other's limitations and infirmities; a grace that enables us to mirror the beatitudes. Consequently, we have developed personally in such a way as to become approachable because of our peaceful, nonjudgmental, compassionate nature.  Spiritually graceful people find it hard to be busy-bodies, gossips, sour in their view of the world, in finding a twisted pleasure in pointing out all that is wrong.

On the other hand, pessimism is what propels the spiritually ungraceful. For them their point of reference is the self.  They have failed to mature spiritually. There is the old axiom "As you live now so you grow old then." A person who lives a superficial, perfunctory spiritual life focused on religious legalisms and observances and not on a dynamic spiritual relationship with God will reach their senior years with a mediocre, stale spirituality.

Those who have developed what I would call the spirituality of hope and optimism find a rainbow after a storm, believe that sunrise follows sunset, are able to understand life's challenging situations in such way that they have avoided being sucked into sinful dramas, and have come to understand the motive behind the behaviors which could lead them to be ungrateful in how they deal with others. They have developed grace and composure.

Being spiritually graceful means we have the grace to be patient with others while at the same time knowing when to remove our self from a person or situation which refuses to be receptive to God's assistance to grow. It means respecting our own boundaries and the boundaries of others. Seeking spiritual maturity in our lives we allow God, first of all, to develop in us the fruits of the Spirit and the grace to cultivate them.

How to become spiritually graceful?

Awareness:  A consciousness of God's presence in our lives

Gratitude: A recognition of the gifts which God has given us

Acceptance: Fully embracing the gifts given in the manner God has chosen to give them

Surrendering: Always attentive to God's will in our lives by living according to God's Word

Generosity: Responding generously to the needs of those around us

Forgiveness:  Not allowing the sun to set with a resentment in our hearts

Prayer: Lifting our hearts to the presence of God

The path to spiritual gracefulness as we mature is simple.  All that we need to do is remain on the path which Jesus has laid out in the Gospels; to love God above all things and our neighbors as ourselves. And as Saint Benedict says in the Rule "Never to despair of God's mercy."

-- Father Fidelis

Note: the picture is Sunset number 11
Diego Rivera 1956
From the collection of
Museo Dolores Olmedo 

Still time to participate


Special thank-you gift for Abbot Isaac, Oblate Director

1. This is completely optional. This Abbot's Gift allows everyone to participate in a Christmas gift to Abbot Isaac.

This gift is a special thank you for all Abbot Isaac does for the oblates. And, Abbot Isaac does not have a wish-list Christmas gift this year. No oblate will draw Abbot Isaac's name out of the electronic hat. So this special Christmas gift is a way for everyone to have the abbot as "their monk" for the Christmas gift.   The special Abbot's Gift will be an gift card.

2. All those who participate in this optional gift will have their names on a Christmas card given to Abbot Isaac.

3. You may give any amount towards this gift to Abbot Isaac. An gift card will be purchased in the amount of the total amount received.

4. If you want to participate, please email
stating you want to participate in the Abbot's Gift, include your full name and the amount you want to contribute to this group gift to Abbot Isaac.

5. Make your check payable to  Saint Leo Abbey. Mark your check "Abbot's gift." Then mail it to the oblate office:

Saint Leo Abbey Oblate Office 
PO BOX 2350 
SAINT LEO, FL 33574-2350

6. Please ensure check is mailed or delivered no later than December 27. The Christmas card with the names of the participants will be given to the Abbot with the gift card.
Missing Past Oblate Newsletters?

Check the link.