Gregory Polan (born January 2, 1950) is an American Benedictine monk, priest, abbot, scripture scholar, musician, and author. He is a member of Conception Abbey located in Conception, Missouri, which is part of the Swiss-American Congregation and the Benedictine Confederation. He was previously elected and served as the ninth abbot of Conception Abbey. He presently serves as the tenth Abbot Primate of the Order of St. Benedict, residing at Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino in Rome.

Gregory Polan

Abbot Primate
Portrait of Gregory Polan in 2021
Polan in 2021
Ordination26 May 1977 Conception Abbey
RankAbbot Primate
Personal details
John "Jack" Polan

(1950-01-02) 2 January 1950 (age 74)
DenominationCatholic Church
ResidenceSant'Anselmo all'Aventino Rome, Italy
ParentsEdward Polan & Martha Kasperski
Previous post(s)Abbot of Conception Abbey
EducationPhD in Sacred Scripture (1984 Saint Paul University)

Biography edit

Early life edit

John Polan (known by his family as "Jack") was born on 2 January 1950 in Berwyn, Illinois, USA, to Edward and Martha Rita (née Kasperski) Polan; he has two brothers.[1] He began attending St. Mary's grade school in Riverside, Illinois, followed by the minor seminary of Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Polan made a visit to Conception Abbey in Missouri to explore a call to the Benedictine monastic way of life.[2][3]

Monastic life edit

Polan entered the novitiate of Conception Abbey in 1970 and made his religious profession as a monk on 28 August 1971, being given the name of "Gregory." He continued further studies in Philosophy and Theology and completed his M.A. in Theology 1975 at St. John's School of Theology.[4][5][6] He was ordained a priest on 26 May 1977. After returning to his home abbey for a short period of pastoral work and teaching, he was later assigned to Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, to complete further studies in biblical exegesis. In 1984 he received his Ph.D. in Sacred Scripture with his dissertation entitled "In the ways of justice toward salvation: a rhetorical analysis of Isaiah 56-59."[7][8]

Upon returning to Conception Abbey, he began teaching in the Abbey's College Seminary (Scripture, Hebrew, Greek, Liturgy, Music) and served for ten years as President-Rector of the College Seminary. On 6 November 1996 he was elected the ninth abbot of Conception Abbey. During his time as abbot he continued work in teaching, offering retreats, assisting with translations of the New American Bible, and serving as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.[9][10]

Polan was brought to the larger public attention on 11 June 2002 when he had to serve as the spokesperson for his abbey following a tragedy. A gunman carrying an assault rifle entered the monastery, killing two monks and injuring another two. The gunman subsequently killed himself in the encounter with police; a motive for the killer's actions was never made clear.[11][12]

Polan is a translator of liturgical texts. A project to revise the Grail Psalms translation began in 1998 and received final approval from the Vatican in 2018.[13] He was also involved with the revised Liturgy of the Hours, the Lectionary, the New American Bible, and the Roman Missal.[14][15]

On 16 September 2016 Polan was elected the Abbot Primate of the Order of St. Benedict and the Benedictine Confederation. The office of Abbot Primate was created by Pope Leo XIII in 1893 to serve the Benedictine monastic community as its liaison to the Vatican and civil authorities, to promote unity among the various autonomous Benedictine monasteries and congregations, and to represent Benedictines at religious gatherings around the globe. He serves as abbot of the Primatial Abbey of Sant'Anselmo, the grand Chancellor of the Pontifical University of Saint Anselm, and oversees the College of Sant'Anselmo in his appointment of its prior and rector. Polan is the tenth Abbot Primate and the fourth American to be elected.[16][17][18]

Selected bibliography edit

  • In the ways of justice toward salvation: a rhetorical analysis of Isaiah 56-59, New York: Peter Lang 1986 (ISBN 978-0-8204-0280-2)
  • The Revised Grail Psalms: a liturgical Psalter, with Frances E. George, Collegeville: Liturgical Press 2012 (ISBN 978-0-8146-3483-7)
  • The Psalms songs of faith and praise: the Revised Grail Psalter with commentary and prayers, Mahwah: Paulist Press 2014 (ISBN 978-0-8091-4882-0)
  • Die Psalmen: Impulse zu den ältesten Gebeten der Bibel: der Münsterschwarzacher Psalter, with Matthias Hofmann (in German), Münsterschwarzach: Vier-Türme-Verlag 2020 (ISBN 978-3-7365-0306-9)
  • Compositions of Gregory J. Polan at[19]
  • numerous articles, book reviews, conferences, lectures, and videos

References edit

  1. ^ "Polan". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL. 16 February 2001. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Abbot Gregory Elected Abbot Primate". Conception Abbey Monastery News. 10 September 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  3. ^ Marek, Sabina (20 September 2016). "Conception Abbey Abbot Elected Abbot Primate". Vocation Blog. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Graduate Paper of Gregory Polan, O.S.B." Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Graduate Paper of Gregory Polan, O.S.B." Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  6. ^ "Graduate Paper of Gregory Polan, O.S.B." Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  7. ^ Senèze, Nicolas (10 September 2016). "Un Américain à la tête des bénédictins". La Croix (in French). Paris, France. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  8. ^ Gregory Polan. WorldCat. OCLC 1270876112. Retrieved 11 October 2021 – via
  9. ^ Kraft, Sara (23 September 2016). "Abbot Gregory Polan, O.S.B. elected Abbot Primate". The Catholic Key. Kansas City, MO. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Gregory Polan neuer Abtprimas der Benediktiner". KNA-Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur (in German). Bonn, Germany. 10 September 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  11. ^ Dillon, Sam (11 June 2002). "Man, 71, Kills 2 at Missouri Monastery and Then Himself". New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  12. ^ Dillon, Sam (12 June 2002). "Monastery Gunman Ignored Pleas for Mercy From Monk". New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  13. ^ "USCCB Purchases Translation of Psalms and Canticles from Conception Abbey". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  14. ^ "2019 Frederick R. McManus Award" (PDF). Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  15. ^ Hays, Charlotte (18 March 2011). "Bible Gets Linguistic Makeover". National Catholic Register. Kettering, OH. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  16. ^ Wooden, Cindy (12 September 2016). "American elected new abbot primate of Benedictine order". Crux. Scottsdale, AZ. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  17. ^ "Gregory Polan". National Catholic Reporter. Kansas City, MO. 23 September 2016.
  18. ^ "The Benedictine Confederation marks 125 years". Vatican News. Vatican City. 21 April 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  19. ^ "Gregory J. Polan". Hymn Society of the United States and Canada. Retrieved 11 October 2021.

External links edit