Father Brendan Coffey OSB has been elected as the new Abbot of Glenstal Abbey in Murroe, Co Limerick, to serve an eight-year term. Father Coffey, the sixth such Abbot of the Benedictine monastic community, was elected on 13 August, following the end of the period of office for the former Abbot, Dom Mark Patrick Hederman.
Father Coffey was born in Ennis, Co Clare in 1970. After studies in Maynooth and Rome, he was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Killaloe in 1995. After ordination, he pursued postgraduate studies in canon law at the Gregorian University in Rome, after which he was appointed curate in the parish of Kilrush. He entered Glenstal Abbey in 1998, taking the name Brendan. He professed his simple vows in 1999 and made his solemn profession in 2002.
After some years working in the abbey school as a housemaster and teacher of classics, Father Coffey spent two years in Padua in Italy completing postgraduate studies in liturgy. On his return to Glenstal, he served as Prior of the monastery from 2007 until 2015. He spent the academic year 2015-16 at the Catholic University of America completing doctoral studies in liturgy.
According to Saint Benedict, the Abbot ‘is believed to hold the place of Christ in the monastery, being called by a name of His, which is taken from the words of the Apostle: “You have received a Spirit of adoption … by virtue of which we cry, ‘Abba — Father’”.’
Abbot Coffey takes office immediately and a formal Abbatial Blessing will take place at a future date after current renovation works at the abbey church have been completed.
For more information of Glenstal Abbey please visit www.glenstal.org.