Collegeville, MN — Abbot John Klassen, O.S.B., has appointed Fr. Thomas Andert, O.S.B., to be prior of Saint John’s Abbey effective July 1, 2007. In a Benedictine abbey the prior is the abbot’s primary assistant in serving the monastic community. When the abbot is away from the monastery the prior assumes the abbot’s leadership role.
Fr. Andert succeeds Fr. Raymond Pedrizetti, O.S.B., who has served as prior since June 28, 2001. Abbot John will install Prior Thomas at Evening Prayer on 30 June in the Abbey Church at 7 p.m.
Born in St. Paul, Fr. Andert made his initial vows as a Benedictine monk July 11, 1968. Since his ordination to the priesthood in 1975 he has had a variety of teaching, academic administration, and pastoral positions. He taught German in the Saint John’s Preparatory and University and served as Director of Academic Advising for the University.
Fr. Andert was president of Benilde-St. Margaret High School in St. Louis Park from 1981 to 1987, and as Headmaster of the Saint John’s Preparatory School from 1988 to 1994. During his assignment as Benilde-St. Margaret president he was associate pastor at Most Holy Trinity Parish in St. Louis Park. He directed the Melk (Austria) program for the Preparatory School for two years in the 1970s and, among his many awards, he was honored with the Republic of Austria’s Silver Cross of Merit in 1992.
Before making the appointment, Abbot John Klassen, O.S.B., polled the members of the monastic community seeking counsel. “There was no question of strong support for Fr. Tom to serve as prior,” Abbot John Klassen observed, “I’m confident I made the right decision.”
Abbot John Names New Prior
Release Date: June 15, 2007