M. Basil Pennington OCSO
Dom M. Basil Pennington OCSO (1931–2005) was a Trappist monk, priest, spiritual writer, speaker, teacher, and director.
Pennington entered the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance at St Joseph's Abbey in Massachusetts in June 1951 and subsequently studied theology and canon law in Rome. Later he became known internationally through the Centering Prayer movement begun at St Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, during the 1970s: Pennington's 1980 book Centering Prayer has sold over a million copies.
Pennington taught St Joseph's until 2000, wrote numerous books and traveled widely for lectures and workshops—especially on prayer. He was briefly the head of two other abbeys before retiring and returning to St Joseph's Abbey in 2002. He died in June 2005 from injuries due to a car accident. Pennington was renowned for his humanity and goodwill.
The readings this week are from some of Pennington's very readable books.
The music is WA Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor in a acclaimed performance by the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner at the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, December 1991.