Abbot Gregory Polan, O.S.B., the newly elected Abbot Primate of the worldwide Benedictine Order, will be the commencement speaker at the May 12, 2017 commencement of Saint Vincent Seminary, scheduled for 5 p.m. in the Archabbey Basilica. Abbot Gregory, who, until his election as Abbot Primate, was the Abbot of Conception Abbey in Missouri, represents the International Federation of Benedictine Abbeys throughout the world.
He was elected by abbots from Benedictine men’s communities around the world on September 10 in Rome during the Congress of Abbots. The Abbot Primate represents Benedictine monks at international gatherings, promotes the unity of the abbeys and priories around the world and serves as a liaison to the Vatican.
As Abbot Primate, he also becomes the Abbot of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome and Chancellor of the Benedictine’s Pontifical Atheneum of Sant’ Anselmo and its Pontifical Liturgical Institute.
The 66-year-old Scripture scholar and translator has done translations for the New American Bible and led the effort to complete a new translations of the Psalms, known as the Revised Grail Psalter, which the U.S. bishops have approved for use in the liturgy.
Abbot Gregory was born in Berwyn, Illinois. He entered the Benedictine novitiate at Conception Abbey in 1970 and professed his vows a year later. He studied at Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1977.
He did his doctoral studies in Sacred Scripture at Saint Paul University in Ottawa and taught courses in Old Testament and music at Conception Abbey in Missouri.