What is Lent?

Lent, the Christian season of repentance and remembrance, begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1st

  • Why do Catholics fast and give things up during Lent?
  • Why are there ashes on Ash Wednesday and palms on Palm Sunday?
  • When does Lent end?

Find the answers to these and other frequently asked questions in this research guide.

Pope Francis


Celebrate Shakespeare!

This April marks 400 years since Shakespeare’s death. Numerous programs and performances are taking place in England and around the world. Chicago is staging 850 events and expecting 500,000 to participate, either as performers or visitors.  http://www.shakespeare400chicago.com/

shakespeare 400


(The famed Martin Droeshout engraving was printed on the cover of Shakespeare’s first Folio, or first complete collection of his plays, printed in 1623.) (AP Photo)
William Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564, at Stratford-Upon-Avon in England. Fifty-two years later he died on that same day, in 1616. Shakespeare wrote over 38 plays and more than 150 long and short poems that have been translated into every language–including Esperanto and Klingon! His plays were staged with men and boys who played all the roles since that was the custom in Elizabethan England.
His plays include Romeo and Juliet, All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, and Macbeth.
For films on Shakespeare look in the library Databases for “Films on Demand” and search for a play.


February is American Heart Month!

Learn about your heart and its diseases in the Encyclopedia of Public Health.


Heart concerns are one of the many topics covered by the library’s Encyclopedia of Public Health. This online resource features topics related to other diseases and conditions, health and wellness efforts, nutrition, ethics and law related topics and statistics, sanitation issues, and everyday environmental effects.

For more information about heart disease click on the photo below.


Keep your heart healthy for Valentine’s Day!



Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 18

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will be celebrated on the Lisle campus as a day of service in honor of this important man who preached giving to others. Benedictine’s Day of Service is January 18th.

The library provides various resources on Martin Luther King, Jr. One resource is the Almanac listed below, featuring the following image.

The African American Almanac contains a range of historical and current information on African American history, society and culture. It includes coverage of such topics as: Africa and the Black diaspora; film and television; landmarks; national organizations; population; religion; science and technology; and sports.


Besides print and ebooks in the catalog, the library offers a number of videos featuring Martin Luther King, Jr. in the database, easily searchable by typing in King’s name. You can watch him speak at the march on Washington in March 1963.

Memorials and remembrances are held by the National Park Service and communities across the United States.

Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy


Did you follow the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference? Are you trying to make sense of environmental issues? Consider using this eReference to enhance your research.

This 2-volume set examines the philosophical and ethical issues underlying contemporary and historical environmental issues, policies, and debates. It covers concepts, institutions, topics, events and people, including global warming, animal rights, environmental movements, alternative energy, green chemistry, industrial ecology, and eco-sabotage.



Honoring the Military Veterans of St. Procopius Abbey

On this Veterans Day 2015 we honor the brave monks of St. Procopius Abbey who served as military chaplains during the great wars of the 20th century.

Fr. Victor, Abbot Procopius Neuzil, and Fr. George
World War II – Fr. Victor, Abbot Procopius, and Fr. George in front of Benedictine Hall


Father Alphonse Biskup, O.S.B.

Biskop2Toward the end of World War I, the National Alliance of Czech Catholics (the Svaz) a very influential force in the movement for the independence of Czechoslovakia, sponsored a Catholic chaplain for the Czechoslovak Legion in France. From May 1918 to September 1919 Father Alphonse Biskup of St. Procopius Abbey served with the 21st Regiment of the Armeé Tchécoslovaques (as the French called the Czechoslovak Legion )first at the western front, then in Czechoslovakia until the unit was demobilized when Czechoslovakia was stabilized as an independent nation. Fr. Alphonse was awarded the Croix de Guerre on December 12, 1918.

We invite you to read about Fr. Alphonse in Fr. James Flint’s article that was published in the March-December, 2002 issue of the American Benedictine Review (volume 53, no. 2, pages 175-192):

“A Chaplain in the Czech Legion: Rev Alphonse Biskup, O.S.B., 1918-19”

Fr. Charles Kolek, O.S.B.
Fr. Charles Kolek, O.S.B.
Fr. Charles Kolek, O.S.B.

Fr. Charles Kolek (1908-1992) served in the Navy, first at Pearl Harbor, then on Palmayra Island, then at Great Lakes Naval Station, finally as a chaplain on a new heavy cruiser that was on its shakedown cruise at Guantanamo Naval Base when the war ended.   He remained in the Naval Reserve until 1965.

Fr. George Kuska, O.S.B.

Fr. George Kuska, O.S.B.
April 20, 1945

Fr. George Kuska (1912-1999), though of impaired eyesight and accepted by the Army only for “limited service,” nonetheless was sent to France three months after D-Day. An automobile accident after the war ended further damaged his eyes and left him legally blind for the rest of his life.

Fr. George Kuska and Fr. Victor Laketek Benedictine Hall, September, 1942
Fr. George Kuska and Fr. Victor Laketek Benedictine Hall, September, 1942

Fr. Victor Laketek, O.S.B.

Fr. Victor Laketek, O.S.B.Fr. Victor Laketek (1911-1996) served with the Army Air Force at bases in Maine, Florida, California, and Canton Island in the Pacific. He would be recalled to chaplain service (again in Maine) during the Korean War.

Fr. Luke Ouska, O.S.B.

Fr. Luke Ouska, O.S.B.
Fr. Luke’s Officer’s I.D. Card issued October 21, 1943

Fr. Luke Ouska (1908-1984) was a chaplain with the Army’s Ninth Infantry Division. He arrived in France ten days after D-Day and was never very far from the front lines, sometimes using the hood of a jeep as an altar for Mass. While his division was heavily engaged in the Battle of the Bulge, he learned that his brother had been killed in that encounter.  Fr. Luke received the Bronze Star for his service.

For additional photos, please visit our display on the 3d floor of the Library.

Photographs and narratives of St. Procopius Abbey veterans
were provided by Abbey Archivist, Fr. James Flint, O.S.B.