The Monastic Vocation in the West Today

Michel van Parys was born in 1942 in Gent, Belgium, and in 1959 he entered the Benedictine monastery of  Chevetogne. He has studied philosophy, theology, and classical and oriental languages at the Sorbonne University, Paris, discussing a Thesis on Gregory of Nissa. Ordained priest in 1969 he served as Master of the Novices at the Chevetogne monastery, where he was elected Prior in 1971 and Abbot in 1991. After his resign from the abbacy, he has worked for the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in Rome, of which he has also been nominated “consultor” in 1997.  From 2002 to 2013 he has been editorial director of the the trimestral Review “Irénikon” published by the Monastery of Cheveogne. From 2008 to 2013 he held the office of Pontifical Delegate for the Armenian Mechitarist Congregation of Venice. In November 2013 Pope Francis nominated him new hegumenos of the Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata near Rome and he held this minister until 2016. At present, he serves as the spiritual father of the Greek Pontifical College in Rome. He is currently member of the Scientific Comitee of the “International Ecumenical Conference on Orthodox Spirituality” held every year at the Monastery of Bose.