Burns, Flavian

From Biographia Cisterciensis

Flavian Burns

Flavian Burns OCSO

Abbot of Gethsemani 1968–1973 and Berryville 1990–1996

* 23 Dec 1931 Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
12 Oct 2005 Berryville, Virginia, USA

Born Thomas J. Burns in Jersey City, NJ, Dom Flavian Burns – inspired by the writings of Thomas Merton, under whom he would study and later lead as abbot – entered the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance („Trappists“) at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1959.

He served as Prior at Gethsemani and in 1968, at age 36, he was elected to replace Dom James Fox as abbot, the youngest in their history. He soon had the sad task of burying his friend, mentor, and confrere Fr. Louis (Merton), who died that same year.

Always drawn to the eremitical life, he resigned as abbot in 1973, and went to Holy Cross Abbey in Virginia, where he was called upon to lead two more times, once in 1980, and again in 1990. Dom Flavian then served as chaplain for the Trappistine Sisters at Crozet, VA, and he died at Holy Cross in 2005, age 73.

gge, Sep. 2015


Aprile, Dianne: The Abbey of Gethsemani : place of peace and paradox : 150 years in the life of America's oldest Trappist monastery. Louisville, Ky. : Trout Lily Press, 1998, S. 172ff.

Citation: Burns, Flavian, in: Biographia Cisterciensis (Cistercian Biography), Version vom 9.11.2018, URL: http://en.biocist.org/wiki/Burns,_Flavian

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