Blue Cloud Abbey Monks Choose New Abbot

Posted by on Feb 1, 2009 | No Comments

Father Denis Quinkert, OSB, has been elected the fifth abbot of Blue Cloud Abbey, Mavin.

Father Denis was elected January 10 by the monks of the abbey.

The newly elected abbot takes over for Abbot Thomas Hillenbrand, OSB, who resigned in December after serving in the position for more than 16 years.

Abbot Peter Eberle, president of the Swiss-American Congregation, the monastic federation to which Blue Cloud Abbey belongs, assisted the monks in the process of determining if they wished to elect an new abbot or request a temporary administrator.

Father Denis had been named prior of Blue Cloud a year ago and he became the administrator of the abbey upon Abbot Thomas Hillenbrand’s resignation which took effect on January 1.

“The Abbot who is worthy to be over a monastery, ought always to be mindful of what he is called, and make his works square with his name of Superior,” wrote Abbot Denis on the abbey website.

He had held the office of abbot previously from 1986 until 1991.

His prior experience as abbot has also prepared him for this service.

“The Abbot ought always to remember what he is and what he is called, and to know that to whom much hath been entrusted, from him much will be required,” Abbot Denis also wrote.

Abbot Denis was born in New Albany, Indiana on July 7, 1936. He attended St. Placid Hall, a secondary school for Brotherhood candidates at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana.

Upon graduating from there in 1954, he came to Blue Cloud Abbey, St. Meinrad’s foundation in Marvin.

He professed vows in 1956.

As a Benedictine Brother, Abbot Denis worked on the abbey farm, helped with the construction of the monastery and farm buildings, and was later assigned as a prefect at the Indian schools staffed by Blue Cloud Abbey.

Several years later, he began studies for the priesthood at Pope John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts. He was ordained at Blue Cloud Abbey in 1976.

As a priest of the community, Father Denis was a pastor at Ft. Totten, ND, and in the Sioux Falls Diocese at Wagner, Milbank, Waubay, and Grenville.

He also served in the chaplaincies for Sacred Heart Monastery, Mount Marty College, and the Federal Prison in Yankton.

Blue Cloud Abbey was founded at Marvin in 1950.

The abbey has been responsible over the years and in the past for staffing Native American missions at Marty and Stephan in South Dakota as well as in North Dakota.

The abbey has also provided priests to various parishes across the diocese over the years.

You can find out more about Blue Cloud Abbey or contact the abbot, priests and monks at