THE monks of Glenstal have elected Ennis man Fr Brendan Coffey to serve as abbot for a period of eight years. Abbot Brendan is the sixth Abbot of Glenstal, and succeeds Abbot Mark Patrick Hederman, who held the office since 2008.
The election was presided over by the Abbot-President of the Congregation of the Annunciation, the family of monasteries to which Glenstal belongs.
Born in 1970, followng his early education, the abbot elect studied in Maynooth and Rome. Joseph Coffey was ordained a priest of the diocese of Killaloe in 1995.
He pursued postgraduate studies in Canon Law at the Gregorian University in Rome, after which he was appointed curate in the parish of Kilrush. He entered Glenstal in 1998, taking the name Brendan. He professed simple vows in 1999 and made his solemn profession in 2002.
After some years working in the abbey school as a housemaster and teacher of Classics, Fr Brendan spent two years in Padua, Italy, doing postgraduate studies in Liturgy. On his return to Glenstal he served as Prior of the monastery from 2007 until 2015. He spent the academic year 2015-16 at the Catholic University of America, doing doctoral studies in Liturgy.
Abbot Brendan takes office immediately. The formal Abbatial Blessing will take place on a date yet to be decided, after the current renovation works in the abbey church have been completed.