Staff Member: Abbot Cletus Meagher O.S.B.
Abbot Cletus Meagher O.S.B.
The fifth of six children of Oscar A. and Mildred (Sommers) Meagher, Abbot Cletus was born November 15, 1944 in Cleveland, Tennessee. His primary school education was under the tutelage
of the Nashville Dominicans at Notre Dame Grammar School in Chattanooga, TN. In 1958 he entered St. Bernard Preparatory Seminary and graduated in 1962, the last graduation class of St. Bernard Prep until re-establishment in 1984. He continued seminary studies at St. Bernard College Seminary 1962- 1964, entered St. Bernard Abbey in 1964 as a novice and professed vows in 1965, after which he resumed college studies, graduating in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and minors in Psychology and English. Completing theological studies with a Masters of Divinity degree from St. Louis University in 1971, he was ordained Priest in May of that year. As a monk, Abbot Cletus served the monastic community in various capacities, viz. Subprior, Prior, Novice Master / Formation Director, Procurator (Treasurer) and member, of the Senior Council. In ministries of St. Bernard, he taught theology at St. Bernard College / Southern Benedictine College 1971-1979, served as chaplain at Sacred Heart Monastery, and in campus ministry at St. Bernard College, Cullman College, Southern Benedictine College. In 1986 Abbot Cletus was appointed pastor to Sacred Heart Parish, Cullman, serving there until 1995. He was appointed a member of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Birmingham. In May of 1995 he was elected Ninth Abbot of St. Bernard Abbey and served in that capacity until retirement from that office in July 2019. In retirement he has served many as Spiritual Director and Confessor. Beginning October 2021 he will serve as Pastor of St. Michael Parish, St. Florian, Alabama, the proto-parish of St. Vincent Archabbey / St. Bernard Abbey in Alabama. Abbot Cletus is a Golden Jubilarian of profession as a monk and priest; a Silver Jubilarian as Abbot.