Gregory J. Polan

United States, 1950

Dom Gregory J. Polan, O.S.B. is the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation. With its famous 1,500-year-old motto of Ora et Labora (Pray and Work), the Benedictines are the oldest monastic order in the Church. Its headquarters are centered at the Primatial Abbey of Sant’Anselmo in Rome. Located here as well is the Benedictine Order’s University with its Pontifical Institute of Liturgy, and Faculties of Philosophy, Theology, and its Monastic Institute. Abbot Gregory serves as the Chancellor of this university. Abbot Gregory entered the novitiate of Conception Abbey in 1970, and professed his monastic vows in August 1971. He was ordained to the priesthood in May 1977. In 1984, he completed a doctoral degree in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Faculty of Université Saint Paul (Ottawa, Canada) with a dissertation later published as In the Ways of Justice and Righteousness toward Salvation: A Rhetorical Analysis of Isaiah 56-59 (1986). He was invited by the us Conference of Catholic Bishops to do a revision of the Grail Psalter which had been used for the Liturgy of the Hours since 1969. Polan’s revision has received a recognition for use in the liturgy from the Holy See, and has now been published as The Abbey Psalms and Canticles. Before entering the monastery, he studied organ at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and served as one of the organists of his community while still at Conception Abbey. As Abbot Primate, he holds a mandate of eight years of service, first begun in 2016.