Benedictine Father Giles Hayes elected St. Mary Abbey’s 10th abbot

Mar 9, 2006 | All, Giles Hayes, Timothy Kelly

MORRISTOWN – The Benedictine monastic chapter at St. Mary’s Abbey here elected Benedictine Father Giles P. Hayes as its 10th abbot on March 8.

Abbot Timothy Kelly, president of the American Cassinese Congregation of Monasteries, presided at and confirmed the election. The liturgical blessing of the new abbot will take place within three months.

A native of Newark, Abbot Giles is a 1956 graduate of Delbarton School here. He is the first Delbarton alumnus to serve as abbot of St. Mary Abbey, which owns and administers Delbarton.

Abbot Giles began collegiate studies at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., before entering the novitiate at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, Kan. He professed monastic vows on July 11, 1959, and completed his collegiate studies at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., in 1961. He attended St. Mary’s School of Theology, Morristown, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1965. He pursued graduate studies in American history at The Catholic University of America in Washington, (1963-67), at Seton Hall University in South Orange, (1969-1971), and at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, (1974). Abbot Giles was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, from Georgetown University, Washington, in 1987.

Abbot Giles has served on the faculty of Delbarton School as a prefect, history teacher and department chairman, dean of students, director of development and two-term headmaster. Most recently, he served as chairman of the Campaign for Delbarton. He is perhaps best known for his role for many years as college counselor; for 15 years, he served on the College Entrance Examination Board’s Test Development Committees.

He has a passion for social justice issues, establishing Delbarton’s Appalachian Project in 1980. He has been a trustee of the Morris County Urban League (1985-1992) and a member of the Steering Committee for the Morris Museum (1990-1995).

He has had a wide variety of pastoral experiences, especially on weekends to local parishes and convents, and is committed to service of the local Church.

Benedictine Father Giles Hayes elected St. Mary Abbey’s 10th abbot