Mark Patrick Hederman

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Dom Mark Patrick Hederman, OSB, former Abbot of Glenstal Abbey, County Limerick, Ireland, is a Benedictine monk, teacher, lecturer and writer. Formerly headmaster of the school at Glenstal, he was later named academic dean.


Hederman comes from Ballingarry, the second son in a family of four.[1] Of Glenstal, he said in 2009, "I came here as a boy to school when I was twelve years of age, and apart from about ten years of my life spent in Africa, America and other parts of Europe, I have never lived anywhere else. ... It only existed as a monastery thirty years before I arrived."[2]

Dom Patrick earned a doctorate degree from UCD[1] in the philosophy of education. He has lectured in philosophy and literature outside Ireland, most notably in the United States and Nigeria.

Hederman helped found the cultural journal, The Crane Bag.[citation needed] With Richard Kearney he edited the two-volume collection The Crane bag book of Irish studies. (Dublin : Blackwater/Folens, 1982).[3]

The election as fifth Abbot of Glenstal[1] by the community of Benedictine monks, to an eight year term, "came as a shock to those who knew him and his work because of the maverick figure that he is in the Irish Church."[4] Also, at 64, Hederman was the oldest to be chosen for the position since the monastery became an Abbey in the 1950s.[1]

In a piece published in early 2011, Abbot Hederman was quoted by novelist and writer Russell Shorto speaking about the sexual-abuse scandals in the Irish Catholic Church.[5]

Hederman has campaigned against height-related comedy, particularly in relation to Heads of State.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Leader Interview with Patrick Hederman, Abbot of Glenstal" Archived 2012-03-28 at the Wayback Machine., Limerick Leader, 18 June 2009 07:29. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
  2. ^ "Jung Bytes" Archived 2012-03-22 at the Wayback Machine., interview by Lauren Yanks with M.P. Hederman, New York Center for Jungian Studies, November, 2008. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  3. ^ The Crane Bag Book of Irish Studies, National Library of Australia's online catalogue listing. V. 1: 1977-1981; v. 2. 1982-1985. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
  4. ^ "Mark Patrick Hederman", introduction to Would you believe show, RTÉ One, c. 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-22.
  5. ^ Shorto, Russell, "The Irish Affliction", The New York Times Magazine, February 9, 2011 (February 13, 2011 p. MM42). "Ireland is a prime example of what the church is facing, because they made this island [Ireland] into a concentration camp where they could control everything. ... And the control was really all about sex. They told you if you masturbated, it meant you were impure and had allowed the devil to work on you. Generations of people were crucified with guilt complexes. Now the game is up. ... Ireland was meant to be the purest country that ever existed, upholding the Catholic ideal of no sex except in marriage and then only for procreation. And the priest was to be the purest of the pure. It’s not difficult to understand how the whole system became riddled with what we now call a scandal but in fact was a complete culture. Because you had people with no understanding of their sexuality, of what sexuality even was, and they were in complete power." Retrieved 2011-02-15.
  6. ^


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