So who are the major candidates to succeed Abbot Matthew? Well, as no one is allowed to campaign it is hard to say who are the frontrunners. However, we can determine who is eligible for election. In fact of those 25 electors who will vote, 21 of them are eligible to be elected. Eligibility is determined by the Constitutions and Directory of the American Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monasteries and the Code of Canon Law.
To be validly elected a monk must be 30 years of age and at least seven years in solemn vows. Furthermore, as the Benedictines are an order of both religious priests and religious brothers, it is required by canon law that the superior be an ordained priest. So of the 25 electors, the three solemnly professed brothers are not eligible, and one of the priests is also not eligible as he is shy of the 7 years in solemn vows requirement (in fact, by only one month).
Actually, there is no requirement that the person elected has to be a monk of the house. Any monk of the Congregation would be eligible who meets the other requirements, so that would technically bump up the pool of possible candidates to over 400. While this has happened historically in other monasteries, it has never happened at Saint Anselm’s, and would be a highly unlikely outcome.