Category Archives: Vocations

Religious life 2011: Profession of vows, entrances and ordinations

Call of Peter and Andrew LVeneziano.jpgAbout this time of each year I look at the numbers of who professed vows, entered religious life and/or ordained of a select group of religious orders of the mixed, apostolic life and monasteries since Autumn 2010.

Locating the public vocation in Christ and therefore in the Church, we have to note what Pope Benedict has taught:
“The Eucharist is the source of that ecclesial unity for which Jesus prayed on the eve of his passion: “Father… that they also may be one in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn  17:21). The intense communion favors the growth of generous vocations at the service of the Church: the heart of the believer, filled with divine love, is moved to dedicate itself wholly to the cause of the Kingdom” (World Day of Prayer for Vocation, 2007).
No vocation makes sense without the Eucharist and the ecclesial unity the Eucharist creates. All vocations, are therefore born from an intense desire for unity in Jesus Christ, the Eucharistic Lord.

This year’s vocation stats:
Monastic Life

St Meinrad Archabbey (St Meinrad, IN): 1 novice was given the habit.
Conception Abbey (Conception, MO): 1 monk was ordained to the Order of Deacon; 2 novices were invested.
St Joseph’s Abbey Covington, LA): 2 professed simple vows; 1 entered the novitiate.
Subiaco Abbey (Subiaco, AK): 2 monks professed simple vows; 2 entered the novitiate and 3 men entering the postulancy.
Our Lady of Glastonbury Abbey (Hingham, MA): 1 entered the novitiate.
Prince of Peace Abbey (Oceanside, CA): 1 monk professed solemn vows.
Mount Michael Abbey (Elkhorn, NE): 1 monk ordained to the Order of Deacon and 1 monk ordained to the Order of Priest.
Monastero di San Benedetto (Norcia, Italy): 1 monk professed solemn vows, one ordained to the Order of Deacon and is expected to be ordained to the Priesthood on September 24. The monastery now has 8 solemnly professed monks.
St Louis Abbey (St Louis, MO): 1 postulant entered. The monks also re-elected Abbot Thomas for a 3rd 8-year term of service.
St Vincent Archabbey (Latrobe, PA): 3 monks profess solemn vows; 4 profess simple vows; 7 junior monks renew their temporary vows; 2 monks were ordained deacons.
St John’s Abbey (Collegeville, MN): 1 monk professed solemn vows; 2 professed simple vows; 3 invested as novices; 13 monks in formation.
Belmont Abbey (Our Lady Help of Christians, Charlotte, NC): 1 monk solemnly professed vows.

Abbot Barnabas blessings postulants 2011.jpg

St Benedict’s Abbey (Atchison, KS): 1 monk professed solemn vows, 2 professed simple vows and 3 were admitted as postulants.
St Mary’s Abbey (Morristown, NJ): 1 monk professed solemn vows, 3 professed simple vows; 1 novice entered.
St Bernard’s Abbey (Cullman, AL): 1 ordained a priest, 1 solemn vows, 1 made simple profession and 1 received into the postulancy.
St Martin’s Abbey (Lacey, WA): 1 monk professed solemn vows and 1 monk was ordained priest.
Abbey of Saint Walburga (Colorado): simply professed 2 nuns in 2011 who join 3 other junior nuns.
Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles (Kansas City-St Joseph, MO) had 3 profess first vows and 2 enter the novitiate. These sisters follow the traditional Liturgy.
St Dominic’s Monastery (Linden, VA): 4 novices, 3 postulants, 2 aspirants. This community is a very young community of women living the vocation of an enclosed Dominican Nun.
The Dominican nuns of Summit, NJ, the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, there are 8 nuns in formation: 3 temporary professed, 4 novices, 1 postulant.
The Carmelite Monks (Cody, WY) had 2 enter the novitiate, a perpetual profession and 2 professed temporary vows.
Daylesford Abbey (Paoli, PA): 1 ordained to the priesthood (December 2010) and 1 ordained priest (September 2011); 1 simple profession.
St Michael’s Abbey (Silverado, CA): 1 canon was ordained to the priesthood and 2 were ordained deacon; 1 professed solemn vows.
Holy Theophany Monastery (Olympia, WA): a novice will be invested with the habit in November. This is monastery is only a few years old and lives according to the Byzantine tradition.
Apostolic religious men
The Capuchin friars of St Mary’s Province (New York-New England) simply professed 2 friars; there will be 5 friars professing solemn vows; 3 were admitted to the novitiate and 4 to the postulancy.
The Capuchin Friars of the Saint Augustine Province simply professed 4 friars.
The Capuchin Friars of the Province of Saint Conrad (Mid-America) 2 novices entered, 1 friar was ordained a deacon and 1 friar was ordained a priest.

Investiture 2011.JPG

Conventual Franciscans: several provinces sponsor a common novitiate in Mishawaka, IN: 5 friars professed simple vows; 7 men received the habit.
Franciscan Friars of the Renewal: 4 friars professed final vows; 5 professed simple vows and 5 postulants entered.
Franciscan Friars, Holy Name Province: 2 were ordained priests; 2 professed solemn vows, 3 entered the novitiate; 5 became postulants.
Congregation of Holy Cross (Notre Dame, IN): 1 professed final vows in the USA, 5 professed final vows in East Africa; 6 professed simple vows in the USA. The same American who professed final vows was ordained to the Order of Deacon.
The Dominicans of the Province of St Joseph: 16 professed simple vows, 9 friars professed solemn vows and 5 ordained priests, 13 entered the novitiate.
The Dominicans of the Province of St Albert the Great: 7 professed simple vows; 6 men were admitted to the novitiate.
Apostolic Women religious

Sr. Christine Ann Hoffner with Bp Michael Cote.jpg

Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Hamden, CT): 1 sister professed perptual vows; 2 entered the first year of the novitiate; joining 3 second year novices; and there are 3 junior professed sisters.
Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (Clyde, MO): 1 sister was received who’s transferring from another Benedictine congregation of sisters.
Sisters of St Benedict (Ferdinand, IN): 2 professed solemn vows; there’s 1 novice and 1 postulant. You may want to read The Sisters’ blog.
The Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia (Nashville): 7 sisters professed perpetual profession; 15 novices made their first profession; 11 sisters renewed their vows for 2 years; 24 postulants were admitted to the novitiate. The sisters have a convent in Australia.

Mary Mother of the Eucharist novices 2011.jpg

Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (Ann Arbor, MI): 4 sisters professed perpetual vows; 7 professed simple vow; 18 received the habit for the 1st year of novitiate with a total of 36 novices.
The Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal had 3 sisters enter the postulancy.
Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist (Meriden, CT) 1 sister professed final vows; 1 professed simple vows; there’s 1 novice; 1 sister transferred to the Congregation.
The Sisters of St Francis of the Martyr St George (Alton, IL) 23 junior sisters renewed their vows; 2 professed simple vows, 3 entered the postulant program, 3 entered the 1st year novitiate and 3 moved to the 2nd year novitiate.
Sisters of Life: 5 sisters profess first vows.
Previous blog post: September 9, 2010

Priest and seminarian killed in Tulsa Diocese

Fr Gomez and Stanley.jpgFrom my friend, Father Frowin, I learned of this tragic news:

“Please pray for the Diocese of Tulsa Sunday afternoon.
Last night a driver traveling an estimated 85 mph and failing to stop at a red
light broadsided and killed Father Jorge Gomez (ordained a priest just last month)
and seminarian Stanley Karioke.”

Father Gomez was the new associate pastor at Saints Peter and Paul. He was a graduate of Saint Meinrad Seminary. Stanley was Kenyan born and working at the same parish as Father Jorge.

May their souls, and the souls of all the
faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen.

Benedict to women religious: testify to your personal encounter with Christ

Here are the central paragraphs the Pope addressed to women religious at the Escorial earlier today.

nun at Escorial Aug 19 2011.jpg

Dear Sisters, every charism is an evangelical word which the Holy Spirit recalls to the Church’s memory (cf. Jn 14:26). It is not by accident that consecrated life “is born from hearing the word of God and embracing the Gospel as its rule of life. A life devoted to following Christ in his chastity, poverty and obedience becomes a living ‘exegesis’ of God’s word… Every charism and every rule springs from it and seeks to be an expression of it, thus opening up new pathways of Christian living marked by the radicalism of the Gospel” (Verbum Domini, 83).

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Monasteries are true and proper oases for humanity, Benedict XVI reminds us

In Wednesday’s edition of L’Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict told the listeners of the Wednesday General Audience that the monastic life is an essential value for humanity and for the Church, today. The Pope’s emphasis on beauty and silence helps us to appreciate and to listen God’s promptings of the desires of the heart is important. Let’s pay attention to what the Pope has to say. You may also want to watch the Rome Reports news video.

The editor writes, “Monasteries are true and proper oases of the spirit in which God speaks to humanity. The Pope said this to faithful at the General Audience of Wednesday, 10 August, that was held in the courtyard of the Papal Residence at Castel Gandolfo.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters! In every age, men and women who have consecrated their lives to God in prayer – like monks and nuns – have established their communities in particularly beautiful places: in the countryside, on hilltops, in valleys, on the shores of lakes or the sea, or even on little islands. These places unite two elements which are very important for contemplative life: the beauty of creation, which recalls that of the Creator, and silence, which is guaranteed by living far from cities and the great means of communication. Silence is the environmental condition that most favors contemplation, listening to God and meditation. The very fact of experiencing silence and allowing ourselves to be “filled,” so to speak, with silence, disposes us to prayer. The great prophet, Elijah, on Mount Horeb – that is, Sinai – experienced strong winds, then an earthquake, and finally flashes of fire, but he did not recognize the voice of God in them; instead, he recognized it in a light breeze (cfr. 1 Rev 19:11-13). God speaks in silence, but we need to know how to listen. This is why monasteries are oases in which God speaks to humanity; and there we find the courtyard, a symbolic place because it is a closed space, but open toward the sky.

Tomorrow, dear friends, we will celebrate the memory of St. Clare of Assisi. So I would like to recall one of these “oases” of the spirit which is particularly dear to the Franciscan family and to all Christians: the little convent of San Damiano, situated just beneath the city of Assisi, among the olive groves that slope towards Santa Maria degli Angeli. In that little church, which Francis restored after his conversion, Chiara and her first companions established their community, living off prayer and little works. They were called the “Poor Sisters,” and their “form of life” was the same as the Frati Minori: “To observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rule of St. Clare, I, 2), conserving the union of reciprocal charity (cfr ivi, X, 7) and observing in particular the poverty and humility of Jesus and his Most Holy Mother (cfr, ivi, XII, 13).

Benedict XVI at the General Audience stresses the value of monastic spirituality God speaks in silence Benedict XVI at the General Audience stresses the value of monastic spirituality God speaks in silence and beauty of the place in which the monastic community lives – simple and austere beauty – are like a reflection of the spiritual harmony which the community itself attempts to create. The world is filled with these oases of the spirit, some very ancient, particularly in Europe; others are more recent, while still others have been restored by new communities. Looking at things from a spiritual perspective, these places of the spirit are a load-bearing structure of the world! It is no accident that many people, especially in times of rest, visit these places and stop there for some days: even the soul, thanks be to God, has its needs!  The Pope continues:

Let us remember, therefore, St. Clare. But let you also remember other Saints who remind us of the importance of turning our gaze to the “things of heaven,” like St. Edith Stein, Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Carmelite, co-patron of Europe, whom we celebrated yesterday. And today, August 10, we cannot forget St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, with a special wish for Romans who have always venerated him as one of their patrons. Finally, let us turn our gaze to the Virgin Mary, that she may teach us to love silence and prayer.

Congregation of Holy Cross merge two US provinces

Spes Unica.jpgToday marks the beginning of new life within the Congregation of Holy Cross in the USA: the merging of the Eastern and Indiana Provinces. The coming together  on this date in 2011 is noteworthy because today is the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a feast near and dear to the Congregation. The merger follows upon the decision taken by the 2010 General Chapter. The new province now has more than 100 seminarians numbers more than 500 priests and brothers. Around the world there are about 1500 CSCs.

Founded in 1837 by Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau, the Congregation of Holy Cross filled the many gaps in ecclesial life following the French Revolution. The “auxiliary priests” were parish priests, educators, missionaries, scholars with no single work so as to be available like the apostles were in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the USA operates 4 colleges and universities, including my alma mater, UND. There is one CSC bishop in the USA: The Most Reverend Daniel Jenky, CSC of Peoria, IL.
Some of the activities of the CSC can be seen in an online photo album.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus richly bless the Congregation of Holy Cross!

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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