Category Archives: Vocations

Religious life 2012: Profession of vows, entrances and ordinations

Heilengkreutz monks.jpgThe promise of the hundredfold of the Lord is evident in the lives we lead; how we live our Baptism ought to be evident and with those who have responded to the Lord’s call to follow Him more closely in the Christian life in which we live more intensely by through the consecrated life.

As Pope Benedict said, 
It is no less challenging to follow Christ today, It means learning to keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, growing close to him, listening to his word and encountering him in the sacraments; it means learning to conform our will to his. This requires a genuine school of formation for all those who would prepare themselves for the ministerial priesthood or the consecrated life under the guidance of the competent ecclesial authorities. The Lord does not fail to call people at every stage of life to share in his mission and to serve the church in the ordained ministry and in the consecrated life (48th World Day of Vocations, 2011).

Calling of St Matthew detail  Caravaggio.jpg

The key words for us ought to be “to follow,” “to keep our gaze,” “listening,” “conforming,” and “encountering.” The crux is, to whom do we belong? Of course, I would hope that we could easily say that we belong to Christ and to His Church. But we know that while we may honestly believe this fact, it is not so every day. We say one thing but we don’t always follow and keep our gaze on the Lord. May this be our prayer and our work today!
This is the third year that I have surveyed, in representative manner, some of the US monastic communities and religious orders who have had members profess simple and/or solemn vows, new members who received the habit or have receive ordination to the Order of Deacon or Priest. While the numbers may be sobering, the point is not about numbers as much as to recognize the many testimonies of grace, the rich living of the offer God has made to our sisters and brothers to love and serve Him in religious life. Corrections welcome.

Monastic life
  • St Vincent’s Archabbey: 4 profess simple vows; 4 profess solemn vows; 2 ordained deacons, 2 ordained priests
  • St John’s Abbey: 2 monks make a profession of solemn vows; 3 professed simple vows
  • St Benedict’s Abbey (Atchinson, KS): 1 monk solemn vows, 3 received as postulants, 1 postulant in Brazil
  • Belmont Abbey (Charlotte, NC): 1 novice entered; 2 monks profess solemn vows
  • St Martin’s Abbey: 1 entered as a novice

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Nuns… pray for vocations

Sr Lauren Funk and Sr Mary Dominic Linden Monastery.tifI was reminded earlier today of a need to pray for vocations to the contemplative life. A former colleague of mine recently entered Dominican life as a cloistered nun at Saint Dominic’s Monastery in Linden, VA. It is a traditional monastery of nuns, a very young of women who make a sacrifice to pray for us and the needs of the world. The postulant, Sister Lauren (left) is seen with a veteran nun, Sister Mary Dominic.

Pray for vocations.
As an aside, the Huffington Post had this special article with pictures of those who “thought” they had a vocation. One actually did pursue a vocation as a Benedictine nun at Regina Laudis Abbey (Bethlehem, CT), Mother Dolores Hart.

From the Olympics to the Convent

Today is Day 7 of the London Olympics and with 37 medals for Team USA at this writing, reminded me of a Franciscan Sister of the Renewal Sister Catherine Holum who was an Olympian in 1998. The National Catholic Register ran a story on Sister Catherine in a recent issue. You can read about Sister’s journey here. The journey of Sister Catherine is poignant.

Congrats on your ordination

Stuart Meyer Deacon Ordination.jpgA friend in England, Stuart Meyer, was ordained to the Order of Deacon for service in the Archdiocese of Southwark (in the UK) this past Saturday Archbishop Peter David Smith. Southwark is an archdiocese just outside  of London where, according to statistics in 2010 the population is 86% Catholic.

Deacon Stuart was an ordained member of the Church of England for many years until he entered into full communion with the Church of Rome. He desired to serve the Lord and the Church as a Catholic priest and did the studies required. The new deacon does not belong to the Anglican Ordinariate, but to the Archdiocese of Southwark.
We offer our congratulations to Deacon Stuart Meyer and pray that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saints Lawrence and Stephen continue to guide. Pray for Deacon Stuart as he prepares for priestly ordination and for vocations to the Catholic Church in England.

A different view women of religious today

In the Catholic press this morning there is a story about the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma using the language of faith versus the language of politics for life, ministry and vocation. All this clap-trap with the LCWR and who’s on what side or not is a bit over the top for several reasons (which I won’t get into right now). Read what the Sisters of Mercy of Alma have to say –they give a more balanced view.

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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