Tag Archives: Franciscan

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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Saint Mary of the Angels & The Portiuncula Indulgence

Little Portion chapel.jpgThe spiritual tradition of the Franciscans is connecting the with the good work of the sainted founder, Saint Francis, who as you know, fixed three chapels: the third was called the Portiuncula (the Little Portion), dedicated to Saint Mary of the Angels. As you can see, the chapel sits in a large basilica in Assisi. The friars have been at the Portiuncula since early thirteen century. SaintClare made her vows following Palm Sunday in 1212 and where Francis died on 3 October 1226.

For centuries the Church, at the request of Francis, has attached a spiritual favor in the form of indulgence, a
grant remission of sins to all who came there. It used to be given only at the Portiuncula but now the privilege extends beyond the Portiuncula especially those administered by Franciscans, throughout the world, to others churches as well.

The Church teaches that a plenary indulgence is a powerful tool for works of mercy and weapon in the living of the Christian life, that is, in our spiritual warfare. A plenary indulgence is the remission of the effects of sin, through the merits of Jesus Christ and the saints, through the Church, of all temporal punishment due to sin already forgiven through the reception of the sacrament of Confession.

To obtain the Portiuncula plenary indulgence, a person must visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels at Assisi, or a Franciscan church or chapel, or even one’s parish church, with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels. The recites the Creed and prays the Our Father for the Pope’s designated intentions (see the monthly papal prayer intentions). Key is going to Confession (“free of attachment to venial and mortal sin). One can make a confession and receive Holy Communion 8 days before or after.
Previous posts here and here.
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The friar knows how to celebrate

Friar loves the drink.jpg

I hope your Memorial Day was a festive as this friar’s.

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

Franciscans make a splash today

Tau cross.jpgWith today’s appointment of the Archbishop of Philadelphia and Bishop of Savannah, the number of Franciscans serving the Church in the USA as residential bishops went up. Surprisingly we now have two Conventual Franciscans bishops. Currently, Franciscan bishops the dioceses of Boston, Philadelphia, La Crosse and Savannah. Two Capuchins and two Conventuals. If you count Puerto Rico, then there’s the Archbishop of San Juan who is a “normal brown” Franciscan.

The bishops bring to the table, as it were, the gift of the Franciscan charism and an interesting lens by which Christ is made known.
Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Clare and all Franciscan saints and blesseds, pray for us.

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]yahoo.com.
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