Tag Archives: ordination

Religious life 2013: Profession of vows, entrances and ordinations

Suscipe me secundum eloquium tuum, et vivam, et non confundas me ab exspectatione mea. (Psalm 118)

abbot & monkEach year at about this time I have published a list of those who have risked everything to follow Jesus Christ more closely as a priest, deacon, monk, friars, nun, or sister. I think it is a good thing to keep this information in front of us, especially as it concerns how each of prays, fasts and financially support  vocations in the Church. Our Christian life helps us to see the need for such witnesses and each of us participates through our good example, by inviting others (even ourselves?) to consider serving the Lord and the Church in this “more excellent” way and by assisting by of the good works.

Let us pray with the psalmist, “The just grow tall like palm trees, majestic like the cedars of Lebanon. They flourish in God’s house, green and heavy with fruit” (Ps 92).

“What counts is to be permeated by the love of Christ, to let oneself be led by the Holy Spirit and to graft one’s own life onto the tree of life,” the Lord’s cross, Pope Francis said on July 7.

What follows is an imperfect collection of information; if there are updates, please zap me an email.


Monastic life


English Congregation

Swiss-American Congregation
Subiaco Congregation
American Cassinese Congregation
Other monastic foundations


The active life


  • Daylesford Abbey (the Norbertines): 1 professed simple vows, 1 entered the novitiate;
  • Dominican friars, Province of St Joseph: 6 friars ordained priests; 9 friars profess solemn vows; 8 professed simple vows and  18 entered the novitiate
  • Capuchin friars, Province of St Mary: 2 professed final vows, 4 professed simple vows, 4 invested as novices; 1 ordained to the Order of Deacon and 2 ordained for the Order of Priest
  • Opus Dei: ordained 31 to the priesthood
  • Fraternity of St Charles Borromeo: 1 ordained deacon, 8 ordained priests; -in Chile: 3 received the cassock at entrance
  • Conventual Franciscan friars (of several provinces): 7 professed simple vows; 5 entered the novitiate
  • Friars of the Atonement: 1 entered the novitiate
  • Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word: 2 professed simple vows, 1 entered the novitiate.
  • Order of Friars Minor, Immaculate Conception Province: 2 friars profess simple vows; 1 professed solemn vows; 2 ordained priests; 5 postulants entered
  • Franciscans of the Holy Name Province: 4 profess first vows; 1 novice entered; 1 ordained to the priesthood
  • The Society of Jesuit ordained 16 men to the priesthood for service in the whole USA; the NY-NEN-MD provinces professed 5 in simple perpetual vows; 5 men entered the novitiate.

Benedict XVI ordains 4 bishops

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me and sent me to preach the good news to the poor, to heal the broken hearted. (LK 4:18; entrance antiphon)

Today we see the episcopal ordination of four priests. On this feast of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict XVI ordained four men he’s known to be good repute to serve the Church of Christ in a new, dynamic way. With prayer to the Holy Spirit and laying on of hands, the following priests are ordained to the Order of Bishop:

Georg Gänswein arms.jpg

Georg Gänswein, 56, Prefect of the Papal Household

Fortunatus Nwachukwu, 52, Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua

Nicholas Thevenin, 54, Apostolic Nuncio to Guatemala

Zani, 62, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education

All four were given the title of archbishop in recognition of work done, and to be done.

With the Church we pray,

O God, eternal Shepherd, who, governing your flock with watchful care, choose to join these your servants and Priests to the College of Bishops this day, grant we pray, that by their holiness of life they may everywhere prove to be true witnesses to Christ.

(the coat of arms belong to Arcbbishop Georg Gänswein)
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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

Read more ...

Two St Louis Abbey monks ordained deacon

Cassian and Francis ordained deacon.jpgToday, The Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, archbishop of Saint Louis, ordained two Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint Mary and Saint Louis to the Order of Deacon. Brothers Francis Hein and Cassian Koeneman received this sacrament of order at the request of Abbot Thomas Frerking. May God them many years of faithful service!

The archbishop ordained these men to the Order of Deacon and next year, Deo volente, he will ordain them to the Order of Priest.

Brother Francis has been at the Dominican House of Studies (Washington, DC) and Brother Cassian has been at Rome’s Angelicum.

What does the Church teach about deacons? The Catechism answers:

Deacons share in Christ’s
mission and grace in a special way. The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them
with an imprint (“character”) which cannot be removed and
which configures them to Christ, who made himself the “deacon” or
servant of all. Among other tasks, it is the task of deacons to assist the
bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the
Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in assisting at and blessing
marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching, in presiding over
funerals, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity.

Since the Second Vatican Council the Latin
Church has restored the diaconate “as a proper and permanent rank of the
hierarchy,” while the Churches of the East had always maintained it. This
permanent diaconate, which can be conferred on married men, constitutes an
important enrichment for the Church’s mission. Indeed it is appropriate and
useful that men who carry out a truly diaconal ministry in the Church, whether
in its liturgical and pastoral life or whether in its social and charitable
works, should “be strengthened by the imposition of hands which has come
down from the apostles. They would be more closely bound to the altar and their
ministry would be made more fruitful through the sacramental grace of the
(CCC 1570-71).

BC Jesuits get backbone in teaching theology

The Jesuit-run School of Theology and Ministry has had a priest on their faculty who’s refused to function as a Catholic until he gets an adequate explanation as to why women are not ordained as Catholic priests. He wrote to the Cardinal stating his position. John Shea, professor of pastoral care and counseling, now leaving his position because of dissent from Church teaching. Thanks be to God. The Jesuits have tolerated this act of scandal for too long. Shea’s work in the classroom and beyond is not in line with his role as a professor who trains men for priesthood and the laity for ministry. He’s not to pose his thinking as Catholic teaching nor is he asked by the Church to teach students for priesthood and ministry in dissenting theology. Recall: Saint Ignatius of Loyola asks an attitude of “thinking with the Church” not dissenting from the truth of Jesus Christ and His Church.

The Jesuits at BC and when Weston Jesuit School of Theology before subsumed into Boston College existed, have long accepted and promoted professors who not only challenge Church teaching but openly reject the teaching authority of the Church as a matter of pride. Thinking with the Church was no longer an accepted method of “doing” theology. When I was at WJST we had several Jesuits under investigation for their divergent teaching. Each one of them saw ecclesial investigation as a badge of honor; their investigation was act of imperialism by the Vatican. One Jesuit priest actually said that not dissent from the Church is a sin against the Holy Spirit and another said that the Society of Jesus is the loyal opposition to the Church. Really.
Good for BC, but I doubt the Jesuits are doing this because Father Shea is a dissenter and harming the formation of students.

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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