Tag Archives: vocation

Life Around the Collar … on the Canons Regular of St Augustine of Klosterneuburg

This is a must see video on the life of the Canons of Klosterneuburg, some of whom are moving to the Rockville Centre in the Spring 2011. The producer of the video, Jason Fudge, did a terrific job in making “Life Around the Collar.”

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The Canons Regular of St. Augustine of the Klosterneuburg is one of the oldest
Latin Rite orders. The canons live together in community and take three vows of
chastity, poverty and obedience. Because of this, many times they are confused
with monks who live a cloistered, contemplative life. However, the canonical
life is clerical and engages in public ministry of liturgy and sacraments for those
who visit their churches.

As one of Austria’s oldest and most historically
important orders, the order has been traditionally Austrian. However in the
last 20 years, people outside of Austria have decided to take the solemn vow to
become a canon at the monastery.

For almost 900 years a monastery in Austria
has been devoted to preserving a religious life, culture and science. The
origin dates back to Margrave Leopold III when he founded the monastery in
1114. In 1133, the Canons Regular of St. Augustine were summoned to develop the
monastery. Alongside the canons’ devotion to religion, they also viewed it
their duty to preserve culture and art. Since its foundation, the monastery has
grown to be one of the wealthiest monasteries and owns the largest private
scholarly library in the country.

Life at St Michael’s Abbey

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The Norbertine canons of St Michael’s Abbey (Silverado, CA) produced a terrifically inspiring vocation video. As an order, the Order of Prémontré (Norbertines) were founded in 1121 by Saint Norbert who adopted as the order’s motto, prepared for every good work, known essentially the charism of praying the Divine Office and the Sacrifice of the Mass. The ministry of a Norbertine is to make to the world the fruits of his contemplation. St Michael’s Abbey was founded in 1961 and the community has 70 members whose median age is about 43 years.

The Vineyard of Light vocation video of St Michael’s Abbey

Swiss Capuchins: Help wanted

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The Capuchin Franciscans in Switzerland are spreading the net far and wide. Their vocation promotion ad reads: 

“Wanted: Bankers, traders or lawyers for full-time, lifelong position. No pay. Unmarried Catholic men between 22 and 35 capable of communal living are encouraged to look into the possibility.

The Washington Post carried the news

Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist to purchase JPII Cultural Center in DC

Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucahrist logo.jpgMother Assumpta Long announced last evening that her new congregation of religious sisters, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, are hoping to purchase the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center across the street from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC and using the facility as a house of studies.

Mother Assumpta’s email letter to Deal Hudson making the announcement of purchase of the JPII Center is here.

The video presentation can be seen here.
May the great Mother of God, Mary most holy, pray for the sisters and for us!
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Conventual Franciscan professes vows: Gabriel Scasino hopes to attain perfect charity

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending a friend’s profession of first vows as a Conventual Franciscan friar. Friar Gabriel Mary Scasino is a member of the Immaculate Conception Province of Conventuals. The vow ceremony was held at the National Shrine of St Anthony of Padua, Ellicott City, MD, on the Solemnity of St Joseph of Cupertino (the day was a solemnity because the friary is dedicated to the honor of Cupertino).

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Friar Gabriel is one of two men who Franciscan Conventuals from New Haven, CT. There is 1 Capuchin also from New Haven.

You may ask what is a “Conventual Franciscan”? Some may hear the terms “black Franciscans” or “Grey Friars” or even “community of Franciscans”. All are synonyms. The friars are called “black” or “grey” Franciscans due to the color of the habit worn.
The friars themselves define themselves in their Constitutions as “… a community founded by St. Francis of Assisi under the name of Friars Minor. From its earliest times the word conventual was added to this name. The members of the Order are called Friars minor Conventual. From its found our community by the will of our Father St. Francis, is a true fraternity. Its members, therefore, as brothers of a single family, share in the life and work of the community ….”
Further it is stated that “St. Francis wanted his brothers to be known as Friars Minor ‘so that…from the very name itself his disciples might realize that they had come to the school of the humble Christ to learn humility.” Plus it is said that the “friars are united in a conventual fraternity, in the proper sense of that term, so as to foster greater dedication, a more regular life, a more fervent divine office, a better formation of candidates, the study of theology, and the other works of the apostolate in the service of the Church of God so that, especially under the guidance of Mary Immaculate, the Kingdom of Christ may be extended throughout the world.”

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So, Gabriel become a member of the venerable order founded by the saint himself. But what does “profession of vows” mean? According to the Constitutions, one’s profession of vows means that friars:
  • “dedicate themselves directly and entirely to God in a special manner;
  • are conformed more exactly to the type of life Christ the Lord chose for Himself and are united in a special way to the Church and her saving mission;
  • stimulate the fervor of their charity through a fuller expression of their baptismal consecration, progress in the life of pilgrims and penitents, and voluntarily deny themselves goods and otherwise highly esteemed.”
Also, it is taught that “By their very nature the three vows bind under pain of serious sin.” Everything we do has some type of implication.

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Folding his hands between those of the Father Minister Provincial Justin Biase, and resting them on the Evangeliary, Friar Gabriel said:
To the praise and glory of the Most Holy Trinity! I, friar Gabriel Mary Scasino inspired by divine grace to follow the Gospel more closely in the footsteps of our Lord, Jesus Christ, with firm faith and will, in the presence of my brothers, into your hands friar Justin, vow to God, the holy and omnipotent Father, to live for three years of my life in obedience, without anything of my own, and in chastity, and I also promise to observe faithfully the life and Rule of the Friars Minor confirmed by Pope Honorius, according to the Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual. Therefore, I commit myself to this fraternity with my whole heart, so that, by the working of the Holy Spirit, the example of Mary Immaculate, the intercession of our Father Francis and all the saints, with the help of brothers in the service of God, the Church and humanity, I may attain perfect charity. (Vow formula, OFM Conventual)
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One striking promise made to Gabriel by the Provincial upon receiving the vows is that “if you [Gabriel Mary] observe them [the vows], I promise you life everlasting.” The certainty is what impressed me; the certainty that the Franciscan way of life, if observed, leads one to the personal encounter with God. Very few instances in the Christian life, in addition to Baptism and the holy Eucharist, can make this assertion with faithfulness and Truth.
The video of the vow ceremony can be seen here and other pics here.

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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