It has been a busy week here at Saint John’s!
On Monday at Morning Prayer, we clothed a new novice, Novice Nicholas Moe, with the habit and welcomed him to the community. His family was present for the investiture and they had some time to visit with him afterward before he began his novitiate retreat. For the next several days Nick was on retreat, praying and worshiping with the community, but taking his meals separately and, for the most part, keeping silence.
Yesterday, July 11, the Feast of Saint Benedict, three monks professed their solemn vows of stability, conversion through a monastic way of life, and obedience according to the Rule of our Holy Father Benedict. The monastic community proclaimed, “We accept them. We welcome them. Thanks be to God!” as Br. Nickolas Kleespie, OSB, Br. Michael-Leonard Hahn, OSB, and Br. Lewis Grobe, OSB stood before Abbot John and the gathered assembly prepared to profess their vows. Each of the three in turn approached the abbot to declare his vows and then signed the vow statement on the altar of the Abbey Church. Then they lifted their hands and chanted the Suscipe, “Sustain me, O Lord, as you have promised that I may live; and disappoint me not in my hope.” Following the Mass with the Rite of Monastic Profession, the monastic community gathered outside the church, beneath the bell banner to exchange the Pax (Sign of Peace) with the newly professed and the men celebrating jubilees of 50 and 60 years of monastic profession.
So, it has been quite a week–three new solemnly professed members of the community, and a novice beginning his period of intense formation in the monastic way. Life is good here at the Abbey!