Monday, August 22, 2011

Br. Benedict professes final vows

St. Bernard Abbey rejoices as another member of their monastery entered final vows on August 20, the feast day of St. Bernard. The Solomn Profession of Br. Benedict Dyar was held in the Abbey Church with Abbot Cletus Meagher, OSB, servings as the Main Celebrant.

Br. Benedict, a native of Opelika, AL, said, “This was the biggest day of my life. It really means the world to me and it’s like placing a seal on the vocation.”

“The Carthusian monks call it the eternal vow.” Br. Benedict continued. “This is a commitment for life and I never could have gotten to this point without my monastic confers in the monastery.”

“The ceremony for the final profession of vows has much symbolism,” said Br. Benedict. “For one, there is a full prostration at the foot of the altar just before praying the Litany of the Saints. A funeral pall is then placed over those to make final vows. The Litany is sung asking all the saints of God to come to their aid,” Br. Benedict said. “When the pall is removed the person arises symbolic of coming out of the waters of baptism. A caculla, large black garment, is placed over the outer garment worn by monks and is used as a reminder of their final profession of vows. It is worn on Sundays and feast days of the church, and symbolized that person has vowed their lives in service to the Lord.”

Remembering his early years trying to discern his vocation, Br. Benedict said, “I will never forget trying to discern my vocation. When I walked inside the Abbey Church for the first time, I felt right at home, But I was concerned about having to live in one place for the rest of my life. It wasn’t until I actually came to the monastery and started to live here that I understood the value of stability and why we do things as a community.”

Br. Benedict said, “The joys overcome the challenges of living in a community of men. God challenges each one of us to be satisfied with the portions he has received. I think this has been the right choice for me and I am very grateful.”

Br. Benedict has enrolled for the fall term at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, to complete his Master of Arts degree with a concentration on monastic studies.

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