Thursday, August 25, 2011

St.Bernard monk professes first vows

Br. Thomas Wesley Jones, a monk at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, was joined by family and friends on Monday, August 15, 2011, for his Profession of First Monastic Vows.

The celebration the Mass and the vows ceremony was held in the Abbey Church with Abbot Cletus Meagher, O.S.B., serving as main celebrant. After Br. Thomas professed his vows, he sign the document on the altar of the Abbey Church with Fr. Marcus Voss, O.S.B., and Fr. Joel Martin, O.S.B., serving as official witnesses.

“It is an old and revered tradition for novices to profess their first vows a year and a day from the date of entering the monastic community as a novice,” said Abbot Cletus. “As outlined in the Rule of St. Benedict, we commit our whole life to Christ in a specific monastic community by professing our vows. We give everything away and our whole being belongs to God and to the community of brothers among whom we work and pray as we strive towards the heavenly Kingdom.”

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Br. Thomas is the oldest of three children born to Michael and Rosemary Jones. He attended Bevill State Community College for two years before transferring to the University of North Alabama where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He spent the next six years working for the Association of Retarded Citizens in Fayette, Alabama.

The profession of “First Monastic Vows” binds a person to live as a monk for three years. During these three years, Br. Thomas plans to work at Ave Maria Grotto where he is apprenticing with Leo Schwaiger in the repair and maintenance of the miniatures. He will also help maintain the four acre garden park that provides the setting for the miniatures created by Br. Joseph Zoettl.

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