Two monks celebrate jubilees

Gethsemani Abbey celebrated one monk’s 50 years of priestly ordination and another monk’s 25 years of vows during Mass on Nov. 22, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Fr. Carlos was ordained a priest by Pope St. Paul VI in the Philippines on Nov. 27, 1970. To celebrate his Golden Jubilee of ordination, Fr. Carlos served as principal celebrant at Mass and spoke to the community in Chapter. There, he talked about his journey from life as a typical teenager to that of a diocesan seminarian protesting against dictatorship, then moving on to serve as parish priest and chaplain in the Society of the Divine Word. Finally, after two years of what he called “fighting” a call to contemplative life, he entered the Abbey of Gethsemani. “I had the confidence to say, ‘If he calls me here, he will help me – and I was right,'” Fr. Carlos said.

Br. Gaëtan made his first profession of vows on Nov. 26, 1995. Originally from Canada, he spent time at the Trappist monastery of Lantau in Hong Kong before entering Gethsemani. In commemoration of his Silver Jubilee, Br. Gaëtan renewed his vows of stability, conversion of manners and obedience during Mass. Standing before the abbot and surrounded by brothers praying for him, he proclaimed, “I confirm my profession today in thanksgiving for the past and with humble confidence for the future, sustained by the mercy of God and the prayer of the Brothers.”

Jubilees are joyful occasions for the entire community. As Fr. James explained in the Mass homily, “Today we give thanks to God for our Fr. Carlos and our Br. Gaëtan who have withstood the trails and hardships of 50 and 25 years. But their years are intertwined with our years – yours and mine – for we are ultimately called to be the one Christ offering ourselves and all creation to the Father.”

Please join us in saying a prayer of gratitude for Fr. Carlos and Br. Gaëtan’s faithful and cheerful perseverance. Ad multos annos!