Brs. Abel, Joseph make solemn vows at Gethsemani

Two of Gethsemani’s junior monks made solemn profession on July 11, the Feast of St. Benedict. After five years of formation, Br. Abel Arbuckle and Br. Joseph Bender made perpetual vows of stability, obedience and fidelity to the monastic way of life at the Abbey.

For months it remained uncertain whether this milestone would need to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, restrictions were lifted in time. The church was opened to the public a week prior, and family members were able to attend.

The solemn profession of a monk is a serious commitment to God and the community to which one is called. The monk writes out his vows and signs them during Mass, placing the document (known as a profession schedule) on the altar with the gifts to be consecrated. This consecration is not taken lightly and comes only after many years of discernment on the part of the professed and the community to which he is bound.

While a “solemn” occasion, a monk’s solemn profession is a joyful moment for the professed, the community and the Church. In this case it was made all the more special by having two brothers make this commitment in one day – the first such event at Gethsemani in many years.

Please join the monks in thanking God for the gift these brothers have offered – the gift of their very lives – and pray that they joyfully persevere in the path to which God has called them.