Thursday, July 17, 2008

Back from the West

It's been a while since I last blogged, as I've been rather busy with essays etc (which are still plaguing me a bit, so this has to be brief too. More later, I promise.)

I have just returned from a fortnight in WA where the highlight was spending a week and a half in the Benedictine community of New Norcia. After spending a week there last year as part of one of my class units, I was determined to return again, so this was my return visit.

The timing was specifically to coincide with the Feast Day of St Benedict (11 July) not only because it's pretty cool to be in a Benedictine community on their special feast day, but also because a friend who I had met on my last visit was to be "monked" on this day.

Dom Glenn Swallow was clothed as a novice during my last visit, and on the Feast of St Benedict this year, he made his Simple Profession as a monk (ie committing himself to the monastery and monastic life for the next three years. After that, if it is evident to him and the community that God is calling him to this lifestyle as a permanent thing, he will then make his Solemn Profession, which is for life).

It was a great privilege to attend Dom Glenn's Profession, which was a ceremony performed as part of a special Mass, and as a friend of Glenn's I was asked to read one of the Scripture passages in the service. It was a very moving ceremony, and I'm very glad I was able to be there. As part of the ceremony, Glenn was dressed by the Abbot in the monastic hood and scapula that go over the tunic he had been wearing as a novice, as a sign of his profession and commitment. The picture shows him in his full monastic finery after the event.