Today we have the joy of celebrating our Br. Benedict Drgan’s Golden Anniversary of solemn profession. During Mass today he solemnly renewed his vows after which he joined his family at Bethany House for a festive meal.
Br. Benedict, from Manhattan, New York, entered the community at 19 years of age back in the days when it was not uncommon for men and women to commit themselves to following Christ in religious life at an early age and made his solemn profession on May 27, 1965.
During his 55 years of monastic life he served, and continues to serve, the community operating our laundry, as cook and ace oven operator in our Monks’ Bread bakery. At one point he spent 11 years helping out at Novo Mundo, our daughter house in Brazil.
Still going strong we congratulate and thank our Br. Benedict for persevering steadfast in his vocation all these years and continue wishing him well and praying for his perseverance.
Today we expect the arrival of Fr. John Vidmar, OP, associate professor of theology at Providence College Rhode Island where he also teaches history and serves as provincial archivist. He will be with us for a full week giving us daily conferences as part of our community continuing formation program.
Having specialized in such fields as monasticism, the popes, the inquisition, the reformation, 19th century Catholicism we look forward to his talks.
There is something within the human person that longs for something more. We call it by various names: a holy longing, an ache for the infinite, an openness to the transcendent, or simply yearning for love.
There is a sense of incompleteness about ourselves and an awareness that we are not whole by ourselves alone. We are structured for the other, and it is only an infinite Other that can fully satisfy what is an infinite desire.
This desire manifests itself as a quest for wholeness, for holiness, for Spirit. We are aware that there is something missing in life, and we often look for it in the wrong places – not that all the places are wrong; they are just the wrong places for satiating this thirst for Spirit.
Monks or nuns, vowed religious women and men, sanyasi and bodhisattvas, are in the end, no different from the rest of us. They have simply made their quest more visible so that it become something we can identify. The interior becomes exterior.
Fire of Love
Donald J. Goergen, OP