The First Profession video of Brothers Nick, Joe, and Colin of the Midwest and Eastern Provinces. If you have never seen a Profession before, this gives you a good idea of what the ceremony looks like!
Ad multos annos!
Check it out, very well done! My Profession did not have a videographer, but this will give a good idea of what it was like :)
Reflection given at Vespers to the house community I live in here in Chicago, some is more relevant to our community… but you may find this helpful in your own way. -Br. Max
While our calendar year starts in January, I’ve more often thought of the New Year as beginning in September. September is a time of new beginnings. This is especially true this year for our community, as seven of us, including our prior, are new to this house. But even for those who are returning, we know that no two years in a formation house are ever the same. Some of our community members are away on their pastoral year, while others have just returned from one. Some of us are preparing for graduation, while myself and others are finally remembering which classrooms our classes are in on the 3rd floor at CTU. Some members of our community are longtime residents of Chicago and know the ins and outs of the city, while a few of us are still figuring out that taking the 94-E takes you South, and that taking the Eden expressway at rush hour does not, in fact, take you to paradise (though it may feel like an eternity).
We are building new routines, beginning new ministries, beginning at new schools, and ultimately, beginning anew our lives together in community, on the journey towards God. All of this newness can bring with it a great deal of fear and trepidation. The 27th Psalm this evening spoke especially to me as I reflected upon it this afternoon “Though war break out against me, even then would I trust” [pause] “on a rock he sets me safe”. These words provided me with great affirmation amidst all the newness and the many unknowns that I have been working through these last four weeks. The psalm is challenging us to trust that this newness will transform ourselves over time for the better. It is through experiencing instability that we can become more stable, through going the wrong way that we build our sense of direction, and through being the new kid at school that we form new friendships.
In meditating upon this Psalm, we find that our hope is in the Lord. That only He is the one able to make the seemingly crooked paths of our lives straight. This is because the Lord is the one who pitches His tent amidst the tribulations and troubles of our lives. We are not alone as we go through our lives. God is with us. With this knowledge that God is in our midst as we journey towards Him, I will close with the final lines of the Psalm. I pray that it offers each of you consolation as you apply it to the many newnesses of your own lives in this new year, “Hope in him, hold firm and take heart/ Hope in the Lord!”
Chicago will have a new Archbishop! As a new resident of Chicago, I am excited to share in the beginnings of Bishop Cupich’s term at the helm of this wonderful archdiocese.
A local diocese is rudderless without it’s bishop. This is also true in mendicant life, where our house is led by a prior, the first among the brothers. I realized this on August 28th, St. Augustine’s Day, when our prior who had not yet moved in (just moved in today!) came to celebrate Mass in house with us. Fr. Jim began the Mass, and I suddenly realized that we as a house of 14 friars were finally whole, we had our prior. Celebrating Eucharist with him was a life giving experience where I truly experienced “wholeness” as a community and related that experience to that of the entire local Church, in Communion with the local bishop.
I don’t care if the commentators say the Bishop is a win for Camp A or Camp B. Whenever you meet said person, you find they have a greater depth and complexity than any commentator ascribed to them to fit their particular agenda.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is a large and heavy yolk to bear, please join me in praying for Bishop Cupich in these weeks before his installation. Pray that his time in the archdiocese be fruitful and lead to a growth in the Church here in Chicago and the surrounding region. Amen.
I am proposing these mysteries in solidarity with the millions of our brothers and sisters who live in the shadows of our society. It is my prayer that these mysteries may be meditated upon by all, especially those undergoing great suffering. I pray that they may find solace in the hardships faced…
Reblogging to update the title in it from novice to “OSA”
The bishop of San Diego, Cirilo Flores, has been diagnosed with untreatable cancer, and his earthly life will end in the coming months. Pray for him, and pray for the San Diego Diocese, in some sense my home diocese. Bishop Cirilo was barely on the job for a year before suffering a massive stroke, and never fully recovering until this more recent news broke.
On the feast of Our Mother of Consolation, we Augustinians honor Mary who, according to popular tradition, gave St. Monica the cincture of our Order. I received this cincture when I was invested with the habit at the beginning of novitiate, so not quite as exciting, but here it is :)
Today in the Augustinian order it is the Solemnity of Our Mother of Consolation. Our Lady is venerated under this title as patroness of our Order. The picture above is a depiction of this title, and I selected it to be on the worship aid for my First Profession. The legend associated with the image is that during one of St. Monica’s trials, she was “consoled” by the Virgin Mary, who gave her the cincture of the Augustinian Order as a symbol of her presence through her trials.
While the story associated with the story makes for nice popular piety, the more important aspect of the feast is celebrating Mary and Jesus as those who are with us amidst our trials and sufferings; and even more so, that Our Lady and Jesus bring about true consolation to life’s worries and problems.
The title of the feast can be a bit misleading. The title refers to Jesus as being our Consoler, making Mary in turn the “mother” of our consolation. Mary has been honored under four titles historically by the Augustinians; as Our Mother of Good Counsel, Our Lady of Grace, Our Mother of Consolation, and Our Lady of Help (this title was “given” [stolen lol] to the Redemptorist order by Pope Pius IX in 1865).
Let us celebrate Mary this day as the Mother of our Consolation, our Help, our Counsel, and our Grace!
For the Augustinian family, these are two of our most special feast days, and they come back to back! This evening we will be celebrating Mass and a special dinner at our parish in New Lenox, IL. Tomorrow there is an orientation for new students in Chicago. Later that evening we will have a social and a nice dinner at the house. Happy times in community!