Monthly Archives: September 2018

Monastic Formation: Making a Monk

This article describes in brief the process of monastic formation that a man goes through to become a monk. This is how it happens at Conception Abbey. Other monasteries may have different procedures or terminology.

First Steps

Those just visiting the community may be termed “prospects” or “candidates.” Either term may be used interchangeably. Vocation guests may be allowed to eat with the monks or to sit with us in our choir stalls at prayer. They may also get opportunities to work with one or more of the monks.

After a period of discernment and communication with the vocation director, a man may decide to ask to test his vocation within the community. After completing an application process and being accepted by the vocations committee, he may come to live with us. At this point we call him a postulant. He has “postulated” himself as a potential member of the community.

Becoming a Novice

If the postulant and the community discern that it is God’s will, he may next proceed to a more formal period of monastic formation or training as a “novice.” According to church law, the “novitiate” or period of being a novice must last at least one year. So if you enter novitiate in August, you could, God willing, profess vows a year and a day later, the following August.

Simple Vows

A new monk first professes vows that will last for three years. During this time, he is a “junior” monk. He receives a new name at profession and is called “Brother.”

Supporting Those in Monastic Formation

Young men in the process of discernment and monastic formation need lots of prayers. Please pray for our novices. Pray, too, that God will send us more good men to seek God in the monastic life. If you know someone making vows, send a card.

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What is a Mass Card?

A Mass card is a greeting card that is sent to a person to inform them that they, or a deceased loved-one, will be remembered and prayed for in the intentions at a Mass. The most common occasion for offering a Mass is for the repose of a departed soul. The saints and early church fathers spoke of remembering the dead at the Mass, and encouraging the faithful to pray for those who have died. Other popular occasions include Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas and special intentions.

Here at the Printery House we are making it easy for you to send your prayers and intentions through a Mass Card. With our two card sets, you will receive a card for you to send to the person for whom you are requesting the Mass, and another card for you to send to the parish or priest where you would like to have the Mass offered. Each of these cards comes with an envelope for mailing. Choose between our Mass Cards for the Intentions of the Living and Mass Cards for the Intentions of the Deceased. 

Mass Set for the Intentions of the Deceased 
Mass Set for the Intentions of the Living

Whether is it is for the repose of a departed soul, the anniversary of a departed soul, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter, or any other special intention, these Mass cards are a beautiful way to bring comfort, joy and hope to a loved one.   

Click here to see more information on these and other Mass cards:    Printery House Mass Cards

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Bringing the Gospel to Every Person and to Every Situation

As a pastor, it is easy to gravitate in the direction of the people we see every day, or the people we like, or the people that can carry on an educated conversation about their faith.  However, these are not the people who need my attention or need me to reach out to them.  The people who need me the most are the people who I have never seen at church, or the ones who only come at Christmas or Easter.  When I became the General Manager of The Printery House two years ago, I discovered a creative and interesting way that Pastors reach out to their parishioners.  At Christmas and Easter time, Pastors would choose a card and have us imprint the Mass/Services schedule on the left inside of the card.  They would also write a little message of their own and sign the card.  They would then send this card to every member within the parish.  This is a small way of reaching out to everyone within our community, but it is also a powerful way to let people know that you are thinking of them.

While approaching someone about their faith can make for an awkward conversation, it is even more awkward to be on the receiving end of that conversation.  The invitation to faith comes to each of us in a different way, for some it is a tiny whisper and for others it comes to us like a bolt of lighting with the crack of thunder that follows.  There is no secret formula in coming to faith.  However, we can ask ourselves some important questions that can help us invite others to faith: Where am I currently at within my own faith journey? With whom do I put my faith and hope in?  How do my actions lead others closer to Christ, or do my actions lead people away from God?  If I were to invite someone to go to church with me who would I invite?  Why them?  How do I invite them so that they are not threatened (or feel that I am judging them), but are able to see me authentically asking them to journey with me in seeking God?

In asking these questions we will have a better understanding of our own faith and where we authentically are at within our own faith journey.  Having answered these basic questions we will not be thrown off when asked and we will be more confident with who we are and who we are in relationship with God.

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