I...promise obedience...until death. With these words Br. Paul Byrd made his solemn profession and committed himself to the brotherhood and the mission of the Order of Friars Preachers for life. Fr. Michael Mascari accepted Br. Paul’s vows on behalf of the Master of the Order as one of his final official acts before his own term as provincial expired at midnight that June 8. In doing so he committed the Order to helping Br. Paul grow in holiness and providing for his needs.
The main chapel at the Cabrini Retreat Center was packed full of brothers along with Br. Paul’s family and friends who had traveled from as far away as New Mexico to witness the occasion. The mass was celebrated by Fr. Mascari with Fr. Donald Goergen (the house prior) and Fr. David Wright (the Master of Students) as the principal concelebrants. The Mass of Solemn Profession ended the annual assembly held every summer in which all the friars of the province can meet in one place to pray, hear presentations, catch up with old friends, and, of course, eat.
Br. Paul made vows as a cooperator brother, which means that he will work as a full member of the province but without going on to receive Holy Orders. No current member of this province has made solemn vows as a cooperator since 1989, making Br. Paul’s profession an important milestone in this province’s own history, hopefully harbinger of things to come. May God bless him on his way.