Two moments in the life of a consecrated religious: first profession of vows and final or solemn profession of vows mark what many would consider to be the most significant milestones in the formation process. The first inaugurates the full life as a member of a religious order. The second binds a Catholic for life to service of the Church and espousal to Jesus Christ. However, a lesser known but just as necessary step in the lives of so many members of religious orders within the Church is the humble renewal of vows.
The formation process is both period of growth as well as continued period of discernment. The simply professed brother or sister is working towards that point of development wherein their community, their order, and their Church all with one voice confirm God’s call for him or her to a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience for the sake of the Gospel and to the glory of God. The occasion of the renewal of vows is an opportunity for the professed member to take stock and determine whether they have deepened in their commitment to religious life. It is also an occasion for the religious community to assess the progress of the member’s formation and either to encourage him or her to continue or allow them to pursue a vocation in another form of life (e.g. married life).
On Monday August 8th, the Solemnity of our Holy Father Dominic, Br. Nick Monco, OP, and I renewed our simple vows in our priory chapel in St. Louis. Present to witness our vows were the St. Dominic Priory community, friars from St. Louis Bertrand House, and other friends of the Order here in St. Louis. We give thanks to God for our vocations and pray that Lord will continue to inspire young men and women to follow in the footsteps of our Holy Father Dominic! Please pray for vocations. Our Lady of the Rosary…Pray for us!