Thursday, June 3, 2010
First new Monk in 20 years.
By Vernon Khelawan
The community of the monastery at Mount St Benedict last Saturday (May 1) welcomed its first monastic profession in two decades.
Brother Lance Herbert signs his “Chart of Profession” after making his final profession as a Benedictine monk last Saturday at the Abbey Church, Mount St Benedict.
The last such profession was made by the current Abbot, John Pereira, 20 years ago.
Making his profession two Saturdays ago was Lancelot Julien Herbert, who was born in St John Village, which lies at the foot of the hill. No stranger to the monastery, Brother Lance taught carpentry and other vocational subjects for many years at the St Bede Vocational School, which was started by the late Fr Bede, one of the early Dutch monks at the Abbey.
In accepting Bro Lance into the community, where he has been training for the last five years, Abbot Pereira reminded the packed congregation at the Abbey church about the close linkages between the monastery and St John Village which were developed from its inception nearly 100 years ago.
The Abbot said Bro Lance’s profession has given the community great hope because the past 20 years had been very lean ones for the Abbey as many of the older monks and brothers had passed. New vocations remained non-existent, he added, so that Bro Lance’s profession served as a shining light in the vocations darkness.
Bro Lance was moved to tears and had to pause as he made his request for profession. He asked the Abbot, “Father, I now ask to be allowed to make profession for life in this monastic community, for the glory of God and the service of the Church.”
On the altar, Bro Lance read and later signed his Chart of Profession, following which he showed it to the entire community. He then knelt in front of the Abbot, who prayed over him the solemn blessing of a monk.
Lucille Herbert, the new monk’s mother, as well as sister Lorna and brother Leroy were present for the ceremony. Vicar General Monsignor Christian Pereira, brother of Abbot Pereira, concelebrated.
The Abbot invited the congregation to meet Bro Lance during a sharing outside the abbey church after the ceremony.