Father Liem Nguyen (center), Benedictine novice master at Mount Angel Abbey, leads Fr. Michael Shrum (left) and Brother Ambrose Stewart to the altar to make their simple vows on Sept. 8.
Father Liem Nguyen (center), Benedictine novice master at Mount Angel Abbey, leads Fr. Michael Shrum (left) and Brother Ambrose Stewart to the altar to make their simple vows on Sept. 8.
ST. BENEDICT — Three Benedictine monks made vows earlier this month.

On Sept. 8 and 13, the community at Mount Angel Abbey gathered in the abbey church to celebrate the Mass of Simple Profession and the Mass of Solemn Profession, respectively.

Two novices, Brody Stewart and Father Jack Shrum, made simple vows of stability, obedience, and conversion of life for a period of three years. Bother La Vang Nguyen made the same vows for life in his solemn profession. The men were joined by family, friends and guests, including priests and seminarians.

During the homily for the Mass on Sept. 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Abbot Jeremy Driscoll directly addressed the two novices, saying, “What you do shows us with clarity … what we are all meant to be in Christ Jesus.” After the homily, the two made their monastic vows, signing their profession documents on the altar and displaying them to those gathered as witnesses of their promise. The newly professed monks also announced their new monastic names, signifying putting on the “new man” in Christ. Stewart is now Brother Ambrose; Father Shrum is now Father Michael.

For the Mass of Solemn Profession on Sept. 13, Abbot Jeremy commended Brother La Vang for being a “cheerful giver,” reminding him that “solemn monastic vows are a bountiful reaping, and there is much promise in this for the one who does it.”

After making his monastic vows, Brother La Vang received the cuculla, the pleated choir robe worn by solemnly professed monks. During the entire eucharistic prayer, Brother La Vang prostrated himself on the sanctuary floor, covered with a black pall in the ancient act of “mystical burial,” dying to the old man and rising in Christ.