Click here for homily given by Fr. Stan.
On Saturday evening, Aug. 26, shortly after First Vespers for the Feast of Saint Bernard, the monks of Mepkin gathered in the chapter room with Abbot Stan. We assembled to pray with Father Jim Caffrey, who having completed the year of living with us a postulant, had asked to receive the novice habit. In the brief but meaningful ceremony, Father Jim surrendered his white hooded postulant shirt, and not only received the white robe, white scapular, white cloth belt and white cloak of a novice, but took on a new name as well. He will now be known by the name Father Columba. This change in his name will acknowledge his beginning a new chapter in his relationship with God and us. I also gives a nod to his roots in Ireland and the great Saint Columba as well as the learned Dom Columba Marmion, a well-known Irish Benedictine abbot and spiritual author.
A novice’s clothing ceremony begins with reading from selected passages from the Prologue of the Rule of Saint Benedict and Chapter 72 on the zeal of good monks. It calls the new novice to an attentive living of the monastic way with an exhortation to use well this time of formation, reminding the rest of the community to live well their commitment to follow Christ and live the gospel in the monastic way. You may read Abbot Stan’s words from the ceremony elsewhere on our website.
We know you share our joy, are grateful to all who pray with us and ask you to pray for Father Columba as well as those who are discerning a call to join us.