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Thursday, May. 23rd 2019

Br. Joseph professes solemn vows as a monk of Conception Abbey

VIDEO: Solemn Profession of Monastic Vows for Br. Joseph O’Neill

CONCEPTION, Mo. – On the Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, May 18, 2019, Br. Joseph O’Neill, OSB, professed solemn vows as a monk of Conception Abbey in the presence of his family, friends, seminarians, and his monastic confreres.
In the ceremony, Br. Joseph made a perpetual commitment to live as a monk of Conception’s monastery, vowing obedience, stability, and conversion of life.
After the proclamation of the Gospel, Prior Br. Anselm Broom, OSB, brought Br. Joseph to the altar with hands joined. Abbot Benedict Neenan, OSB, began the rite by calling forth Br. Joseph in the name of the whole community. The abbot sang, “Come, my son, hear me.  I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”  Br. Joseph began his intention to profess vows before the Abbot, the community, and before Almighty God.

 After the Abbot’s admonition, Br. Joseph came forward to profess vows, by reading aloud his profession document and signing it on the Book of the Gospels on the altar.

Br. Joseph then signed his profession document, stood before the altar, and prayed, “Suscipe me, Domine, secundum eloquium tuum et vivam, et non confundas me ab expectatione mea (Psalm 119:116- Receive me, Lord, as you have promised, and I shall live; do not disappoint me in my hope). He sang this prayer three times, each time he was repeated by the solemnly professed members of the monastic community, who then add the doxology. It is a prayer of total surrender and trust in the Lord.
Then, the newly professed Br. Joseph lay prostrate on the floor as he was covered with the black funeral pall and the funeral bell tolls, which is symbolic of his death to self and his former way of life. The entire assembly then prayed together for Br. Joseph.  

Following the Litany of Saints and Prayer of Consecration, the funeral pall was removed, and Br. Joseph stood, receiving new life in Christ. He stood before the Abbot to receive the cuculla, the pleated robe worn by the solemnly professed members. The Abbot and the solemnly professed monks congratulated him with the Kiss of Peace, which seals his permanent fraternity in the community of Conception Abbey.

Originally from Grand Island Nebraska, Br. Joseph’s life experiences include seminary formation at Conception Seminary College, monastic life at St. Pius X Piory, and married life. He then returned to Conception Abbey for visits and to begin the discernment process for re-entering monastic life. Br. Joseph professed simple vows on May 20, 2017.

For more information about the process of becoming a monk, visit https://www.conceptionabbey.org/monastery/becoming-a-monk/.


The common life of work, prayer, and reflection shared by the monks who call Conception Abbey home is the heart of Conception. A Benedictine monastery dedicated to praising God in our daily cycle of work and prayer, we minister in Christ-like service to all people by welcoming visitors at the Abbey Guest Center, spreading the Gospel through The Printery House, educating and forming priests at the Seminary College and in our community as we are called. The monks also provide pastoral ministry in parishes, hospitals, and religious houses. 

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