Br. Mark professes simple vows within monastic community

The monks of Conception Abbey welcomed Br. Mark Nelson, OSB, in his ceremony of simple profession on Thursday, October 7, 2021, the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.

For a religious community, receiving a new member is a sign of joy and vitality and a vivid reminder of God’s grace and mercy working among them. We give thanks to God the Father for his many blessings and pray that he sends his Holy Spirit to inspire other young people by the examples of these men who have given their lives to God.

In the Rite of First Profession, Novice Andrew Nelson was presented to Abbot Benedict Neenan, OSB, by novice master Rev. Xavier Nacke, OSB, who attested to his commitment to the monastic way of life. The abbot then asked him what he seeks. Having heard the novice’s response, he gave him an admonition, pointing out the difficulties of the life he wishes to embrace and how he can use the rosary in his religious life.

The novice was then questioned again, this time regarding this willingness to renounce the ways of the world, to promise stability of commitment in the community, and to persevere in the monastic way of life through obedience.

As a symbol of conversion, the abbot then announced the novice’s new monastic name. Novice Andrew became Br. Mark, named after St. Mark the Evangelist, author of the second Gospel account.

Br. Mark read the profession document he wrote beforehand and signed it at the altar.

The outward sign of First Profession was then conferred. The abbot removed the shorter novice scapular from the newly professed and clothed him with the long scapular of professed members of the community. The rite concluded as all the members of the community exchanged the sign of peace with the newly professed monk.

During the next three years, Br. Mark will begin a permanent work assignment with greater responsibility in the community as he continues his monastic formation.

After three years and the approval of the community, Br. Mark is eligible to make solemn vows, a lifetime commitment, which is the total gift of self in consecration to God.

What is a Benedictine monk? What kind of vows do they profess? What does a monk’s day look like? What is the process to become a monk? Find all this and more at https://www.conceptionabbey.org/monastery/vocations/.