Suscipe Me, Domine, Br. Simeon professes solemn vows
Br. Simeon Johnson desired to begin monastic life through the inspiration of St. Benedict and to imitate Sacred Scripture. Simplicity, the desire for obedience, and a quiet confidence in God characterize the monastic life. So, it was fitting for Br. Simeon to receive the quiet prophet of Luke 2:25-32 as his monastic patron. Br. Simeon explains that he is drawn to emulate his monastic patron because “he was righteous and devout. He sought the Lord, listened to Him, and patiently waited for Him.” Because Br. Simeon is musically gifted, it is also fitting that his patron has a prominent place in the Liturgy of the Hours. Every evening during the Office of Compline, the community recites Simeon’s reaction upon seeing the long-awaited savior in the temple, reminding all Christians to listen attentively to the Lord and to thank Him for His loving, mysterious plan of salvation.
Once a monk professes solemn vows, he is often challenged to pursue monastic life in new circumstances. Br. Simeon is no exception. After professing solemn vows on August 15, 2022, Br. Simeon began pursuing a Master of Arts in Liturgical Music at St. John’s University, which is run by the Benedictine monks of St. John’s Abbey in Minnesota. Attending graduate school away from Conception Abbey presents particular challenges to a monk who has just professed solemn vows, and Br. Simeon has already learned that “being in graduate school requires a different lifestyle than the one I’ve had the past four years. It took a little time for me to adjust. Class schedules and monastic events sometimes don’t line up, so I occasionally have to miss liturgies and community events here in order to attend class.”
But the vow of Conversatio Morum (Fidelity to the Monastic Way of Life) can be followed in different circumstances, and living at another Benedictine Abbey helps Br. Simeon remain faithful to the monastic way of life as he pursues his education: “Living in another Benedictine monastery makes this easier since both monasteries share the basic monastic values, ideals, and heritage.”
— Br. Anselm Broom, OSB
Monastic Formation Director