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On a Vocation to Holy Orders

Preparation

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May the peace of Christ be with you and yours.

The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict (WRMOSB) provide a context for those called to and interested in realizing their participation in the ministerial priesthood of Christ. An aspirant does not have to be a monk to be a priest. A vocation to Orders is one vocation. A vocation to monasticism is yet another.

The WRMOSB are neither Eastern Catholic nor Liberal Catholic, Old Catholic nor Roman Catholic. The WRMOSB are just Catholic. The WRMOSB acknowledge their Eastern, Old, and Roman Catholic origins, accepting as their own prayer the prayer of the Christ: May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I in you... (John 17:21). The WRMOSB tend, therefore, to address their catholicity in terms of the Old Catholic tradition as expressed by St. Vincent of Lèrins' suggestion:

Let us hold to what has been believed everywhere, always and by all, for that us truly and properly catholic.
The Old Catholic tradition addresses ecumenism in the spirit of Peter Meiderline (and possibly St. Augustine and/or Pope John XXIII):
In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.
The WRMOSB address their acknowledgment of the Holy Spirit working in the Church by following as guidelines the documents of Vatican II, statements and traditions of the Old Catholic Church movement and foremost, Sacred Scripture.

A person feeling oneself drawn to the ministerial priesthood, seeing oneself serving others as a ministerial priest, or hearing oneself called to the ministerial priesthood has opened a window of possibility. Initially, all that the WRMOSB ask is that such a person assume the presence of an Apostle being asked by Christ to join him — to leave what they are doing and follow him. The Apostles served a three year, hands-on apprenticeship. This apprenticeship included the opportunity for personal denial of Christ, succumbing to personal fear. Obviously, the Apostles overcame their fear as evidenced by Christianity present in the world today, with all its faults and benefits.

An aspirant, as did the Apostles, discovers just what it means to be a servant, as Christ served others, by being Present to others. As an aid in this process, the WRMOSB offers the following program of experiences, an educational component complementing aninstructional component, a spiritual component, and a practice component that an aspirant may use as a point of departure in discovering if the ministerial priesthood is a viable vocation at this time.

The Path of Discovery

Institution of Reader:

When appropriate, as the Bishop and aspirant determine in consultation with representatives of the People of God, the Bishop will confer the office of Reader. This conferment, as that of Acolyte, is not an ordination, but an institution. The Reader receives an appointment to read the word of God, except the Gospel, in liturgical assemblies. The Reader presents the intentions for the General Intercessions, directs the singing and the participation of the People of God, instructs the People of God for worthy reception of the sacraments. The Reader, in sum, acquires a warm and living love and knowledge of Scripture that will evidence in a more compassionate presence to others.

Institution of Acolyte:

When appropriate, as the Bishop and aspirant determine in consultation with the People of God, the Bishop will confer the office of Acolyte. The acolyte aids the deacon and ministers to the priest. The Acolyte's duty is to attend to the service of the altar, assisting the deacon and priest as appropriate. The Acolyte may distribute Holy Communion as an auxiliary minister when a deacon or priest is unavailable or so requests. The Priest may also entrust the Acolyte to expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration, without blessing the People of God. The office of Acolyte then is primarily liturgical.

Advancement to Candidacy:

When appropriate, as the Bishop and aspirant determine in consultation with the People of God, the Bishop will admit the Acolyte to candidacy as a Deacon and/or Priest. The aspirant writes out in one's own hand a free petition. The Bishop, in turn, writes a written acceptance of the aspirant to candidacy. The aspirant, now candidate for the Sacrament of Holy Orders, now cares for one's vocation in a special way and fosters it.

Order of Deacon:

When appropriate, as the Bishop and Candidate determine in consultation with the People of God, the Bishop will ordain the Candidate to the Diaconate. "At a lower level of the hierarchy are deacons, upon whom hands are imposed 'not for the priesthood, but for ministry.' For, strengthened by sacramental grace, in communion with the bishop and presbyterium they serve the people of God in the diaconia of the liturgy, of the word, and of charity." (AAS 57 1965 in Apostolic Letter Issued Motu Proprio "Laying down Certain Norms Regarding the Holy Order of Deacons", Paul VI.) In addition, the Deacon takes care of Readers and Acolytes. The Deacon takes an active role in the Sacramental life of the Church, especially in administering the Sacrament of Baptism and being a witness of the Church in the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Order of Priest:

When appropriate, as the Bishop and Candidate determine in consultation with the People of God, the Bishop will ordain the Deacon to the Presbyterate. As a priest, the individual serves as a steward of the Catholic tradition and a conduit of God's grace through the celebration of The Eucharist, administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation, anointing in the Sacrament of Healing. The priest lives out the beatitudes being Present to others suffering: those who are poor rather than rich in spirit, those who are mourning the loss of a loved one, those who are long-suffering (meek), those who are hungry and thirsty for justice, and those who are persecuted for doing what they hold to be God's Will as well as those who are merciful, those who are clean of heart, and those who are who are peacemakers. In short, the Priest becomes ever more Present to the Children of God, His People, the Human Family.

To experience of sense of ministerial service expressed by currently incardinaetd and licensed clerics, please review Oral History/Clerics. To experience of sense of ministerial service requested by The People, please review Oral History/The People.

Peace and joy!

White Robed Monks of St. Benedict


Preparation ¦ Admissions ¦ Map of the Way ¦ Descriptions of Way Stations
Program Administration ¦ Financial Information


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