Taking on new habits

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Image: Brother Luke is greeted by Father Michael Santa. Each member of the community offered an embrace of acceptance and welcome to the new novices.

You three men,
Jeffrey, Cameron, and Branson, come to monastic life in great freedom and clear decision. You come to join us to gain a deep and lasting sense of being a child of God through the solidarity you come to know and to foster with a particular group of men who commit themselves to one another and to the church as it is experienced in our work and our prayer.

With these words Abbot Barnabas Senecal, O.S.B. of St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, Kansas welcomed three men as novices and invited them to a year of further study, prayer, and work in the community. Each had visited the abbey in the previous months during the period known as “postulancy.”

“You make no vows today, and you hope to do just that in a year from now,” Abbot Barnabas said. “At any time, after due reflection, you decide the monk’s life is not for you, you may leave. We also say to you, that if we find it would be best for you to choose another way of life, we will tell you that.”

various photos of Jeffrey Turner, Cameron McMillan, and Branson Stephens as they become novices
Chris BronsonChris Bronson is a recent graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in photo media.




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