May the Peace of the Risen Christ be with you!
Throughout this year and until February 2 of 2016 Pope Francis has declared a special Year of the Consecrated Life. The Pope invites all those who have vowed themselves to God in the consecrated life to renew their vocation and to fill it with joy and passion. He has also asked that religious communities do all that they can to highlight the important contributions of religious in the daily life of the Church.
I would ask for your continued prayers for the health and growth of consecrated life in the Church and specifically for the monks of Marmion Abbey. Since the founding of Marmion Abbey and Marmion Academy in 1933 we have been greatly blessed with vocations to our monastic community. However, as we all are aware, vocations to both the priesthood and to religious life have greatly decreased over the past forty years and continue to decrease in many areas of the world, especially here in the United States. When I entered Marmion abbey in the 1970s there were some 60 monks. Today we have a total of 24. I truly believe that God is calling many young people to the priesthood and to religious life, but many of them perhaps do not recognize God’s call to them. Many perhaps are just fearful of such a lifelong commitment. Young people need our prayers, support and guidance in all areas of life, including and especially in this area of consecration to God in the religious life.
Marmion Abbey and Marmion Academy have been very blessed since 1933. During all of these years the Marmion monks, working hand in hand with our dedicated faculty and staff, and with many good friends and benefactors, have been the driving force for the continued success we enjoy here at Marmion. I am confident that Marmion Abbey as well as Marmion Academy and our Guatemala mission will continue to be blessed in the coming years. I ask you and thank you for your continued prayers for an increase of worthy vocations to Marmion Abbey. But I also ask for you to be active in speaking directly with young people, perhaps your own children, encouraging them to seriously consider a vocation to Marmion Abbey, to the priesthood or to another form of consecrated life. Marmion Abbey’s website at Marmion.org has a vocation section for further information.
In closing, I wish you God’s blessings during this Year of the Consecrated Life and during this joyful season of Easter! A blessed and Happy Easter!
Rt. Rev. John Brahill, O.S.B. ‘67