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collars and habits

December 11, 2010

Religious vocations were once a common thing in my family.  Past generations produced a decent number of nuns and priests.  My grandpa loves telling stories about his uncle, Father Joe and his aunts, Sister Maria Cecilia (for whom I was named), Sister Magdalena Marie, and Sister Mary Helena.  Unfortunately, religious vocations haven’t been common as late.  Grandpa laments that his generation dropped the ball, and for the past two generations, our family has been devoid of priests and nuns.  But that will soon change.  The men in my generation are bringing collars and habits back into style!

My brother is currently in his second year of theology at Mundelein Seminary.  He is two and a half years away from being ordained a priest for the Diocese of Grand Rapids.  The entire family was taken by surprise when Charles announced his intention to join the seminary.  Well, some of us had an idea he was headed in that direction.  Still, it was exciting to see him take those first actual steps toward the priesthood.

This week, my cousin Ron called to tell me that his application to become a Benedictine monk at St. Andrew’s Abbey had been officially accepted!  Another familial vocation: my cousin is going to be a Brother!  I don’t know if we’ve ever had a religious brother in our ancestral line, but I sure am looking forward to having at least one.

Ronn has been discerning his vocation to the monastic life for the past two years.  It has been a long journey of patient waiting.  I am overjoyed that God has fulfilled his promise to my cousin.  I can’t stop smiling at the thought of seeing him in a habit!!

Way to step up and take the lead, Men of God and of Schwartz*!  I have great respect for you both, Charles & Ronn.  Thank you for reviving the Faith of our family through the tradition of religious and priestly vocations.  I hope my children will have great stories to tell about their priest uncle and monk cousin some day, just like Grandpa.


Congratulating Charles on graduating college seminary

Ang with cousin Ronn

*Schwartz by way of Culver and Rhoades.  Oooo – That sounds like a great law firm!  It’s too bad we didn’t all become lawyers!  We could have started a firm together: Schwartz Culver & Rhoades.  But you know me, Ronn: “I could’ve been a lawyer, but I just had too much heart!” (wink, wink!)

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