This morning, Abbot Robert Branes delivered the following exhortation to Fr. Vincent Collins before he renewed his monastic profession.
You celebrate today, Father Vincent, the first profession of your monastic vows made on October 28, 1962, as a Cistercian monk at Our Lady of Calvary Abbey in New Brunswick, Canada. Today is your Jubilee of Profession, which the Church offers to everyone in vows who, by God’s mercy, perseveres those fifty years in his or her consecrated vocation. We all congratulate you, Vincent, on this grace of God to you, and we pray with you for the blessing of the Jubilee. We ask God in the prayer of Blessing that you may obtain the joys of everlasting glory. And we pray this same grace for each of us.
In 1962, you professed your first vows in Latin, as was then required, in the Abbey of Our Lady of Calvary (Calvaire) in Rogersville, New Brunswick. Now in 2012, you confirm the profession you made then, here in Our Lady of the Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Virginia. After going to our Order’s Abbey of Sept-Fons in France for one year, you came here to Berryville in 1968 and changed your stability to our community, where you made Solemn Profession in August, 1970. I shall notify Dom Bede Stockwell, the present Abbot of Calvaire, of your Jubilee here at Holy Cross: that will bring him a real joy.
Our faith, more precious than fire-tried gold, is our hope of glory. The glory which shone from the face of Christ for a moment in his Transfiguration, which we just celebrated as our Gospel, now shines eternally in the new life of the resurrection in his Father’s kingdom. That glory which we contemplate by faith, shall transform us into the very image of the Lord. Such is our precious faith; such is our hope of glory. The trials borne now will be the more precious for our faithfulness.
In the Church’s Year of Faith, we experience a special grace in your Golden Jubilee of Profession. May the grace of the Jubilee bring you abundant faith, which has stood you so well these fifty years, in God’s mercy to you.