Holy Spirit Monastery has been blessed with three new novices in the past three months. Brother Mario Ignatius (far right) was clothed in late December. Brother Nathanael (far left) was clothed in February, and Brother Emilio Raphael (center) was clothed this last week. Novice Master Brother Elias commented, "We have always been graced with a remarkable spirit in the Novitiate. Today's novices continue our tradition of living the Gospel message of walking with Christ as they live out their lives in prayer and community, work and study, giving and receiving God's generous gifts."
The three brothers come from different backgrounds, but were drawn to the atmosphere at Holy Spirit. They explain that it appeals to their desire to grow closer to God and serve Him.
Brother Mario Ignatius chose his name because of his devotion to Mary, and in honor of his home parish in Ohio, St. Ignatius of Antioch, where he first felt his calling to religious life.
Brother Nathanael explains the choice of his name, "Nathanael's story was not only a vocation story but one of conversion. Nathanael the skeptic ('Can anything good come from Nazareth?) meets Jesus and becomes a believer, proclaiming Him 'Son of God' and 'King of Israel.' He is ultimately lavished with Jesus' promise of seeing 'angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.'"
Brother Emilio Rafael selected his double name as a special way to honor and to ask for the prayers of two Emilios. One was Br. Emilio Quiros, a religious from his hometown in Cuba. Br. Emilio Quiros was s member of the Holy Spirit community from 1974 till his death in 2008. He was an inspiration in Brother Emilio Rafael's following God's call to Trappist life. Also inspiring his choice of the name Emilio was St. Emilio, a martyr of the early Church. As well, Brother Emilio Rafael wanted to honor and to ask for the prayers of two saints: St. Rafael Arnaiz Baron and St. Rafael the Archangel.