The beginning of 2011 sees the cloaking of 2 novices at Holy Spirit Monastery. Fr. Brendan received the novice habit January 2 and Br. Antony on January 9.
Fr. Brendan served as a pastor for over 5 years. Prior to this, he worked with street gangs and homeless children in Harlem and Los Angeles for over a decade.
Simply put, Fr. Brendon wants a life that will allow him to live out the homilies he has preached. Fr. Brandon said, "the greatest and most difficult path to experiencing the kingdom of heaven is in seeing God's face in the person we may be looking at. It is found in believing the foundational document of Genesis chapter 1 -- that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. Relationships with our own friends and enemies are expressions of our own relationship with God. We cannot love God any more than we love the person we like the least."
At Fr. Brendan's cloaking Dom Francis Michael remarked, "You have come here to grow. You will grow through your struggles and through your joys. I can assure you that you will have the support of your brothers in this community when times get tough, and you will have their good companionship to share your joys."
Br. Antony recently graduated Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia. His major, philosophy, left him with a desire to search for the deeper purpose of life. The time Br. Antony spent as a postulant and observer at Holy Spirit convinced him that his purpose is to love God as God loves him -- with a whole heart. Br. Anthony explains, "Before I entered monastic life, I always felt that the most I could give was half of myself. Here, in the silence and solitude this place allows, I can hear a call from the depth of my heart. Here I find I can give myself more completely to God than I ever could to anyone ever before."
Dom Francis Michael's sermon at Br. Anthony's clothing focused on the theme of falling in love with God. Dom Francis Michael explains "The only reason to enter monastic life is because you have fallen in love with God. That love is mysterious. It is a gift. You need to guard and to protect it. If you are open to God, he will help keep you in His love."
The clothing of Brs. Brendon and Br. Antony brings the number of novices at Holy Spirit to 6. Pictured from left to right are Br. Elias (Novice Master), Br. Roger, Br. Benedict, Br. Joseph Mary, Br. Antony, Br, Mario Joseph and Br. Brendon.