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Clothing of novices and Professions 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

NewsOn Saturday 13 September, the Oxford community celebrated the Solemn Profession of fr Thomas Skeats OP and fr Robert Gay OP. The following day, Sunday 14 September, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Cambridge community welcomed two novices and celebrated the Simple Profession of three brothers who had completed the novitiate.Robert Thomas & John

This time of year is especially joyful for the English Dominican Province as significant milestones in our religious life are celebrated around the feast of the Holy Cross. This is fitting, for in each of these occasions, the brothers prostrate themselves in the form of a cross. Seeking God's mercy and the mercy of the brethren, they dedicate themselves more profoundly to following Christ, so that by dying with the Crucified One, they hope to live and reign with him, the Risen Lord.

On 13 September, the Oxford community celebrated the Solemn Profession of fr Thomas Skeats OP and fr Robert Gay OP. Friends and family of the two brothers joined us for a special Mass at noon followed by a simple reception in the Classics Centre of the University of Oxford.

Thomas Profession

fr Thomas Skeats OP makes solemn profession, placing his hands in those of the Prior Provincial, fr John Farrell OP.

Robert Profession

fr Robert Gay OP makes his solemn profession. The formula for solemn profession is as follows:

"I, brother N.N., make profession and promise obedience to God, and to Blessed Mary, and to Blessed Dominic, and to you, brother John Farrell, Prior Provincial of the Province of England, in place of brother Carlos Alfonso Aspiroz Costa, Master of the Order of Friars Preachers, and his successors, according to the Rule of Blessed Augustine and the Constitutions of the Friars Preachers, that I will be obedient to you and your successors until death."


The brothers then exchange a sign of peace with the Prior Provincial. It is an expression of fraternal charity. As it says in psalm 133:1, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity."

O spem miram
After Holy Communion, the brothers sang a responsory, O spem miram, asking St Dominic to help us with his prayers.

Talking to Br Vincent
fr Vincent Cook OP reminisces at the reception afterwards. fr Vincent celebrated the 60th anniversary of his profession earlier this year.

On Sunday 14 September, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the English Province welcomed two novices in Cambridge. Tom Angier and Nick Crowe were both clothed in the habit of the Order by the Prior Provincial, and so began their year-long novitiate in Cambridge.

Postulants prostrate
Prostrate before the altar, the postulants are asked what they seek, to which they reply: "God's mercy and yours."

Nick clothed
Tom clothed
The postulant is then stripped of his former clothing, a symbol of renunciation, and clothed in the habit of the Order of Preachers. In this way, the novice entrusts himself to the care of the Order and signifies his desire to share our religious life.

Provincial's embrace
The Provincial exchanges a sign of peace with the newly-clothed novice and entrusts him to the charge of the Master of Novices.

Tom admissions book
Finally, the novices sign the admissions book which records their entry into the novitiate.

Br Nick Crowe
Please pray for fr Nick Crowe OP and fr Tom Angier OP.

Later on the same day, the Cambridge community celebrated the Simple Profession of three brothers who had completed the novitiate: fr Graham Hunt OP, fr Mark Davoren OP and fr Gregory Pearson OP.

What do you seek
The three novices, who are to be simply professed, prostrate before the altar and ask for God's mercy and the mercy of the brethren.

Mark Profession
Watched by their brothers, their family and friends, each brother makes simple profession in the hands of the Prior Provincial. They formula is the same as the one for solemn profession, except that the brother only makes the promise of obedience for three years.

Blessing scapulars
After the embrace of peace, the Prior Provincial blesses the scapulars of the newly-professed brothers. Above, from left to right, are, frs Gregory, Graham and Mark.

Graham Professions book
After Mass, the brothers sign a profession book and then proceed to enjoy a small reception in the garden of the Cambridge priory.
Graham lunch

The simply professed brothers have now moved to Oxford to join the Studentate and we welcome them to the community and to the Godzdogz team! Please continue to pray for them and for all our brothers as we prepare to begin a new academic year in Oxford.

Lawrence Lew OP


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