As Final Vows weekend comes to a close, I am filled with joy, faith, and happiness for my six brothers in Holy Cross who have professed forever the vows of poverty chastity and obedience. For me, the weekend of Final Profession of vows and Diaconate Ordinations triggered many thoughts in my mind about my own discernment and formation. Even though I am only in my second year of formation in Old College, I could not help but think about how I would feel if I were in the position of the newly ordained finally professed deacons. As I have reflected on the events of the weekend, the peace and joy that Deacons Matt, Chris, Tim, Chase, Dave, and Dan showed throughout the course of the weekend truly inspires me. For them, professing Final Vows in Holy Cross, and being ordained to the Diaconate marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another. It marks the beginning of a life of vowed celibacy, poverty, and obedience as public ministers of the Catholic Church.
This year’s final vows weekend was especially profound for me because after having spent a year in formation at Old College, I have had the pleasure of getting to know the newly ordained finally professed deacons quite well. Each of them has had an incredibly profound impact on my discernment and formation, and I cannot thank them enough for the example that they have set for me as I continue on in formation. Deacons Dan, Chris, Dave, Matt, Tim, and Chase each have such incredible faith and trust in the Lord, and I look to each of them as great models of faith, hope, service, and love in the Church today. The joy that I felt for my brothers as they committed their lives to God in Holy Cross was overwhelming, and I am so happy for these new deacons as they begin their ministry.
In Old College, we have the privilege of having a temporarily professed seminarian serve as our assistant rector each year. Naturally, we look to the seminarian who lives with us as more than simply the assistant rector, we look to him as a role model—as an older brother in Holy Cross who we can learn quite a bit from! Last year, (now) Deacon Christopher Rehagen, C.S.C., served as the assistant rector of Old College. Chris lived with us, served on formation staff, participated fully in our community life, and guided us in our discernment and formation. We grew quite close to him, and he became an older brother to us. In talking to Chris before the Final Vows and Ordination Masses, it was clear how excited he was to begin this new journey of serving the people of God and a finally professed Deacon of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Watching my brother in Holy Cross whom I have come to know and love deeply profess commit his life to serving the people of God as a finally professed minister of Christ was one of the most profound and inspiring experiences of my life.
Mr. Owen Williams is a sophomore in the Old College Undergraduate Seminary at the University of Notre Dame. He is originally from Avon, Ohio. Owen and his fellow old collegians share their experiences through monthly contributions to the Spes Unica Blog.