brother james’ simple vows

June 7th, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, we celebrated the monastic simple profession of our Brother James. (He had gone by the name Cassian throughout his novitiate year, but opted to return to his baptismal name.) Several of James’ family members were here in addition to many oblates and friends.  (You can also find the prior’s homily on the blog.)

Here is the community gathered in the sacristy before Mass, joined by Fr. Daniel from San Luis Obispo and Fr. Andrew from Berkeley.


After the gospel is read, the novice formally requests vows from the prior.


After the homily, the novice proceeds to the altar and reads his hand written vows out loud from the book in which all the monks before him have written their vows.


He then signs the book…


and his two witnesses sign after him.


The prior then ties his cincture on the outside of the scapular…


and clothes him in the cowl (choir robe).


Then the newly professed novice receives the sign of peace and welcome from the community. Here he is with his new junior master, Fr. Raniero.


Br. James with Joe Kordsmeier, one of the many friends that gathered with us for lunch in the cloister garden.


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  1. My friends and I were on our way down to Plaskitt Creek to camp out and celebrate our dear friend, Josefa who is battling cancer. We happened upon this beautiful Mass and celebration of Brother James. Thank you for welcoming us into this loving community. We felt like we belonged and could not stop talking about it! Love and prayers to you all!

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    • Blessings to you and your friend, Nancy. 🙂

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  2. Excellent website. I’m just curious — is your Camaldolese community the one that Fr. Ambrose Sudduth of St. Bernard Abbey in Alabama transferred his stability to, back in the 1950s or ’60s? Thank you all for answering your calls to religious life!

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    • hello – We have no record of a Fr. Ambrose Sudduth transferring to us. Thank you for visiting our site and for your feedback!

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