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First Benedictine monk ordained in two decades

The last time a Benedictine monk was ordained to the diaconate at the Abbey Church, Mt St Benedict was in 1992 by Archbishop Anthony Pantin. The monk’s name was John Pereira.

Now, 27 years later Abbot John Pereira and the community of monks witnessed the ordination of Br Antony Buaful OSB to the diaconate Saturday, November 30.

In his homily, Archbishop Jason Gordon asserted that if there was a time where contemplation and contemplative life was needed, it is now, as a “counterpoint” to the madness of our culture.

The ordaining prelate told the Ghana-born deacon “You have to be a man of hope in this time”.

The ministry of the contemplative life, the Archbishop said, comes together in a very wonderful and prophetic way. He explained that Br Antony’s “task” is not one of going to every village, county or every district. Rather, his task is to go to every interior space, every “nook and cranny” inside the soul and heart and find in there ways of opening God’s love.

Archbishop Gordon prayed that like the Patroness of missions, St Thérèse of Lisieux, who never left the cloister, so too would Br Antony “find the way of the cloister” to allow God’s incredible and merciful love to reach the ends of the world.

“Don’t stop short of that. Don’t choose anything less than that,” he beseeched.

The Archbishop observed that as a contemplative, Br Antony has “more access to holiness that any of us” and urged him to live the contemplative life “deeply” in the service of the Word and the many people living “such a fragile, shallow existence where they come from this fast-paced modern world [that] is now suffocating us.”

“You have to show us what spiritual depth is about…that’s the joy of a contemplative,” Archbishop Gordon said.

Like St Andrew, the Archbishop hoped that Br Antony will be that obedient to God.

To this end, Archbishop Gordon called on Br Antony to bring his loaves and fish every single time to Jesus.

“Bring them continually to Him and He will find a way to use those fish and those loaves to feed a multitude of people that you have not yet met…” he said. —KJ