The Brotherhood of Saint Gregory celebrated its 43rd Anniversary of Foundation from August 13-18 as the brothers gathered for Annual Convocation and Chapter at Mount Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls, New York. Gregorian Friars from around the world participated, from as far away as Canada and Australia and many of the states of the USA. This annual week together serves as a refresher course in living the vocation the brothers share, centering upon the Brotherhood’s Rule of Life and how that Rule is experienced and developed through each friar’s gifts and talents. The Brotherhood’s Episcopal Visitor, the Rt Rev Rodney R Michel of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, was present for the week, celebrated the Festival Convocation Mass on Saturday, preached on the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin and attended the week’s events, which was a great blessing to everyone present.
During the week, which included daily mass and the Daily Office, the community welcomed two friends for visits: the Rt Rev Andrew ML Dietsche, Bishop Coadjutor of New York, and Br Robert Sevensky OHC, Superior of the Order of the Holy Cross. Bishop Andy participated in the ‘General Convention Debriefing’ as those who served in various capacities during GC’12 in Indianapolis shared stories of their presence at this major triennial event. A series of workshops was developed by the Education Committee toward training new Ministers Provincial, and the brothers attended to the community’s business as the five provinces met individually and two of which elected new Ministers Provincial. The Chapter also held its annual meeting. Over the course of the week seven brothers renewed their Annual Vows of Profession to the Minister General, each in the presence of his Minister Provincial.
The religious life is celebrated most personally through the Rites of the Brotherhood and this year was as busy as any. Br William Henry Benefield (Texas) made his Life Profession of Vows at the festival service on Saturday, August 18th, and Br Millard Cook (Long Island) made his First Profession. Earlier in the week two postulants were received into the novitiate: Brs Eric Shelley (Southwestern Virginia) and Larry Walter Reich (East Tennessee); and four men were admitted into the postulancy: Messrs David J Kasievich, Andrew Kellner (both of Pennsylvania), Raymond A Chance (Oklahoma) and William Van Doren (California). Additionally, Br Nathanael Deward Rahm (Chicago) was Commissioned as Minister Provincial of Province 5 and Director of Convocation Music and Liturgy, Br Karekin Madteos Yarian (California) as Minister Provincial of Province 8, Br Millard Cook as Secretary, Br James Teets (New York) as Treasurer, Br Thomas Bushnell (Los Angeles) as Director of Education, Br Francis Sebastian Medina (California) as Director of Postulants and Novices, and Joseph Basil Gauss (Chicago) as Convocation Infirmarian.