Brother Benjamin Paul Keller will make first Profession to the Dominican Order on Sunday, August 9 along with five other classmates. Ben is the son of John and Lauren Marie Keller of Andover, MN. The Kellers are members of St. Stephen Church in Anoka, MN. Ben graduated from Andover High School in 2009 and attended Minnesota State University-Mankato, studying Mechanical Engineering. He was a member of the University baseball team during these years.
Ben was invited by a friend to a bible study hosted by FOCUS (Fellowship of College University Students). He found this so fruitful for his life that he became a small group leader and was active during his college years. He decided to join FOCUS as a campus missionary upon graduation and served at the University of Mary in Bismark, ND for one year.
The summer of his junior year he did an engineering internship at the University of Missouri-Columbia. During that summer he met the Dominican friars who staff the University parish of St. Thomas More. He joined the friars on a number of occasions. This experience eventually led him to investigate religious life, and more particularly, the Dominicans of the Central Province. He entered the novitiate in August 2014.
The novitiate is a one-year time of discernment under the guidance of a novice master. The emphasis of this year is growth in personal self-awareness and development, and growth in prayer and learning the ways of Dominican community life. Upon making profession, these men can append the suffix “O.P” to their name for the Order of Preachers, founded in 1216 by St. Dominic de Guzman.
The six novices making profession will join seventeen other student brothers at St. Dominic Priory in St. Louis. The students live in community and attend Aquinas Institute of Theology for their theological education as seminarians for the next six years.
The Province of St. Albert the Great consists of 14 Midwestern states, including Minnesota.