On a beautiful, cloudless summer afternoon, three young men of the Province of St. Albert the Great pledged obedience and fidelity for life to the Order of Preachers in the presence of the Very Rev. Charles E. Bouchard, OP, Prior Provincial. Nearly 200 people, including over 75 brothers of the Province, gathered for Mass and this ancient solemn ceremony in The Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France. Formerly the Cathedral of Saint Louis and informally called the Old Cathedral, the Basilica was the first cathedral west of the Mississippi River.
Brother Luke Barder O.P, Brother Nicholas Marie Monco, OP, and Brother Jude McPeak O.P., made profoundly public their vow to observe the three evangelical counsels of Chastity, Poverty , and Obedience. Through the ministry of the Church they are now joyfully consecrated to God and incorporated into the Order of Preachers for the rest of their lives.
When asked to reflect on this most important moment in his life, Brother Nicholas replied,
“A few minutes before the opening profession, I was summoned by the Provincial who wanted to pray with me and the two other brothers making solemn profession. Fr. Charlie Bouchard started us off and then asked each of us what we wanted to pray for.
I knew it was going to be an emotional day when I had to choke back tears as I thanked God for the graces he had given to bring me to this moment. The Mass itself was beautiful, but for me the whole feel of the event was captured by the refrain of the responsorial psalm: ‘My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God!’”
Following the celebration of the Eucharist and these solemn vows, the newly Professed were joined by family and friends for a reception at their home, St. Dominic’s Priory, where they will continue their lifelong studies as Dominicans.