30.8.10

Memento: When I Was a Benedictine Postulant

A page from my scrapbook that dates from circa 2002
My Life Circa 2002
Taken from a page of my scrapbook dated circa 2002 — I had just entered the monastery of Saint Joseph Abbey as a postulant. I was about twenty-two years old (freshly graduated from college). I had started my scrapbook as a seminary college student. The page in this scrapbook marks a special time in my life. It was a time where I had an enormous amount of free time (ironically, since I was living in a monastery). A postulant is someone who has requested to be a novice in a monastery. It is the waiting period between "moving in" and being officially sworn in as a new member of the community.
In the Summer I Joined the Novitiate
After a few weeks of postulancy, the novitiate begins. That lasts for a year, after which the novice petitions the community to take the first set of monastic vows. During this time, the community of monks which I belonged to had voted on a new Abbot. His name was Justin.
An Explanation of the Pages Of My Scrapbook
On the left side of the book is the card that I had saved from Abbot Justin's installation as abbot of the community. I had written in the space below the holy card, "Justin Gerald Brown's Abbatial Blessing". On the facing page is a card that I had kept when I was a postulant. My name (as it is now) was "Greig". On the top is a postcard of a boy sitting amongst a hilly field accompanied by two pigs. My memory is hazy but I think I had picked up this postcard when I had been a student at the American College of Louvain in Belgium  I guess I placed it in the scrapbook as a memento.

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