Last month I had the privilege of ordaining two young men to the priesthood and three to the transitional diaconate at the Cistercian Abbey. The five ordinations reflect a surge of new vocations being experienced by the Irving community.
In August I ordained Father Augustine Hoelke and Father Philip Neri Lastimosa. Last year I ordained Cistercian Father Joseph Van House, the first monk to be ordained for the Abbey community since 1998. The three deacons ordained in August will be ordained to the priesthood next year. Five other young men are in formation either in Irving or in Rome.
Abbot Denis Farkasfalvy and other monks of the community have been aggressive in approaching young men about becoming a Cistercian. Fathers Hoelke and Lastimosa are both graduates of Cistercian Preparatory School. The three deacons all came in contact with Cistercians at the University of Dallas. The two to be ordained to the diaconate next year are both graduates of Cistercian Prep.
It is the Holy Sprit who calls men and women to a religious vocation but parents, teachers and friends are the instruments of the Spirit. This truth is amply demonstrated by the number of new vocations at the Abbey.
This is indeed a blessing for the Cistercian community and for the Church of Dallas which benefits greatly from the presence of the monks and their ministries at Cistercian Prep, the University of Dallas and in our parishes.
You may be an instrument of the Holy Spirit. Have you invited a young man or woman to consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life?