January 27, 2012

New novice welcomed into Saint Meinrad Archabbey

In a brief ceremony at the monastery entrance, Matthew Scheeser was clothed in the Benedictine habit at Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad on Jan. 19.

He now begins a year of monastic formation, including study of the Rule of St. Benedict and monastic history.

Novice Matthew, 34, is a native of Sandusky, Ohio. He was a member of SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Sandusky, and attended St. Mary Central Catholic High School there.

In 2000, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in music with a voice concentration at the University of Dayton. He also earned a master of music degree in choral conducting at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

He ministered for nine years as music director of St. Joseph Parish in Martinsburg, W.Va., and Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Fairfax, Va.

From 2006-10, he was conductor and managing director for Choralis, a nonprofit chorus in Falls Church, Va.

As a novice, he will take a year off from formal studies and/or trades. The novitiate is a time of prayer and learning intended to help a novice discern his vocation as a monk.

At the end of this year, a novice may be permitted to profess temporary vows of obedience, fidelity to the monastic way of life and stability in the community of Saint Meinrad. †

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