February 26, 2016

Four novices profess temporary vows at Saint Meinrad Archabbey

Four Benedictine novices of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad recently professed temporary vows during a Jan. 20 ceremony in the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln.

During the ceremony, the new religious name of each novice was also announced.

Novice Peter Szidik is now Brother Nathaniel.

A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., he is a 2011 graduate of the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

He worked for three years as a production manager in the byproducts and coal handling divisions at a United States Steel facility near St. Louis. He also served as a college intern for two summers in Saint Meinrad’s “One Bread, One Cup” youth liturgical leadership program.

Novice Timothy Herrmann is now Brother Simon.

A former resident of Findlay, Ohio, he is a graduate of the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, earning a bachelor’s degree in communication management in 2010.

He worked as an associate editor for the national office of Beta Theta Pi fraternity from 2010-11 and then at Saint Meinrad Archabbey as the director of alumni relations from 2011-14. He also served as a college intern for three summers in “One Bread, One Cup.”

Novice Thomas Fish is now Brother Jean.

Formerly of Poway, Calif., he is a 2013 graduate of Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Calif., with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.

He served as a youth ministry volunteer and an intern at St. Gabriel Parish in Poway, Calif., and he worked in the shipping department of a moving company.

Novice Jonathan Blaze is now Brother Joel.

He is formerly of Mount Carmel, Ill., and a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Ill., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature. He earned an associate degree at Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Ill., and studied drafting and design at Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville, Ind.

He formerly worked as a tool and die machinist and a design engineering technician at Hansen Corporation. He attended Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology for one year before entering the monastery.

The novices all professed temporary vows, which are ordinarily for a three-year period. During this time, they and the monastic community will have the opportunity to determine whether monastic life is, indeed, the right vocation for these individuals. †

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