September 8, 2023

Saint Meinrad Archabbey welcomes two new novices

In a brief ceremony on Aug. 5, Patrick Allbright and Andrew Levering were clothed in the Benedictine habit at the entrance of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad.

The two novices now begin a year of monastic formation, including study of the Rule of St. Benedict and monastic history.

Novice Patrick, 26, is from Loogootee, Ind. He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Loogootee in the Evansville Diocese and attended Loogootee High School.

He studied law enforcement at Vincennes University Jasper Campus in Jasper, Ind., graduating in 2017 with an associate degree. Before joining the monastery, Novice Patrick worked as a police officer and dispatcher for Loogootee Police Department and as a corrections officer with Daviess County Sheriff’s Office. He was also a private first class in the Marine Corps in 2020 before being medically discharged.

Novice Andrew, 24, is a native of Libertyville, Ill., where he was a member of St. Joseph Parish and attended Vernon Hills High School in Vernon Hills, Ill.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in Christian theology in 2021 from Hope College in Holland, Mich. After graduating from college, Novice Andrew worked as a forklift driver.

As novices, they will take a year off from formal studies and 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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