My name is Br. Vincent Jude McDermott and I have recently made my first profession as a Benedictine Brother with Mary Mother of the Church Benedictine Abbey. My second cousin is Abbot Benedict McDermott who has retired and I live at the monastery with him and all my brother monks. My vocation as a monk brother started from the beginning of my days in my own household thanks to my parents and my three sisters. I watched both my parents and three sisters serve with a smile, never expecting anything in return but love. My parents raised my three sisters and I Catholic, and because of their Catholic example, we always were eager to help others, build strong relationships, and share our faith with our community.
Before I joined the monastery, I served in the Air Force and it was the best decision I ever made. I lived in Turkey and Panama, and visited many places wearing the uniform with men and women of honor from all over the world.
I chose to become a monk later in life than most. I love seeking God, and I love to sing and one of the great saints said to pray and to sing is coming real close to touching heaven. As a Benedictine Brother living in community with one another we pray the Divine office every day. To me this is really special because it allows me to take the psalms of God and make them my own. The more one practices singing and reciting the Divine Office, the more the mind shifts to heavenly thoughts.
In learning the example of helping others, I now see, as a Benedictine Brother, how this gift of putting others first before oneself, helps in community living. The Rule of St. Benedict encourages us to help our brothers when they are in need and to act out of love. As a community of monks we pray morning prayers, afternoon prayers, evening prayers, and compline (night prayers), and by showing up for prayers consistently we build each other up in fraternity.
I am truly blessed to be part of this community because of our main apostolate which is Benedictine College Preparatory School in which the young men are being trained in discipline, leadership, and prepared to excel academically.
The structured way of living in community with other Brothers is very good for me personally. As we live in community with each other, we do pretty much everything together and we learn about each other, the good and the bad, and most of all we pray for each other that we may go to heaven and bring others with us. St. Benedict’s way of life is a good life and we place prayer first over everything and then work, recreation, and study. I hope and pray more men will take a leap of faith and experience the monastic life here at Mary Mother of the Church Benedictine Abbey.
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