Novice brothers to profess simple vows Aug. 10

Above from left: Hugo Rafael Rojas and Joseph Paul Albin
Above from left: Hugo Rafael Rojas and Joseph Paul Albin

Province of St. Martin de Porres

By Fr. Scott O’Brien, OP

On the evening of Aug. 10, our two novice brothers, Joseph Paul Albin and Hugo Rafael Rojas, will make temporary profession of two years to the Order of Preachers in the Southern Dominican Province. Joseph Paul, Hugo Rafael and their former classmate, Russell Grafrath, arrived last Aug. 9 in Irving, Texas to begin their canonical novitiate year here at St. Albert the Great Priory. At that time, they began a rigorous process of discernment which includes daily praying of the Liturgy of the Hours (selections of the psalms, scripture readings and hymns at morning, mid-day, evening and night), their own personal prayer, study and reflection, accompaniment of the poor, elderly and infirm as well as duties pertaining to the regular life of the community—including cooking and cleaning!

They have also benefitted from Dominican scholars and others who have come to the priory to offer them conferences and workshops on scripture, theology, Dominican history and saints as well as preaching. For the last six months, they have preached regularly during Saturday evening prayer to the brothers of our community. The novices and I have travelled throughout the province becoming more familiar with the brothers and their ministries as well as that of our sisters, nuns and laity. We were also in Haiti to see the good work of the Dominican family there.

I believe both Joseph and Hugo would say that this year of discernment to the Order has been grace-filled as well as challenging. They have grown in love of God and neighbor as self, and now enjoy a greater sense of peace and joy so characteristic of our founder, St. Dominic. Congratulations and blessings to our brothers Joseph Paul and Hugo Rafael as they move on to St. Dominic Priory in St. Louis, to begin their graduate studies.