Five novices join Benedictine community at Saint Meinrad
January 20, 2015
In a brief ceremony at the monastery entrance, five
novices were clothed in the Benedictine habit at Saint Meinrad
Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, on January 19. They now begin a year of
monastic formation, including study of the Rule of St.
Benedict and monastic history.
Novice Peter Szidik, 25, of Grand Rapids, MI,
is a 2011 graduate of the University of Dayton with a bachelor's
degree in chemical engineering.
He worked for three years as a production manager
in the byproducts and coal handling divisions at United States
Steel in the St. Louis, MO, area. He also served as a college
intern for two summers in Saint Meinrad's "One Bread, One Cup"
Novice Jinu Thomas, 24, is a native of India
who moved to the United States in 2009. He studied engineering
physics at the University of Illinois, earning a bachelor's
degree in 2014.
Novice Timothy Herrmann, 27, of Findlay, OH, is
a graduate of the University of Dayton, 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 Saint Meinrad's
"One Bread, One Cup" program.
Novice Thomas Fish, 24, of Poway,
CA, graduated from Sonoma State University in 2013 with a
bachelor's degree in anthropology.
He has been a youth ministry volunteer at St. Gabriel Parish in
Poway, an intern at the parish and worked in the shipping
department of a moving company.
Novice Jonathan Blaize, 28, of Mount Carmel,
IL, is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, with a
bachelor's degree in English literature. He earned an associate
degree at Wabash Valley
College. He also studied at Ivy Tech Community
College for drafting and design.
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.
As novices, they 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.