Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict


Five novices join Benedictine community at Saint Meinrad

January 20, 2015

Pic _hs _Peter Szidik _2015In 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.

Pic _hs _Jinu Thomas _2015He 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" program.

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.

Pic _hs _Timothy Herrmann _2015

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.

Pic _hs _Thomas Fish _2015Novice 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
Pic _hs _Jonathan Blaize _2015College. 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.