First Profession   1 comment

Dear Family and Friends,

On Saturday 22 July, the Feast of Mary Magdalene, I will make my first Profession of Vows in The Brotherhood of Saint Gregory. The rite of profession will take place during the final Eucharist of BSG’s Summer Convocation at a retreat center in New York State. This is the culmination of my three years of formation in the Community (one as postulant, two as novice) and two years of discernment before that. And of course, it is far more of a beginning than an ending.

Consecrating my life with these vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience is my calling from God, my particular way of following and dedicating my life to Jesus. Though it may be more visible to the world, it is neither better nor more important than your particular calling from God.

Profession is not an ordination, nor a step on the way to ordination, but a completely separate path: I am a friar rather than a priest or deacon, a brother rather than a father, a lay religious rather than clergy. I remain part of the laity in the Church.

I could not have arrived at this step without the support of my wife, my family and friends, and especially my two congregations: Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and St. Thomas in Denver. Your love and friendship have nourished me through my discernment, postulancy, and novitiate, and many of you have modeled these vows for me: you are living them in various ways even without having made them! You are the people through whom God has made me who I am. 

Brother Max Steele, who entered the Community the same day I did, will make his vows with me. Of the five men who entered in 2014, Brother Max and I are the only ones still in the Community; this is fairly typical for religious communities: the formation years are also a time of further discernment, as each postulant/novice tests their vocation to see if God is truly calling them to this life and this community. When a postulant or novice leaves BSG, it is not a failure in any way, but simply a discernment that BSG was a way-station on their journey, rather than a permanent calling.

What will be different about me on 22 July? The most obvious changes will be superficial: a brown scapular will go over my tunic; I will exchange my cincture (rope belt) for one with three knots, representing the three vows; my wooden postulant/novice cross will be replaced by a brass profession cross; and the suffix “n/BSG” after my name will become simply “BSG”

But these changes are (to borrow a phrase from the Catechism) “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual” changes that have been taking place in me over those formation/discernment years, and that will continue as God continues to shape me through the Gregorian Rule and Vows.

I’m not sure exactly what I’ll feel in the moment, but it will no doubt be an emotional time. Most religious mark the anniversaries of their First Profession almost as one would a birthday or wedding anniversary.

I ask your prayers as I prepare for and make these vows, that God will make me ready for them and keep me worthy of them, and that through them I may better serve God and God’s people.

And I hope you all know that I am always more than happy to talk about my vocation to BSG and religious life in general. If you have any questions, please ask!

Love and peace to all of you,

Brother Scott-Michael, n/BSG

IMG_0937e

with my two mentors, Br. Ron Fender, BSG, and Br. Karekin Madteos Yarian, BSG, on the day I was clothed a novice in 2015.

One response to “First Profession

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  1. Dearest Scott Michael Roger and I will not be able to attend this lovely ceremony. Our prayers will be with you as always. Your commitment, compassion, and hard work are a profound example to us all! I see this “Rite” as a tremendous step on life’s journey. How proud I am of you and the “Dance” that you have chosen. To sum up what I mean by the word dance I wish to include here verses to a song that was sung at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena a few weeks ago. The writer of these words is anonymous but the music was written by Dan Forest, born 1978. The title is The Music Of Living “Giver of life, creator of all that is lovely, Teach me to sing the words of your song. I want to feel the music of living: And not fear the sad songs, But from them make new songs, composed of both laughter and tears. Giver of life, creator of all that is lovely, Teach me to dance to sounds of your world. I want to move in rhythm with your plan. Help me to follow your leading. To risk even falling, to rise and keep trying For you are leading the dance.”

    Forever enjoy “The Dance”! Love always, Aunt Nancy and Uncle Roger

    On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 3:22 AM, Brother Scott Michael Pomerenk, n/BSG wrote:

    > Br. Scott Michael Pomerenk n/BSG posted: “Dear Family and Friends, On > Saturday 22 July, the Feast of Mary Magdalene, I will make my first > Profession of Vows in The Brotherhood of Saint Gregory. The rite of > profession will take place during the final Eucharist of BSG’s Summer > Convocation at a ret” >

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