March 2024

March 2024 News – Initial Profession of Br Aelred Edwin Kriel OHC

The highlight of the past month for us was certainly the Initial Profession of the Monastic Vow by Br Edwin, who has taken the religious name Br Aelred, by which he is now becoming known to us. The happy occasion took place during a noon Eucharist in the Volmoed chapel on Saturday 23 March. Having completed his novitiate, Br Aelred committed himself to live according to the threefold monastic vow of stability, conversion, and obedience, for an initial period of three years. Many of those from his family and friends in Worcester and other parts of the Anglican Diocese of False Bay, as well as from the Volmoed community, who had been present just over a year before to witness his Clothing as a Novice of the Order, were there to witness this joyful commitment. In addition to affirming his own sense of vocation to monastic life, and the fulfilment that comes from living into that vocation, Br Aelred has strengthened the life and witness of the monastic community, by adding his own presence to the variety of ways in which we pray and hope that God’s love will be made known through us. Br Scott preached the sermon at Br Aelred’s profession, the text of which can be found here.

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Sermon for the Initial Profession of Br Aelred 

The sermon, in my opinion, is really meant as a time to explore the Gospel. And we generally think of the Gospel as the books known as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Well, today I intend to talk only about the Gospel, the good news of Jesus, but I don’t intend to even mention Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John… 

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Sermon for the 5th Sunday of Lent – St Benedict’s Priory

Readings for the day

As Lent progresses we are called to turn our thinking from repentance, our work at the start of Lent, to focus on Jerusalem – specifically on Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. Today’s scripture readings are clearly part of that shift.

The shift is not just a call to think literally about the city of Jerusalem and the pending crucifixion. Embedded within the shift is a call to change the way we think about God.

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Sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Scripture Readings

Today’s Gospel reading starts halfway through a conversation Jesus has been having with Nicodemus, the Pharisee who came to visit him at night. Nicodemus has been struggling with what Jesus has been saying about the need to be born again from above in order to enter the kingdom of God. Nicodemus knows that Jesus has come from God, and so he perseveres.

Whatever difficulty Nicodemus might have had with understanding Jesus, there was at least one thing that Jesus said that left an impression on him. Later, when a group of chief priests and Pharisees are trying to have Jesus arrested and have just cursed a crowd of people for believing in him, Nicodemus reminds them that their Law requires that they give everyone a hearing before judging them. Perhaps Nicodemus hoped that Jesus would have the same effect on them as he had on Nicodemus, if only they would listen to him.

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January/February 2024 News

The change from January to February brought with it a change in the monastic community. Br Edwin returned to us after 4 months at our Holy Cross Monastery in the USA. Br Luc accompanied him, and will be with our local community for almost 3 months. Br Josias departed on the plane that Brs Edwin and Luc had just arrived on.

Br Josias will be visiting the monastic community at Holy Cross Monastery for a little over 2 months, living as a member of the novitiate there during that period. While in the USA, he has recently been interviewed by our Order’s Council, which has approved his application to make his initial profession of the monastic vow, which will take place after he returns to us.

Since his return from the USA, Br Edwin has visited his family in Worcester for a week. He is to make his initial profession here at Volmoed on Saturday 23 March, taking the religious name Aelred. Please pray for him as he prepares to make this joyous commitment.

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