Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

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Novices join Benedictine community at Saint Meinrad

August 07, 2014

Pic _news _Novice _Charles _Penalosa _2014In a brief ceremony at the monastery entrance, Charles Peñalosa and John Avery II were clothed in the Benedictine habit at Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, on August 5. They now begin a year of monastic formation, including study of the Rule of St. Benedict and monastic history. 

Novice Charles, 22, is a native of the Philippines. Most recently, he has been studying for the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.

He is a graduate of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis and Marian University, Indianapolis, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Catholic studies and history in 2012. He was a member of St. Joseph Parish.


Novice John, 28, of Indianapolis, attended North Central High School and was a member of St. Pius X Parish.

Pic _news _Novice _John _Avery _2014He graduated from Northwestern University in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in music, and then served five years in the French Foreign Legion as a musician.

As novices, they will 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.

Photos: Novice John Avery II, left, and Novice Charles Peñalosa, above.