Dom Vincent Rogers was elected as our new abbot on 23 July 2020. He is 67 years old and was born in Santa Monica, California. He is a graduate of the University of California where he majored in engineering, psychology and education. After college, his employment pursuits included teaching junior high in South Boston. He entered our monastery in 1977; made his solemn profession in 1986 and was ordained a priest in 2010.
Dom Vincent is a monk of prayer and silence and great generosity, who has a deep devotion to Our Lady and Saint Joseph. Having served for many years as director of The Holy Rood Guild, the monastery’s liturgical vestments industry, Dom Vincent is completing ten years as abbey cellarer, the monk in charge of all the temporalities of the monastery. Thus, he brings many organizational skills to his new work as superior of our community. Like the early monks of our Order, Dom Vincent embodies the monastic charism as “a lover of the brethren and the place” who truly “prefers nothing whatever to Christ.” We rejoice heartily in this new leadership. Please join us in praying for Dom Vincent as he commences his new and hope-filled ministry as abbot of Saint Joseph’s Abbey.
God is the great gatherer – whatever our backgrounds, whatever our talents, whatever our weaknesses, whatever separates us and scatters us, whether it be our own fault or the fault of others, God wants to gather us together to experience his overwhelming goodness, tenderness, and fidelity, in other words, his mercy.
In the Gospel Jesus utters a warning: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.” Jesus’ warnings have a purpose: they are meant to keep us from hardening our hearts. Hardness of heart is the one thing that can block mercy, because it refuses mercy to others. Jesus uses the sharp edge of mercy; he speaks the truth in love – to gather us back from the dead-end of self-sufficiency and into the company of those who realize their need for mercy.
And it is the Spirit’s task to make the face of mercy present in our midst. In the Church the Word of God punctures our hardened hearts to soften them up; in the Church the Spirit makes a new start possible in the Sacrament of Confession; through the Church the Spirit gathers the most diverse set of human beings imaginable, so that he can smooth out our rough edges.
But for those who still may have difficulty finding God’s mercy in the Church, the Spirit brings forth another face– the face of Mary. In her we see what the Church is meant to be and will be. This humble woman entered through the narrow gate of mercy, enduring the trials which are part of being merciful. She is blessed, because she was merciful, first to her son, even to the cross, then to the frightened disciples, and finally to all of us in our every need. She continues the gathering of God’s children, as a merciful mother but also as one who knows and tells us the demands of the cross.
–Excerpts from a homily by Dom Vincent