The Glenmary Oath

Brother David Henley, Glenmary vocation directorMay 2013

In early May, Brother Levis Kuwa renewed his Glenmary Oath in Glenmary's Our Lady of the Fields Chapel at our Cincinnati headquarters. He professed his first Oath in 2010, and like all Glenmarians, he will renew it each year until he is ready to profess his final Oath. During his recent Oath ceremony, the Scripture of the day was from the Gospel according to John. The words were very fitting for Brother Levis, those in attendance and those discerning their vocations:

Jesus said, "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth."
—Jn 16:12-13a

Each one of us has a vocation. Brother Levis has found his as a Glenmary missioner. As individuals begins to search for their vocations, they may not know exactly what their vocation calls are or where they are being led. But the words of Jesus reassure us that the Spirit will provide us with the answers we need at the time we are able to bear them. Likewise for Levis and all Glenmary students, they are not expected to profess their Final Oaths on the day they enter the formation program. The first step is to enter into the process which we all hope and pray will lead to professing the Glenmary Oath, but only when the individual is ready and able to "bear it."

The Glenmary Oath, according to the Glenmary Constitution, "expresses our dedication to the work of the Society ... our commitment to one another ... (and) our commitment to the Glenmary way of life." Individuals cannot be expected to make such a commitment until they have learned more about each of these aspects—while they are studying and in our formation programs. Each of the stages of formation helps Glenmary students prepare for the next stage and the first profession of Oath.

As a witness to Brother Levis' Oath renewal, I was reminded of my own commitment to that same Oath. It gives me great joy to see someone else profess these words and to recommit myself at the same time. This Oath is not just professed once and then forgotten: it serves as a public testimony of commitment to imitate Christ and to serve the needs of the U.S. home missions. As the words of the Oath state: "We are bound in a covenant with the other members in the Glenmary community."

On my YouTube channel, there are clips from Glenmarians' past Oath ceremonies. In June, other Glenmary students will be professing their Oaths. If you would like to attend upcoming Oath ceremonies, please contact our office for an invitation.