From Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, author of the popular book "Consoling the Heart of Jesus," comes an extraordinary 33-day journey to Marian consecration with four giants of Marian... Read more
Given 'Totally to the Lord'
by Br. Matt Holladay, MIC
The profession of perpetual vows — poverty, chastity, and obedience — as a religious is a formal way of offering oneself fully and totally to the Lord, forever and without reservations.
It is God who makes each person consecrated, which is to set him apart, for the pursuit of holiness, a process that begins for a Christian at Baptism. The consecrated life of a religious is a deepening of the baptismal consecration. I made this offering of the profession of perpetual vows out of love for the Most Holy Trinity and for our dear Lord's holy mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Our Lady is truly my sweetness, my life, and my hope. With her Immaculate Conception as the sign, she is the strength and joy of my life as a Marian brother.
There are not adequate words that can fully express the praise and thanks due to the Most Holy Trinity for giving me the blessing of a religious vocation. Our Father Founder, Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski of Jesus and Mary, wrote about God's will for him in the founding of the Marian Congregation. Basically, he said it was an impression or engraving on his heart and soul. This well sums up my vocation to the Marians.
There is certainly an element of mystery in the call of our Lord to the religious life. I am 35 years old. I received the call of the Lord to the priesthood first, followed by the religious calling to go with it — both about 20 years ago.
This fall, I began my work as a student in the major seminary. God willing, I will be ordained a religious priest in the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in four or five years. I ask for your prayers to help sustain me on this spiritual journey.
I ask for your prayers as I continue my vocation as a Marian in formation for the priesthood. I particularly ask for the prayers of the members of the Marians' Thirteenth of the Month Club, who have been so supportive of my vocation.
Finally, I would like to thank God for blessing me with the family He has given me: my mom, dad, sister Beth, and brother Mike. Only God knows. Words fail me here. Thank you all.
Brother Matt Holladay, MIC, is finishing his first semester of seminary studies in Washington, D.C.