Abbey Receives Additional Monks

Br. Robert and Br. EmmanuelWe are blessed to receive a couple more members in our monastic community. Last July 14, Abbot Gregory and Fr. Odo, Vocation Director and Postulant Master, formally welcomed Br. Post. Emmanuel Alva and a returnee monk, Br. Robert Maekawa (formerly Br. Basil). A simple ceremony was held at the monastery “switchboard” as witnessed by other monks in formation. See photos here

Br. Robert Maekawa
, age 40, was born and raised in Bellevue, Washington. His mother is an oblate at Mount Angel Abbey, which served to catalyze Br. Robert’s vocation, as well as that of his older brother, a Dominican priest. Br. Robert entered Mount Angel Seminary in 1989, and graduated in 1993 before entering the abbey on 1 July 1993. He made simple profession on 8 September 1994, at which time he took the name Br. Basil. He made solemn profession in September of 1997, but left the abbey in 1998. He worked at Costco for 7 years, and as a pastoral assistant at St. Germaine Catholic Church in Prescott Valley, Arizona for 3 ½ years. However, he realized that he still had a vocation, as he wanted more than what the world had to offer. His monasticism never left him, and he re-entered Mount Angel Abbey on 2 July 2012.

Br. Emmanuel Alva Ramirez, age 24, entered the abbey on 2 July 2012. He first visited during the October 2010 discernment retreat, among 18 discerners. He stayed a full week, and returned in December 2010 and September 2011. Br. Emmanuel was born in Mexico, but at three months old, moved to Los Angeles where he was raised and eventually worked as a Porsche mechanic. Since his first visit to Mount Angel, he has developed a deep appreciation for both silence and the Divine Office. He has an interest in fitness, and enjoys running and lifting weights with several other monks.

Br. Emmanuel is going to join his fellow postulant, Br. Tuan for formation classes while Br. Robert will have separate formation program which are all under Fr. Odo’s guidance. The three new members will be presented to the Chapter in August to petition their stay in the monastery.

Prior to their arrival, the community welcomed another postulant, Daniel Watts, from Los Angeles, California. During his two month stay in the monastery, Daniel prayerfully discerned a call to diocesan priesthood. He is now studying at our very own Mount Angel Seminary as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.