First Profession in Nine Years
The first profession to religious life in over nine years took place in Mount saint Joseph's Cistercian Monastery in Roscrea in County Tipperary recently.
The profession took place of Br Malachy, originally Paul Thompson, from Finglas in Dublin, who prior to entering the monastery had worked as a sales manager with Kenilworth Products in Dublin, Britain and Europe for over 20 years.
The forty-six year old entered the monastery in July 2006 and made his profession on Saturday after five years of formation.
The ceremony was performed by Dom Laurence Walsh and Abbot Dom Richard Purcell.
Interestingly the last profession to take place in Mount Saint Joseph's was that of Dom Richard Purcell, also a Dubliner, in September 2002.
In 2009 he had to receive special permission from Rome to become Abbot as it is a requirement of Canon Law that a monk be at least thirty-five years old and have at least seven year’s service.
Dom Richard received the permission required from the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and went on to become the Abbey's youngest ever Abbot at the age of thirty-three.
Speaking about his decision to join the monastery, Br Malachy said that he saw a leaflet for weekend retreats at Mount Saint Joseph's in Dublin's Pro-cathedral 11 years ago. He had never been to a monastery before but on arrival was “struck immediately” by the experience.
He said, “I was 35, in a great job, everything going well. I battled it for years, but it kept coming back. It was a slow realisation that God was calling me to the monastic life.”
He said that after a number of years thinking about it he went to live at Mount Saint Joseph's for a month to see if he could live the life. It was eventually after a retreat in Jerusalem he knew it was what he wanted to do.
He also revealed that he chose the name Malachy because St Malachy brought the Cistercians to Ireland in 1142.