Five Profess Final Vows in the U.S.

Five Profess Final Vows in the U.S.


Latest News | by Province Staff

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With joy and thanksgiving, the Congregation of Holy Cross celebrated the Final Profession of Vows of five men. Rev. Mr. Brian Kennedy, C.S.C., Rev. Mr. Karl Romkema Jr., C.S.C., Rev. Mr. Brogan Ryan, C.S.C., Mr. Michael Thomas, C.S.C., and Rev. Mr. Bryan Williams, C.S.C., professed Final Vows on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind. Rev. William M. Lies, C.S.C., provincial superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross, U.S. Province of Priests and Brothers, presided at the Mass and received vows.

    Rev. Mr. Brian Kennedy, C.S.C., Rev. Mr. Karl Romkema Jr., C.S.C., Rev. Mr. Brogan Ryan, C.S.C., and Rev. Mr. Bryan Williams, C.S.C., were ordained to the Order of Deacon on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in the Moreau Seminary Chapel by the Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

    Mr. Michael Thomas, C.S.C., will be ordained to the Order of Deacon at San Francisco de Sales Parish near St. George’s College in Santiago, Chile, on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 – the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows – the special patron of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Most Reverend Arthur J. Colgan, C.S.C., Auxiliary Bishop of Chosica, Perú, will preside at the Sept. 15 Mass.

    All five men professed the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience according to the Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross. For the past several years, they have been in a period of temporary vows, which they renewed annually. On Aug. 25, they committed their lives and work to the communal life and ministry of Holy Cross.

    Rev. Mr. Brian Kennedy, C.S.C., is the second of three children of David and Christine Kennedy of Pequot Lakes, Minn. He graduated with a B.A. in philosophy and theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2012, where he also earned his M.Div. in 2018. Deacon Brian entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in Aug. 2008 as an Old Collegian. He made his First Profession of Vows on Aug. 3, 2013.

    During his formation, Deacon Brian served as a religious education catechist, Holy Cross Parish, South Bend, Ind. (postulant year); volunteer, Penrose-St. Francis Hospital, Sacred Heart Parish, Colorado (novitiate year); Church social action associate, Center for Social Concerns, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., (first year professed); preparing couples for marriage at St. Pius X Parish, Granger, Ind., (second year of temporary vows); Catholic Peace Fellowship (third year of temporary vows); St. Ignatius Martyr Parish and School, Austin, TX (fourth year of temporary vows); RCIA, University of Notre Dame Campus Ministry, Notre Dame, Ind., (fifth year of temporary vows). Deacon Brian also served each summer from 2012 to 2017 in the following ministries: André House, Phoenix, Ariz. (2012), My Brother’s Keeper, South Easton, Mass. (2013), Holy Redeemer Parish, Portland, Ore. (2014), Parroquia Nuestra Madre Santísima de La Luz, Guadalupe, Nueva Leon, México (2015), Saint George’s College, Santiago, Chile (2016), The Farm at Stonehill College, Easton, Mass. (2017).

    “My most meaningful ministry experience was a pastoral year taken at our parish in Austin, Texas, where I taught, preached, and even conducted grave-side committals,” said Deacon Brian. “I grew in so many ways as an active, apostolic religious, and it was an essential experience for my discernment of perpetual vows in Holy Cross.”   

    Deacon Brian will serve his diaconate year at St. John Vianney Parish Catholic Church and School, Goodyear, Ariz.

    Rev. Mr. Karl Romkema Jr., C.S.C., is the second of nine children of Mike and Karen Romkema of Clarkston, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in philosophy and theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2013, where he also earned his M.Div. in 2018. Deacon Karl entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in Aug. 2009 as an Old Collegian. He made his First Profession of Vows on Aug. 2, 2014.

    Deacon Karl served in the Strong Fathers Program at the Women’s Care Center, South Bend, Ind. (2014-15); teaching, Jinja, Uganda (Summer 2015); RCIA, University of Notre Dame Campus Ministry, Notre Dame, Ind. (2015-16); Holy Redeemer Parish, Portland, Ore. (Summer 2016); Basil Moreau Spiritual Exercise Groups (2016-17); assistant rector, O’Neill Family Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind. (2017-18).

    “I have had two very impactful ministry experiences in the later years of my formation. The first was my time in the schools of Jinja, Uganda,” said Deacon Karl. “I learned there precisely how God cares for His poor. I also treasure my time with the men of O'Neill Family Hall. There I had countless conversations, both serious and funny, that helped me see into the hearts of courageous and curious young men.”

    Deacon Karl will serve at St. Ignatius Martyr Parish, Austin, Texas.

    Rev. Mr. Brogan Ryan, C.S.C., is the sixth of eleven children of Robert and Mary Ginn Ryan of Columbus, Ohio, and has a younger brother, Michael, who is a Holy Cross Novice. Deacon Brogan graduated with a B.B.A. in accounting and minor in theology from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., in 2008, earned his M.Ed. (ACE) from the University in 2010, and his M.Div. in 2018. He entered Holy Cross in Aug. 2012 as a postulant, and made his First Profession of Vows on Aug. 2, 2014.

    During his formation, Deacon Brogan served as an RCIA team member at Christ the King Parish, South Bend, Ind. (Aug. 2012-May 2013); in the Tax Assistance Program at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind. (Spring 2013); Holy Redeemer Parish, Portland, Ore. (Summer 2013); Penrose-Saint Francis Medical Center, chaplain, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Aug. 2013-July 2014); Catholic Worker, South Bend, Ind. (Aug. 2014-May 2015); Holy Cross Missions, Uganda (Summer 2015); Holy Cross General Chapter, Technology and Logistics, Rome, Italy (Summer 2016); assistant director, Old College Undergraduate Seminary, Notre Dame, Ind. (2016-2017); Family Theater Productions, intern, Hollywood, Calif. (Summer 2017); assistant rector, Keough Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind. (2017-2018).

    “The seeds of my vocation were nurtured and grew significantly from my time and experience in the residence halls at Notre Dame (I lived in Stanford Hall),” said Deacon Brogan. “So, I am very excited to return to the halls to begin my ordained ministry in Holy Cross.” 

    Deacon Brogan will serve as a rector in Keough Hall at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.

    Mr. Michael Thomas, C.S.C., is the oldest of two children of Wayne and Karin Thomas of Lakeville, Ind. He graduated with a B.A. from Indiana University in 2012, and earned his M.Div. from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind. in 2018. Michael entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in Aug. 2012 as a postulant, and professed First Vows on Aug. 2, 2014.

    During his formation, Michael assisted Holy Cross ministries in Monterrey, México (Taman and San Luis Potosí, Summer 2013); Holy Redeemer Parish, Portland, Ore. (Winter 2014); St. George’s College, Santiago, Chile (Summer 2015); General Chapter, Rome, Italy (Summer 2016); St. Adalbert’s/St. Casimir Parishes, South Bend, Ind. (Summer 2017-2018).        

    “My vocation to Holy Cross is a gift from God that will pour me out for the life of the world,” said Michael. “By becoming transformed more and more into the person of Jesus, my brothers and I will offer the power of His death and Resurrection to God's holy people.”          

    Michael will serve his diaconate year at St. George’s College, Santiago, Chile.

    Rev. Mr. Bryan Williams, C.S.C., is the eldest of three children of Warren and Melanie Williams of Sugar Land, Texas. He graduated with a B.A. in philosophy and theology from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., in 2013, and earned his M.Div. from the University in 2018. He entered Holy Cross in Aug. 2009 as an Old Collegian. He made his First Profession of Vows on Aug. 2, 2014.

    During his formation, Deacon Bryan served at St. Adalbert’s/St. Casimir Parishes (First Communion Class during his postulant year) in South Bend, Ind.; Center for the Homeless, tutor, South Bend, Ind.; Parroquia Nuestra Madre Santísima de La Luz, Guadalupe, Nueva Leon, México (Summer 2015); M.Div. intern, Multicultural Student Ministries, Campus Ministry, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.; Colegio Fe y Alegría #25 and Rosario en Familia in Lima, Peru (Summer 2016); facilitator, Satellite Theological Education Program (STEP), University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.; assist, St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada (Summer 2017); assistant director, Old College, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.

    “Living and working with our community in Canto Grande in Lima, Perú was a beautiful ministry experience,” said Deacon Bryan. “I learned to enter more fully into the common life of community.”

    Deacon Bryan will serve at Stonehill College, North Easton, Mass.

    More about Holy Cross
    The Congregation of Holy Cross was founded in 1837 by Rev. Basil Moreau, C.S.C., and has served the Catholic Church for more than 175 years. Today there are approximately 1,200 Holy Cross religious working to educate both the hearts and minds of believers of Jesus Christ in 16 countries and on five continents.

    The United States Province of Priests and Brothers is a community made up of approximately 500 priests, brothers, and seminarians and is headquartered in Notre Dame, Ind. The United States Province fulfills Blessed Moreau’s vision in its education, parish and mission settings around the world.

    Education
    The priests and brothers are educators in the faith at the Province’s four colleges and universities: the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind., 1842), University of Portland (Portland, Ore., 1901), King’s College (Wilkes-Barre, Pa, 1946.), and Stonehill College (Easton, Mass., 1948).

    Parish
    There are 13 parishes in the United States, from Vermont to Texas to Oregon to Florida, as well as 10 abroad.

    Mission
    The Province's ministries/apostolates include André House (Phoenix), which serves the homeless and working poor, and Saint André Bessette Catholic Church (Portland, Ore.), a parish which also provides a soup kitchen and other services to the marginalized. Ave Maria Press in Notre Dame, Ind., is one of the oldest Catholic publishing houses. Holy Cross Family Ministries in North Easton, Mass., encompassing Family Theater Productions, Family Rosary and Father Peyton Family Institute, promotes the power of the Rosary and the spiritual well-being of the family. Holy Cross Retreat House, also in North Easton, is a retreat facility run by Holy Cross religious and lay staff.

    The Province's international mission work reaches into Districts of Chile, East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania), Perú; the region of México; as well as the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province in Bangladesh. Globally, the U.S. Province's Holy Cross Mission Center supports the international mission work of the worldwide efforts of the Congregation of Holy Cross, spanning 16 countries on five continents. It also supports countries with which the U.S. Province has a special relationship.

    To learn more about Holy Cross or discerning a call to religious life in Holy Cross, visit www.holycrossusa.org.




    Related Stories