Fontgombault, et al.: older form of OSB solemn profession

News from a reader about Clear Creek:

This Sunday two of the young monks at Clear Creek will make their solemn profession in the presence of the Abbot of Fontgombault during the conventual Mass.  They are Brother Jose Lagos from Saint Louis and Brother Gabriel from Brownsville, Texas.

One of the monks told me that Father Abbot recently asked for, and received permission, from the Holy See for Fontgombault & its daughter-houses to revert to the old ritual for ceremonies such as religious professions.  This is apparently the first time a profession has taken place in the Fontgombault family since this permission was given.  So this will be the first time in 40-some years that this ceremony has been used.

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  1. Agellius says:

    Where is Fontgombault?

  2. Oneros says:

    But isnt Clear Creek an old rite monastery? Why werent the older ceremonies being used all along?

  3. Tim Ferguson says:

    Suscipe me Domine, secundum eloquium tuum, et vivam, et non confundar in aeternum! What gloriously good news!

  4. Craig says:

    They have permission to use the 62 missal, though they use it for Low Mass and a slightly modified liturgy at High Mass, they did not however, have permission to use the form of profession used prior to some time in the 60’s.

    I was present for the Simple Profession of 4 monks last week (moved me to tears), and if what Fr. Bethel says is true, than my possible trip back this weekend will be more beautiful than the last.

  5. Steve K. says:

    Fontgombault is in France, Agellius.

  6. robtbrown says:

    Fontgombault is in the Department of Indre in Central France, near Chateauroux (once the site of a US Air Force Base). It is in the province of Berry, well known for the medieval masterpiece, Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. The capital of Berry is Bourges, where yours truly was confirmed.

    The abbey sits on the river Creuse.

  7. Mike Morrow says:

    robtbrown wrote: “once the site of a US Air Force Base”

    All of US military background know it there were no US “Air Force Bases” outside the US. Those outside the USA were “US Air Bases” (no “Forces”). It was an important qualifier.

  8. Fr. A.M. says:

    Actually a friend of mine was in Fontgambault for a solemn profession in September, and they used the old ritual, as far as I can see.

  9. robtbrown says:

    All of US military background know it there were no US “Air Force Bases” outside the US. Those outside the USA were “US Air Bases” (no “Forces”). It was an important qualifier.
    Comment by Mike Morrow

    I don’t understand the distinction.

    At any rate, by the time I went to France, the base was already closed because France had opted out of NATO.

  10. mr. crouchback says:


    You seem to be pretty familiar with Clear Creek. I’ve been a few times, and have loved my brief stays there. A couple of questions:

    (1) Do the monks at Clear Creek use the 1965 Ordo Missae when celebrating High Mass?

    (2) Do you know if the monastery is accepting Oblates? If so, do you know how one would go about looking into it further?


  11. Speaking of Oblates, if a group of traditional Benedictines ever erect a priory in northern Virginia, I’d love to hear about it. Write me. Call me. Knock on my front door. Whatever.

    And FWIW, it is not uncommon for monastic usage of the traditional liturgy to vary from the norm in little ways. They add the name of “our holy father Benedict” to the Confiteor, and because they wear the cowl, they do not wear birettas. Those are two examples, and there are others that don’t come to mind at the moment.

  12. Let’s pray the OSB monks at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota (the attached university is my alma mater) sit up and take notice.

  13. Craig says:

    mr. crouchback,
    The monks do use the 65 Missal for the High Mass, but with some modifications, as manwithblackhat said, monasteries are known for making small changes to the liturgy for their own situations.

    They do indeed accept Oblates, I am one myself having made my promises on 17th taking St. Bruno as my patron.

  14. tpkiser says:

    One alumnus to another, oremus.

  15. tpkiser says:

    Craig: did you have a ceremony for final oblation?

  16. Craig says:

    Yes I did tpkiser. I wrote my promises out, just as a monk would at profession, and I said the Suscipe me Domine (only once). It was just myself and Fr. Bethel at the St. Benedict altar (second from the Altar rail on the left side).

  17. mr. crouchback says:


    Thanks for the response!

    I need to continue praying on it, but I’ve been considering offering myself for oblation at Clear Creek–assuming they’d have me. I am certainly drawn to Clear Creek & its mission, and have recently started praying Lauds, Vespers, and Compline from the monastic diurnal. I’ve also tried to read the daily excerpt from the Rule.

    Still, I have at least one concern. I live in Houston, Texas and–though I have a lot of family in Tulsa–would only be able to visit Clear Creek infrequently. Maintaining a strong connection with the monastery under such circumstances might be difficult.

    Any insights on becoming an Oblate with Clear Creek would be very much appreciated.

  18. tpkiser says:

    Mr. Crouchback,

    If I may interject, there is a rather large commentary on The Holy Rule explicitly for oblates with families now back in print. I only with I could recall the author, but it is for sale at the Clear Creek gatehouse. Also, there are small pamphlets entitled “Manual for Oblates” published by Collegeville in the 1950’s still out there. The language of the newer books is not as precise, in my opinion, and some may have a majority of protestant contributers.

  19. Craig says:

    mr.crouch, the book is by Canon G.A. Simon, and can be found on the Wipf and Stock website,

    Its an excellent resource for Oblates

  20. tpkiser says:

    it seems quite substantial, a little bit surprising given the topic.

  21. Craig says:

    Yes indeed it is quite substantial, but the Order has survived every conceivable attack, outside and in, and the Rule has seen them through to the glorious ends.

    Clear Creek is a true beacon of hope in Holy Mother Church today, and especially for us in the United States. You should see the joy in the faces of the monks, it will make your heart leap. And to hear the true treasure of the Benedictine charism, the singing of the Offices. Its tough to leave Clear Creek when my visits are over, I really shed tears.

  22. mr. crouchback says:


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