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In a brief ceremony, Novice Joseph Wagner was clothed in the Benedictine habit at Saint Meinrad Archabbey this past Thursday.

He now begins a year of monastic formation, including study of the Rule of St. Benedict and monastic history.

Novice Joseph is 29-years old and a native of Quincy, IL. He attended high school at Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago before earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Quincy University and a master’s degree in liturgical studies from University of St. Mary of the Lake. He was a member of St. Aloysius Parish in Springfield, IL.

Before joining the monastery, he was a high school teacher at St. Anthony High School in Effingham, IL, and an archivist for the Illinois Secretary of State.

As a novice, he takes a year off from formal studies and trades. The novitiate is a time of prayer and learning intended to help a novice discern his vocation as a monk.

At the end of this year, a novice may be permitted to profess temporary vows of obedience, fidelity to the monastic way of life and stability in the community of Saint Meinrad.

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