Images from my Lay Cistercian Life Promises Ceremony

On May 6, 2012, I made my Lifetime Promises as a Lay Cistercian of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, affiliated with the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA. It’s been quite a journey, the culmination of a five year formation process (and several months of discernment prior to that). Here are a few photographs taken on that happy day. If you want to learn more about Lay Cistercian spirituality, click here

Making my promises to the monks, with my wife, Fran, at my side.

Eight Lay Cistercians made our promises that day, with five monks receiving the process and a number of other monks and laypersons in the congregation. We each had to bring a witness, so of course Fran filled that role for me. Rhiannon was there as well, cheering me on!

Receiving my Saint Benedict's Medal from the monks.

The ceremony took place in the context of a mass in the Abbey Church, presided over by the Abbot. It is a tremendous witness to the hospitality of the monks that they open their lives and hearts to so many laypersons who wish to learn from them and be inspired by their simple, contemplative life.

With dear friends: Fr. Anthony, Carl and Michael Thompson


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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Stephanie Rudd

    Wonderful pictures. What a happy day and beginning of the rest of life.

  • roger p. martin

    Congratulations.”Your one desire then acts with ours,as in all Light,so in all forms(Abwoon)

  • Mark Mitchell

    Congratulations Carl! You and your family are a true inspiration to me and many others. Keep up the good work!

  • Sr.Sheila Patenaude, FMM

    Congratulations!!! May this step be the beginning of a long journey of enriching God’s people with insights from your Cistercian charism and study of spirituality.

  • Anna Kathleen

    Congratulations, Carl. I will share this with Sr. Lucy.

  • Nancy

    Dear Carl, congratulations on this mighty milestone and many blessings. I wish we had known of the ceremony as Jim and I would have been honored to witness this and I think other ELAs would have as well. Know that we send our good wishes and prayers to you always.

    • Carl McColman

      Please forgive me for not sending you a notice about the ceremony. As I think you know, “marketing” is not my long suit! Anyway, thank you so much for your prayers and I look forward to the day when I can celebrate with you and Jim for your promises.

  • tana

    What a beautiful celebration. Congratulations, Carl.

  • Patrick Minderman

    Congratulations, Carl !

    Three years ago I professed my promises as a Lay Cistercian at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani. Daily I am grateful to God for his Grace and Blessings as I try to live this vocation.

    And also, thank you for your interesting articles about the Cistercian way! They are terrific.

  • Nepsis

    Congratulations! It’s a blessing to everyone when a man such as yourself makes such a profound commitment to Christ.