Saint Martin's Abbey monk takes solemn vows

Jan. 27, 2006

Lacey, Wash. – Brother Luke Devine, Order of Saint Benedict, took his solemn vows Jan. 7 at Saint Martin’s Abbey, becoming a fully-professed member of the Abbey. Father George Seidel, O.S.B., another member of the Saint Martin’s monastic community, delivered the homily.

The vows mark a formal commitment between the monk and the monastery and are the final step in what is a four-to-five year formation period for men who join the religious community. While timelines vary among religious orders and among Benedictine communities, the basic process includes entering the order as a postulant for several months before requesting initiation into the novitiate. During the novitiate, about a year in length, the monk takes classes from monastic members on monastic life, learning more about early church teachings, Benedictine history, the Psalms and the Rule of St. Benedict, which guides the Benedictine order. Novices also work within the monastery. The novice moves to the next period of formation, becoming a junior monk, by taking first, or simple, vows. During this three-year period, he takes renewable one-year vows and is assigned work with either the monastery or the university.

“It’s basically a period of the monk getting to know the community and the community getting to know the monk,” Brother Luke said.

Brother Luke, whose birth name was Bret Richard Devine, was born and baptized in the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, and is a graduate of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield, Ill. He came to Saint Martin’s University as a transfer student in 1999 and completed his last two years of education, earning a bachelor’s degree in the humanities with concentrations in religious studies, history and art.

He entered Saint Martin’s Abbey as a postulant in 2001, then was initiated into the novitiate and was given his religious name, “Luke.” He took his first vows Jan. 1, 2003, becoming a junior monk. As a junior monk, he worked in the university’s Campus Ministry office, oversaw the Capps-Capozzolo Art Gallery and Waynick Museum on the university campus and served on the abbey’s vocation team, jobs he will continue as a senior monk. During this time, he completed the University of Washington’s certificate program in museum studies.

Family members attending the monastic profession were his parents Michael and Maija Devine, Lee’s Summit, Mo.; his brother and sister-in-law Chris and Julie and their son Jackson, Denver, Colo; his sisters Lisa Devine, Nanjing, China, and Mia Devine, Anchorage, Alaska; his grandmother Elayne Devine of Springfield, Ill.; and an aunt and uncle, Pat and John Stevens, also of Springfield. Several friends also traveled to the area to attend. His brother Brian Devine, of Seoul, Korea, was unable to attend.

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Deanna Partlow
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