Two Crosiers profess solemn vows in Onamia

Members of the Crosier Fathers and Brothers gathered for a conventual priory chapter meeting in Onamia during the last week of August. They regularly meet on Zoom, but once a year they gather for an in-person meeting to further foster the bonds of fraternity. And what better way to do that than celebrate two brothers’ solemn profession of vows?

Father Tom Enneking blesses Brother Marcos, left, and Brother Paul.

“While we usually have professions on Aug. 28, the feast of St. Augustine, the author of our Rule for Living, we wanted to have the solemn profession liturgy at Onamia while everyone was present,” said Father Kermit Holl, prior of the Crosier Priory in Onamia.

Brother Paulinus “Paul” Daeli and Brother Marcos Leles professed solemn vows Aug. 26 at Holy Cross Priory Church in Onamia with members and friends of the community — some present and others watching online.

“We are here this afternoon to witness the solemn profession by Brother Marcos and Brother Paul because each of them, one from Brazil and one from Indonesia, has experienced something unique and special in Crosier religious life that has led them to want the rest of their life to start as soon as possible,” said Father Tom Enneking, conventual prior of the Crosiers, during his homily. “Their encounter with the love of Christ embodied in our Crosier life and service has touched them deeply and led them to say, ‘This is how I want to spend my life.’”

Brother Paul, originally from West Nias, North Sumatra Province in Indonesia, was drawn to the Crosiers because they served in his parish growing up. He often attended Mass with his father and sister, which strengthened his faith, he said.

“I actually wanted to be a priest when I was a kid,” Brother Paul said. “I heard God’s calling from my uncles, who call me ‘Fasitoro’ in the Nias language, which means ‘pastor’ in Indonesian and ‘Father’ or ‘priest’ in English.”

The calling faded in junior high school but returned in high school, he said.

“I realized that from God’s calling, I cannot escape,” he said. “Shortly after I finished my senior high school, I was accepted to be a novice in Sang Kristus Province in Indonesia.”

He entered the Crosier novitiate July 5, 2015, and professed his first vows Aug. 28, 2017.

Father Enneking and Brother Paul sign the official document of Perpetual Profession.

“When I moved to ‘Skolastikat,’ which is a term for the post-novitiate time in our formation, there were a lot of challenges,” Brother Paul said. “Studying philosophy, living with people who have different cultures [and] backgrounds … from me, and building a high discipline attitude was not easy.”

Although he said he struggled a little with his studies, Brother Paul brings a love and talent for music and art to his vocation. He designed the floral arrangements for the profession Mass.

“Those of you who know Brother Paul know of his incredible creative spirit,” Father Enneking, said in his homily. “The gift of music, the gift of art just overflows. The floral arrangements [here today are ] one expression of that heart of beauty, a heart full of love.”

Brother Paul will attend St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville this fall to pursue a master of arts degree in theology. He plans to continue his formation and be ordained a priest.

“One of my trusts is, that if God graces my past journey, he also graces my future journey. Now, focusing on my theological studies, I believe God will intervene,” Brother Paul said. “I realize that I can face it because of God’s grace for me. He helps me because he loves me. This is what I nourish every day wherever I am. This makes me able to say, ‘Yes, I am willing to profess my vows for the rest of my life.’”

Brother Marcos is from Belo Horizonte, the capital city of southeastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state.

“My home is far from the Amazon area and is not close to Rio de Janeiro city and São Paulo,” he said. “I am originally from the mountains, one of the most beautiful places in Brazil. “

What first caught his attention was the Crosier habit, but he soon realized there was much more to the order.

Brother Marcos smiles after he makes his profession.

“When I visited the community, I had the opportunity to pray with them, and at that moment I felt like I was in heaven,” Brother Marcos said. “Then I got to know more about the community and I realized that the Crosiers want to live in community, just like the apostles, sharing bread, in prayer, helping each other and at work.”

He joined the Crosiers for the first time in 2005, but the situation in the Brazilian province at that time was not good, he said, so he was sent home. A small community of Crosiers from Holland remained, and he visited monthly to pray with them.

He rejoined them in 2011 for a short time and returned again in 2015.  He entered the Crosier novitiate Sept. 14, 2015, and professed his first vows Feb. 18, 2017.

“I returned to the order in 2015 and I am still here forever,” he said, adding that his spiritual journey has been “a long walk, where I had to pray a lot and have my ear in the heart of God and my hand on the pulse of time.”

Brother Marcos and Brother Paul prostrate themselves in front of the altar as the assembly prays the Litany of Saints.

It was a long road, but Brother Marcos is happy to live in community with the Crosiers and continue his theology studies at St. John’s.

“Over 18 years ago, Brother Marcos encountered the Crosiers,” said Father Enneking, in his homily. “But Marcos has found what his heart has been searching for in the spirit of fraternal life that marks our life in common and our service to the sick and poor.”

Brother Marcos says he feels complete now that he has professed his vows.

“I feel an immense peace in my heart,” he said. “I can say that I am happy as a Crosier, and I ask people to pray for us, and if they need prayer, we are here to pray for each person and their intentions. And in the Brazilian way I would say: Come to our community and have a coffee and pray with us. You are welcome here.”

To view the Mass online, visit



Author: Dianne Towalski

Dianne Towalski is a multimedia reporter for The Central Minnesota Catholic Magazine.

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