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First Vows, Final Vows and an Investiture for Boise’s Verbum Spei community

The following story appeared in the June 11 Idaho Catholic Register.

In the top photo, Brother Jonathan Kilkelly makes his Final Profession in the Verbum Spei (“Word of Hope”) community during a Pentecost Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. (ICR photos/Vero Gutiérrez)

The Brothers of Verbum Spei welcomed a new postulant to their community with the investiture of Weiser native, Jesús Vargas.

Two more brothers professed their Final Vows and two professed their First Vows during a Mass celebrated on the afternoon of Pentecost Sunday by Bishop Peter Christensen at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Father Didier-Marie, the moderator of Verbum Spei who is based in Mexico, was the homilist for the Mass.

With his investiture, Vargas will now be known as Brother Jose and will begin an

18-month discernment process that may lead to First Vows.

Receiving their First Vows at the same Mass were Brother Joseph Smith and Brother Thomas Fransen, both natives of New Zealand. First Vows begin another three years of discernment before Final Vows.

Making their Final Profession on Pentecost Sunday were Father Ewald-Johannes Kamphuis, a native of the Netherlands, who will now be known as Father (or Brother) Johannes; and Brother Jonathan Kilkelly, also from New Zealand.

The men will soon move from their current Treinen House location behind the Cathedral to the Nazareth Retreat Center, which, in July, becomes Our Lady of Ephesus.

Boise will become the first house of formation for the growing order in the United States. According to Verbum Spei, the Boise location will become a CFL, or Catholic Formation for Life center, for young men who want to experience community life, centered around the Word of God, the Eucharist and studies in philosophy and theology. Several young men will join the Verbum Spei (“Word of Hope”) community in July for the nine-month experience. Father Dominique Faure, the prior of the community, anticipates that about 12 men will be living at Our Lady of Ephesus when it opens in July.

Most of the men who take the 9-month program likely will not go on to seek full-time Religious Order life with the community, but some will. Not all of the Brothers eventually become priests, but many do.

Our Lady of Ephesus will also be open to the lay faithful who want to worship or pray with the Brothers for a few hours or a day.

Verbum Spei also has houses of formation in Saltillo, Mexico; Luxembourg and Spain.

The Brothers are prostrate during the Litany of the Saints (ICR photos/Vero Gutiérrez)

Father Johannes receives a blessing from Father Didier-Marie, moderator of Verbum Spei. Next to Father Didier-Marie is Father Dominique Faure, prior of the community here in Boise. (ICR photos/Vero Gutiérrez)

Jesús Vargas, a native of Weiser, is prostrate as the Litany of Saints is sung during his investiture ceremony into the Verbum Spei community. (ICR photos/Vero Gutiérrez)

Brother Jonathan Kilkelly, left, and Father Dominique Faure remove his sport coat. (ICR photos/Vero Gutiérrez)

A joyful Brother Jose, as he now will be known, greets the community. (ICR photos/Vero Gutiérrez)

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