By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
CONCEPTION – Benedictine Brother Frowin Reed became Benedictine Father Frowin Reed as Bishop Robert W. Finn ordained him to the priesthood of the Order of St. Benedict.
At a May 17, 2007 Mass at Conception Abbey’s Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Bishop Finn offered thanks to God for the vocation of Father Frowin, whom he had ordained to the transitional diaconate one year earlier, and urged the congregation to pray that more men will hear God’s call.
“This is a holy and sacred ministry for which our son and brother is about to be consecrated,” Bishop Finn said in his homily. “Pray for him daily so that he may be a good and holy shepherd of God’s people. Because the ministry of the ordained priest is indispensable, pray also that other men will be called by God to the priesthood, and that they will respond to this vocation with generosity and trust.”
Brother Frowin, who was given the name of Conception’s founding Abbot Frowin Conrad, came to Conception Seminary College to study for the priesthood of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tenn.
In 1996, he entered the noviate to become a monk of Conception Abbey and professed his solemn vows as a religious brother in 2000.
In 2003, he heard the call to the priesthood and began theology studies at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pa.
Bishop Finn expressed particular gratitude to Father Frowin’s parents, William and the late Elizabeth Reed, his family, and the monks of Conception Abbey “who have inspired and encouraged him in his vocation.”
Bishop Finn told Father Frowin that “the people of God look to you to be a trustworthy teacher who hands on faithfully the church’s tradition.”
“Never weaken or dilute the mandate of the Gospel as entrusted to the magesterium,” Bishop Finn said. “Faithfully guard and transmit the whole deposit of faith which is handed on to you as a Catholic pastor and teacher.”
Bishop Finn urged Father Frowin to approach the celebration of Mass with awe and reverence.
“By your attention to the church’s liturgical books and by your reverence in carrying out the sacred rites, assist the faithful to recognize more clearly Jesus Christ who alone makes the people holy through prayer and the sacraments,” he said.
“Above all, be filled with wonder and awe at the mystery of the Holy Eucharist from which flows the life of the church and which is the primary source of the priest’s pastoral love,” Bishop Finn said.
“See in the daily offering of Holy Mass your identity as a priest and your greatest service to God’s holy people,” the bishop said. “By the manner of your celebration of the Holy Eucharist and other sacraments, the faithful will understand most fully the transcendent truths of the faith. In the purity of the sacred mysteries celebrated with integrity and a deep commitment to the church’s maternal prerogative, you will be a fit instrument for the transmission of the supernatural riches of the church.”
Bishop Finn encouraged Father Frowin to grow stronger in prayer and devotion.
“Devote yourself to daily prayer before the Eucharistic Lord so that you will know Jesus Christ and allow his love to infuse and perfect your own human love,” Bishop Finn said.
“Pray before Mass. Pray in thanksgiving after Mass,” he said. “Though you never do this for show, do not hesitate to let others see you are a man of prayer. They will be inspired both to pray more fervently themselves and also to pray for your perseverance.”
Bishop Finn reminded Father Frowin that “your priesthood is for life, indeed for all eternity.”
“You will need this dynamic connection to Jesus Christ the sacrificial victim if you are to persevere in giving yourself entirely as a priest,” he said.
Bishop Finn told Father Frowin that his priesthood “will be aided by the gift of priestly celibacy by which you serve the church with an undivided heart.”
“Your celibate love will make it clear to all that you belong entirely to Jesus Christ,” he said. “At the same time, your love for others will be life-giving and all-embracing. By your example, you will inspire others to live a love for others which is pure and holy.”
Bishop Finn urged Father Frowin to “serve with joyful obedience the needs of your community, ready to give up your own will and making yourself an oblation to God.”
He told Father Frowin to stay close to Mary “the mother of priests and your mother,” and to “commend yourself to the intercession of St. Benedict and all the heavenly patrons.”
“Let your daily prayer be joined to theirs in one voice of unity and harmony,” Bishop Finn said.