On the 24th July, 2015, in the Chapel of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, Friar Luke Fonkalsrud professed his simple vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, into the hands of the provincial of the 'St. Bonaventure' province, Fr. Michael Zielke, taking the Religious name Br. Bernard Mary Fonkalsrud OFM Conv. after the great Cistercian Abbot, Mariologist, and Doctor of the Church, St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
Br. Bernard Mary completed his Novitiate year with other friars of the English speaking conference of the Order (CFC) in Mishawaka, Indiana. During this year, novices undergo more of a contemplative experience, with in-house classes/seminars on Franciscan spirituality and history, reflections, retreats, community engagement, external ministry, and most importantly prayer and discernment.
There were many friar priests and brothers in attendance, as well as family and friends of the six men professing vows. Br. Bernard Mary's father, Kirk, and Mother, Lynette, also flew all the way from Australia for the occasion.
The Mass of Profession was presided over by the provincial of the 'Our Lady of Consolation Province', Fr. Jim Kent, and concelebrated by the other Ministers from the respective juristictions, and visiting priests. It was a beautiful event that was filled with great joy and happiness at the reception of these new brothers into the Order of Friars Minor Conventual. Following the ceremony, the Sisters provided a reception in their dinning room, served by the Novices Sisters and Friars.
Br. Bernard Mary will spend a few months in Chicago, taking classes and assisting at he National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe (Marytown), Libertyville, before eventually returning to Australia in the new year.