April 21, 2016
Stephen (Brian) Lawson, O.S.B., a member of the Saint Anselm monastic community, was ordained to the diaconate by the Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, on Saturday, April 16 in the Saint Anselm Abbey Church. Following his ordination, he will be known as Father Stephen.
As a deacon, Father Stephen is now a minister of service for Saint Anselm Abbey and the wider Church. Among his many duties he will assist priests with the administration of the Sacraments.
Father Stephen was presented for ordination by Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B., Abbot of Saint Anselm Abbey.
After Bishop Libasci received his promise of obedience, Father Stephen was vested with the stole and dalmatic, signs of his station within the Church, by Brother David N'Djam, O.S.B., a seminary classmate from Monastere de l'Incarnation in Togo, Africa.
During the Rite of Ordination, Bishop Libasci's instructed Father Stephen regarding his new ministry: "As a deacon you will serve Jesus Christ, who was known among his disciples as the one who served others. Do the will of God generously. Serve God and mankind in love and joy."
In reflecting on his ordination, Father Stephen noted, "Becoming a deacon affords me a profound mission of service to the Church and the People of God. I am excited to be able to proclaim the Gospel through the ministries in which I will be participating throughout the year."
Originally from Holyoke, Massachusetts, Father Stephen graduated from Saint Anselm College in 2008 with a degree of bachelor of arts in politics. Upon graduation he worked as a reporter for PolitickerNH.com and the Live Free or Die Alliance. He joined the monastic community as a postulant in January 2010.
Father Stephen professed his solemn monastic vows during the summer of 2014. He is in his third year of theological studies at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Saint Meinrad, Indiana. He hopes to be ordained a priest following the completion of his studies next year.
Story by Brother Francis McCarty, N.O.S.B. '10
Novice, Saint Anselm Abbey