Monk Profiles: Fr. Christopher Wyvill

I grew up in a small town in Maryland, where I attended parish elementary and public high school. At age eighteen I enlisted in the Navy, and after three years I received an NROTC scholarship. At age 28 I finished my three years of active duty as Engineering Officer on a post-World War II destroyer, paying back the Navy for my four years of college.

I was invited to extend my active duty, but felt the need for “something more” to fill out my life. I had been thinking about the possibility of consecrated religious life since my last years in college. As I had no close contact with anyone in religious communities, my pastor offered to take me to several religious houses in Washington he was familiar with. He brought me first to St. Anselm’s, then an independent priory. After about an hour’s visit and tour with Fr. Hilary, I told monsignor that I did not see the need to visit other communities - St. Anselm’s felt just right.

I returned to the Priory for a weekend visit. This was on Pentecost, and the richness and beauty of the liturgy reinforced my first impression, so I applied for postulancy. I came expecting to be a brother monk, but Abbot Alban requested that I study for the priesthood as well as teach in our school. There were plenty of challenges, but by the grace of God, with perseverance and the example -- and patience -- of many brethren, I am still here some fifty years later. God is good. Everything is Gift.

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