Mission Makers: The Benedictines - the next generation


March 15, 2021
By: Father Benet Phillips, O.S.B.

March is a special month for Benedictines. On March 21 each year we celebrate the Transitus of our Holy Father Benedict. On this day, Lent takes a holiday and we reflect on the life and death of Saint Benedict. Saint Gregory describes the death of Saint Benedict as follows: “The year that he departed he made known his death in advance to some of his disciples who were living with him, and to some others dwelling in distant places. Seven days before he died he ordered his tomb to be opened, and he was at once greatly afflicted with a severe fever throughout those seven days. On the sixth day of his illness he commanded them to carry him into the church, and there to give him the Eucharist. He then stood between the hands of his brothers, with hands outstretched towards heaven, and between his prayers he breathed out his spirit.”

What has always struck me about the death of Saint Benedict is that he died supported by his brothers. Throughout his life, Benedict supported his brothers by word and example, and in the end it is they who support him. It is a wonderful image of monastic life – in life and in death we are supported that is carried along by the prayers and good works of our brothers.

In this issue of Mission Makers, you will meet the newest members of Saint Anselm Abbey. Each of these brothers, in their own way and collectively, build up our community by their prayer, presence and good zeal.

Brother Aloysius Ryan Sarasin, O.S.B.
Brother Aloysius is a member of the Class of 2017. After graduating from Saint Anselm, he entered the monastery, spent a year as a novice, and professed my first vows in July 2018. After his profession, Abbot Mark assigned him to study for the priesthood at Saint Meinrad Archabbey and Seminary in St. Meinrad, IN. He is currently in his third year there. Brother Aloysius hopes to profess solemn vows and be ordained a deacon this coming summer. In addition to being a monk and seminarian, he is also a licensed Emergency Medical Technician and volunteer as an EMT for the local fire department in St. Meinrad. He was first introduced to EMS during his freshman year at St. A’s and went on to serve as a lieutenant on the Saint Anselm College Emergency Medical Services team.

Brother Titus Michael Phelan, O.S.B.
Brother Titus is a 2012 graduate of the College and a junior monk at Saint Anselm Abbey. He is a native of Swampscott, MA. At Saint Anselm, he majored in Politics and double minored in Spanish and Catholic Studies. After graduation, he received a Master's in Theology at the University of Notre Dame and worked in ministry for several years. He worked in parish ministry at Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon, FL from 2012-2014, taught high school religion at Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School in Lawrence, MA from 2014-15, worked part-time in Campus Ministry here at the College in 2015, then served as the Associate Campus Minister for Men's Ministry, Retreats, and Athletics at The Catholic University of America in D.C. from 2015-17.
Br. Titus is now in his last semester at Boston College's School of Theology and Ministry for seminary studies and hopes to be ordained after taking solemn vows. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and sailing and world travel.

Brother Dunstan Noah Enzor, O.S.B.
Brother Dunstan experienced a nomadic childhood, residing with his family in Silver Spring, Maryland; Sunnyvale, California; Raleigh, North Carolina; Westlake Village, California; Groton, Massachusetts; Niwot, Colorado; Boise, Idaho; and Boulder, Colorado. Perhaps because of these experiences, he is especially keen on the Benedictine vow of stability. Brother Dunstan holds an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Colorado Boulder, a Master of Arts in Theology from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, and a Th.M. from Boston College. At this time, he is a first-year Ph.D. student in Historical Theology at Boston College, where he studies interpretations of Sacred Scripture by ancient and medieval Christian writers (favorites include Origen of Alexandria, Saint Ambrose, and Saint Gregory the Great). Brother Dunstan’s non-academic interests include chess, English literature, Bach, film, Earl Grey tea, and baking. Brother Dunstan’s favorite English-language poem is Alexander Pope’s translation of Homer’s Iliad.

Brother Basil Louis Franciose, O.S.B.
Brother Basil is a proud Saint A’s alumnus of the class of 2017 and a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. It didn’t take long for Basil to appreciate the Benedictine way of life at Saint Anselm College as a student which then drove him to join the monastery a year after he graduated in the spring of 2018. Currently, Brother Basil is a student at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts finishing up his second of four years of studies for the priesthood. During ‘covidium’ this has taken place virtually which has enabled him to stay at the Abbey and interact (socially distant) with people in the college and gain a greater appreciation of the vow of stability that marks out the monastic life. A hidden blessing during these tumultuous times. In whatever spare time Br. Basil can find he enjoys watching or listening to University of Utah football and basketball (a family tradition), reading, playing cribbage, and even playing a game of catch on the monastery lawn. Br. Basil enjoys cheering on our hawks on the diamond, on the court, or wherever an athletic contest can be found.

Brother Celestine Benjamen Hettrick, O.S.B.
Born and raised in Salem, New Hampshire, Brother Celestine was homeschooled until he entered Holy Family Academy in Manchester, NH, in 7th grade. Along with mowing lawns and gardening during the summer, he worked at Dunkin Donuts while in school, and did so until after graduation when he volunteered for a year at Mustard Seed Communities in Kingston, Jamaica. His time at Mustard Seed Communities inspired him to work with adults with disabilities as well as to continue his studies abroad at the International Theological Institute, Austria. After graduation in 2016, he worked at Sophia Institute Press before entering the monastery in January 2019. Right now, he is a junior monk and a full-time student. Brother Celestine loves being a student. His most current hobby at the monastery is raising bees – “they are amazing creatures!” There are sweet rewards in caring for an apiary, but he also sees it as an important part of our integral mission of stewarding the land.

Thanks to Brothers Aloysius, Titus, Dunstan, Basil and Celestine the mission lives on.