Brother Raban of Subiaco prepares for priestly ordination – Arkansas Catholic
Monk studying theology at the Pontifical University of Saint Anselm in Rome, ordination in ’24
Posted: January 27, 2022
Courtesy of Brother Raban Heyer
Brother Raban Heyer, OSB, at the Benedictine Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Subiaco, Italy, September 30. The Subiaco Abbey monk has been in Europe since June, studying first in Assisi for a four-month Italian immersion program and now in Rome to study for his priesthood.
At 32, Brother Raban Heyer had a happy monastic life at Subiaco Abbey. He made his perpetual profession in December 2018, served as vocations director for the abbey and taught English, chaired the English department and coached athletics at the Subiaco Academy.
But like his discernment to be a monk, God again called him out of his comfort zone. In October, he began studying theology at the Pontifical University of Saint Anselm (Pontificio Sant’Anselmo) in Rome in preparation for his priestly ordination. He is expected to be ordained at Subiaco in the summer of 2024.
To prepare, in June 2021 he traveled to Assisi, Italy for a four-month Italian immersion program before moving to Rome.
“The discernment to go to seminary, a path to priestly ordination, followed an almost identical pattern to my discernment to join the monastery,” Elder Raban said in an email interview with Arkansas Catholic Jan. 19.
“In this house, monks from dozens of countries around the world pray, live, work and study together. To be able to discover how Benedictines from dozens of countries live the Rule of Saint Benedict and their monastic professions is an incredible gift,” said Brother Raban.
Before coming to Subiaco Abbey in 2014, Brother Raban, born Clifford Heyer, was on the move – 40 moves to be exact, at the age of 25. Whether it was his parents finding better jobs and relocating him and his six siblings, or himself as he grew older, finding better opportunities and a more affordable life, he lacked stability. It caused him to lose touch with God.
Finally, God called him to monastic life, that of the community.
“It would require getting away from people and a place that I loved, with whom and in which I was extremely happy,” Elder Raban said. “Leaving Subiaco, the monks, my students, my colleagues and the community for a few years was not a prospect that appealed to me. Through prayer, especially Lectio Divina, and spiritual direction, it became clear where God wanted me.
Father Leonard Wangler, OSB, told Arkansas Catholic it was a good place for Brother Raban to study because Father Elijah Owens, OSB, studied in college until January and could guide him.
“He showed good qualities in relating to others, in teaching religion, being involved in their lives and helping them,” Father Leonard said of Brother Raban. and its students. “He seems to be a respectful and prayerful person.”
Brother Raban has already obtained a bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in philosophy. He holds a master’s degree in English from Ohio Dominican University.
While in Assisi, Brother Raban stayed in the guest wing of Monastero San Giuseppe in Assisi, a monastery of Benedictine women, while studying at the language school, Accademia Lingua Italiana Assisi.
“I usually spent four hours each morning in class and studied in the afternoon. I found myself extremely lucky to have had so much time to learn the language,” he said. “Others have had to make it work around their work and family. Some religious had only one or two months before the start of their programs. During my stay in Assisi, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to interact with Franciscans from all over the world.
Today at the Pontifical University of Saint Anselm, he had the opportunity to discover a new depth of monasticism.
“In this house, monks from dozens of countries around the world pray, live, work and study together. To be able to discover how Benedictines from dozens of countries live the Rule of Saint Benedict and their monastic professions is an incredible gift,” said Brother Raban. “Here too, the program is adapted to the formation of monk-priests. Being in an environment where I pray and live with a number of my teachers, who are my brothers in the community, provides a unique formation environment. »
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