Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Trappist Brother Todd Koesel will take solemn vows next month
by Mitch Finley, Inland Register staff
(From the Sept. 9, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)
Brother Todd Koesel will profess solemn vows as a Trappist monk next month. (IR photo courtesy of Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey)
Brother Todd Koesel, 34, son of Dennis and Nola Koesel of Deer Park’s St. Mary’s Presentation Parish, will profess solemn vows as a Trappist monk on Oct. 30.
Brother Todd has been a member of the community at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey, in Oregon, since 2004. The monastery is located about 50 miles south of Portland, near the town of Lafayette.
According to his father, Dennis, Brother Todd entered the Trappist community in February 2004.
The future monk graduated from Riverside High School in Chattaroy, Wash., and Eastern Washington University, where he majored in accounting, in 1999.
He had put himself through school working in a warehouse for Costco. He returned to the company after college, this time in the corporate headquarters in Issaquah, but returned to the warehouse prior to discerning his call to Religious life.
First came time with the Franciscans, in California. He later moved to the Franciscan friary in Portland, Ore., working for a year at Outreach Ministries on urban Burnside Ave., ministering to the homeless and the mentally ill.
“While he was in Portland,” his father said, “he visited the Trappist abbey and was attracted to that life right away. He went back down to California for a while, but then he came home for Christmas in 2003, and we drove him down to the Trappist monastery the first of February, and he’s been there ever since. After the first three months, which is a trial period, (an aspirant) is required to leave for two weeks to think about what he wants to do. So he came home, and we took him back down in May.”
Besides Brother Todd’s parents, “20 or 30 people from the parish signed up” to travel down to the Oregon monastery for the liturgy during which Brother Todd will profess his solemn final vows, said his father.
In an email to the Inland Register, Brother Todd wrote, “The day of the profession will be quite simple, with family and friends attending and, of course, the community here. The Mass of profession will be at 11 a.m. with the Abbot presiding, followed by a festive lunch in our dining area that will certainly be open to all in attendance. The monastic day will be the same as any other outside of the special time for Mass.”
(To learn more, visit www.trappistabbey.org)