The Rt. Rev. Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., Archabbot of Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, accepted the solemn vows of two Benedictines on Saturday, July 10, during ceremonies at Saint Vincent Basilica.
After spending one year as a novice and three years as a junior monk, a period of reflection and monastic formation, the Benedictine brothers may petition for solemn vows, which are a commitment to monastic vows for life.
Making their professions were Br. William D. Benthall, O.S.B., a native of Norfolk, Virginia, and Br. Lee Yoakam, O.S.B., born in Barksdale, Louisiana.
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Brother William D. Benthall, O.S.B., is a son of the late William L. Benthall and Hattie M. (Swain) Benthall, and grandson of Lillian R. Ormond of Williamston, North Carolina. His brothers are James L. Biggs of Washington, D.C. and Raynard W. Benthall of Williamston, North Carolina.
He is a 1985 graduate of Williamston Senior High School. He attended St. Paul’s College (1985-1986), majoring in political science and St. John’s College (1987-1988), majoring in history. He received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College in 1998 and is currently working toward his master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary.
He entered the novitiate in 1995 and made simple profession of Monastic vows on July 10, 1996. He is director of the sacristy and assistant master of ceremonies for the archabbey.
Brother William is Vice President and Regional Coordinator for the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association.
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Lee Yoakam, O.S.B.
Brother Lee R. Yoakam is a son of Ted G. Yoakam and Doloros (Ahrens) Yoakam of Arma, Kansas. He is one of six children, including Terry G. Yoakam of Leavenworth, Kansas; Paul C. Yoakam, Chesapeake, Virginia; Gail M. Mattivi, Pittsburg, Kansas; Ted G. Yoakam, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and the late Julie A. Metzger.
He is a 1973 graduate of Grant High School, Portland, Oregon. He received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology in 1979 from Old Dominion University and a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Old Dominion in 1986. He holds a master of science degree in administration from Central Michigan University (1993).
He made simple profession of Monastic vows on July 10, 1996.
At Saint Vincent he has served as an adjunct nurse at Saint Vincent College and Seminary, and is also acting director and staff for the Monastic infirmary . He is a dorm moderator at Saint Vincent College.
In 1984 he joined the Navy Reserves for two and a half years. He was in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 1994. He is now active in the Army Reserves.