In Germany, the celebration of a solemn profession has become a rare event. Therefore, when it does happen, it is all the more cause for joy and gratitude. On August 22, 2021, the Province of St. Elizabeth in Germany experienced a truly joyful event, its first solemn profession in several years—the solemn profession of Friar Markus SCHOLZ.
Friar Markus was born in 1990. He completed his theology studies in the summer of 2016. He had already been in contact with religious life for several years, especially through the Erlöserschwestern Sisters of Würzburg. In the autumn of 2016, he finally entered the postulancy program with the Conventual Franciscans. After a year of formation at the friary in Schwarzenberg, Friar Markus was sent to Assisi to complete his novitiate year. He made his simple profession on August 24, 2018, and was transferred back to Schwarzenberg to begin his post-novitiate period.
Due to pandemic restrictions, only a limited number of guests could be invited to the August 22 profession celebration. Nevertheless, as many as seventy people attended the service held at the shrine church in Schwarzenberg. The Minister Provincial, Friar Andreas Murk, was particularly pleased to be able to welcome not only the invited guests, but some twenty friars as well.
In his homily, Friar Andreas underlined what he called the “sacredness of the moment.” He said: “If you make your profession and thus bind yourself to our community for life, this is only possible because you are as certain as you can be that this is God’s plan for your life, your vocation and that this is the plan that will lead you to the greatest happiness attainable in this world.” Friar Andreas continued: “This is what is required for a friar to finally say, as stipulated in the Rite of Profession, ‘I ask to be able to serve the Lord in this community for the rest of my life!’”
At the end of the Mass, Friar Markus thanked his longtime companions and all those who supported him in preparing for the celebration. A festive meal was served inside the spirituality center. However, due to Covid restrictions, the diners had to be divided into two separate groups. At the same time, the Most Reverend Ludwig SCHICK, Archbishop of Bamberg, Germany, made a surprise visit. He has always been a close friend of the friars in Schwarzenberg and of the Province of Germany.
Friar Andreas MURK, Minister Provincial