Brother Patricio Chacón, O. Praem. professed his first vows on the Feast of Saint Augustine, August 28, 2019. Born in Albuquerque, Patricio graduated from Coronado High School in Galina, New Mexico. He received an associate of arts degree in liberal arts from Central New Mexico Community College in 2017 and is presently in his senior year at the University of New Mexico, majoring in philosophy.

In high school, Patricio became involved in youth ministry and youth retreats. In college, he ministered to people who are homebound for Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community. His ministries at the Abbey include serving as master of ceremonies for special feasts.

Patricio has three brothers, two sisters, two nieces, and one nephew; he is the son of Amadeo and Adela Chacón, who live in Capulin, New Mexico.

Patricio said, “As I began the day praying the Liturgy of the hours I sat and thought to myself, ‘in a few hours, things are going to change.’ I knew that I was going to be making an important commitment publicly, but it had not yet set in that I was about to make this commitment; that in just a few hours the Abbey church would be packed with family, friends and fellow religious to witness the profession of the vows. As I ran into fellow community members or friends, they would excitedly say, ‘Big day!’ I was excited for the evening ahead and what It would bring.

After Lauds, I continued my day as normal as I had class to attend at the University of New Mexico (UNM). When I returned home from UNM I had a chance to sit and rest for a little bit. I began to feel a bit restless, and a bit uneasy. I knew my nervousness was beginning to set in. But in this moment I was able to remember the words my confrere James said to me, ‘Are you ready to profess what has been taking place within you?’, and the words of my confrere Robert, ‘Don’t get nervous!’ A little laughter, comfort, and peace entered my heart at the thought of these words.

At the end of the night I sat under the starry desert sky. All I could think of were the words in St. Augustine’s Confessions; ‘My heart is restless, until it rests in you O, God.’ I was reminded of the emptiness within me that has been present, nothing being able to fill it. It was only at the profession of vows I realized the covenant I entered on the Feast of St. Augustine, was that which will allow me to begin to rest in God. This emptiness that sits in me continues to be present, but it is a space where Christ can dwell and fill. In the book Come and See, Abbot Brendan Freeman of New Melleray Abbey mentions their motto, ‘Vicate et Videte’ which can be translated as ‘Be Still and Know’ or ‘Be Empty and See.’ These words can best express what I was experiencing that evening. My elder confreres had been able to encounter that same emptiness, and now I encounter the same feeling in a new way with this community as we continue this journey towards God as one.”