Smiles all round as hermit takes final vows

13 Nov 2008

By therecord

For former Edith Cowan University media studies academic Laura Meyers it’s been a long road – but a worthwhile one.                            

Pax: Archbishop Barry Hickey and Laura Meyers exchange the sign of peace as Fr Richard Smith of North Beach Parish and Deacon Paul Stacy look on. Laura Meyers had just made her final vows as a hermit before the Archbishop and a congregation of friends and parishioners. Laura, a former Edith Cowan University media studies academic, has been living the eremitical life of seclusion and prayer for approximately twenty years after a lifetime of searching for God, which she spoke of in the October 29 p rosengren

By Peter Rosengren
For former Edith Cowan University media studies academic Laura Meyers it’s been a long road – but a worthwhile one.
When she made her final vows of perpetual consecration before Archbishop Barry Hickey at City Beach Parish Church on Wednesday evening November 5 she reached a major milestone in her life that began when she was just five.
It was at this early stage, she told The Record in an earlier interview published in the October 29 edition of the paper, that she experienced an overwhelming presence of God in her life that she was never able to forget.
It set her off on her life’s journey and never allowed her to rest until she realised she was called to be a hermit – one who lives apart from human society in order to pray for the needs of the Church and the world and lead a life of contemplation of God.
There are few hermits in existence in Western society today, but perhaps more than most people realise. The radical contemplative vocation may be making something of a comeback but is still a rare vocation because of its solitary nature, Laura told The Record in late October.
About fifty people were present to witness Laura make her vows before Archbishop Barry Hickey, who was assisted by Fr Richard Smith and Deacon Paul Stacy of Our Lady of Grace Parish in North Beach, and Fr Stephen Truscott SM on the evening.
Archbishop Hickey told the congregation that the life of a hermit offers a special opportunity to pursue God and to get to know the Lord and respond to his invitation to be his friend.
He said that he had paused on his way to the parish for that evening’s ceremony to look at the ocean for a short while.
“The sight of the ocean along Perth’s coast reminded me again tonight of the immensity of God,” he said.
“When we contemplate God we are contemplating the infinite; there are no boundaries around God.”
“The life of a hermit means to be in touch with the infinite God – in his mercy, justice, love and compassion – and yet at the same time that relationship is also personal,” he said.
“God, so immense, is still within us and with us.”
After Laura had taken her vows during the special Mass, the Archbishop presented her with a cross to be worn on a chain symbolising her profession and her new life as a hermit.
Later a reception was held in the parish hall with friends and well-wishers.