Photo | COURTESY ST. JOSEPH ABBEY
Benedictine Brother Leo Franca, left, greets Benedictine Abbot Justin Brown after taking solemn vows July 11 at St. Joseph Abbey. Brother Leo grew up in Brazil and received his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil. During a trip with friends, he visited St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Alabama, where the tranquility of the monks hit home and the idea of becoming a monk himself started to grow in him. “This is just the beginning of a much deeper relationship with God – a relationship to which I very much look forward,” he said.