Photo of Br. Ignatius Peacher

Fr. Ignatius Peacher

Novice Master: Fr. Ignatius Peacher was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1976. His family moved to Texas shortly thereafter. His father was a medical doctor in the US Army which resulted in his family moving every three to four years; in fact, it was only in the monastery that Fr. Ignatius lived in one place for more than four years. One of the moves during his adolescence was to Germany where he spent four years. His family – his parents, two sisters and one brother – traveled through much of Western Europe during this time, and this experience contributed significantly to his formation in faith and culture.

All the moving meant that Fr. Ignatius went to three different high schools, all public. Overall this was not an ideal academic experience; nevertheless, an interest in art began to manifest itself already in high school.  For college, he went to St. John’s University in Minnesota where he majored in studio art and graduated in 1998. A few months after graduation, he traveled to Paris where he spent two academic years studying French, art and literature. He returned to Texas and began architecture studies at the University of Texas at Arlington where he obtained a master’s degree in architecture in 2004.

During his studies in architecture Fr. Ignatius met the Cistercians in Dallas. He was attracted to their way of life, which included scholarship, faith, culture, and the European presence of the Hungarian monks. However, he never considered the priesthood or religious life up to this point in his life and at first it was not a welcomed idea. Fr. Ignatius describes his discernment as a “wrestling match” with God, alluding to Jacob wrestling with an angel in Genesis 32. After working for a small architecture firm near Austin and after much prayer, he entered Our Lady of Dallas Cistercian Monastery in 2005 with the understanding that he was going to try it out. To his surprise, the monastic life suited him well, although there were and are sacrifices, just as in any vocation. He began studying theology at the University of Dallas and completed his master’s degree in theology in 2010. That same year he made final vows and was ordained a deacon. During the 2010-2011 school year, he spent a semester in Rome, and upon his return he ordained a priest in the abbey church on March 25, 2011.

Fr. Ignatius teaches art at Cistercian Preparatory School and is the novice master and abbot’s assistant at Cistercian Abbey. He also studies canon law at Catholic University of America’s summer program. In his free time, Fr. Ignatius enjoys painting, drawing, and visiting art galleries and museums.

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