On July 16 at 10:30 the mass began for the celebration of the Claretian Foundation Day in the minor seminary of Sri Lanka Delegation in Kattuwa. It was in this context that the three Claretian novices from East Asia Delegation, Joseph, Stephen and Thomas, concluded the novitiate and professed their first vows as Claretian Missionaries.
The Sri Lanka Delegation was generously represented, including the professed students from Kandy, the other novices, the minor seminarians, members of the Claretian Family—the two Claretian sisters congregations and some laypeople—as well as some family and friends of the East Asia novices who came from China.
The ceremony was presided by the East Asia Delegation Superior, Francisco Carin. The prefect of formation of the Delegation was also present, as he was giving an English course to the Kattuwa minor seminarians.
The Eucharist was celebrated with devotion and solemnity. Some special customs proper to South East Asia were also added, like lighting the ceremonial lamp wicks at the beginning, investiture with white cassock and black sash, and bringing the lighted personal oil lamp after the profession.
The readings of the day provided the opportunity to meditate on the importance of our baptismal vocation and the development of this vocation, that is, religious vocation: not a different call for segregation but a renewal of our original baptism call, so that we can be at the service of the Word and the People of God as Missionaries: Our charism entails being totally of God and living completely committed to his Kingdom; like Jesus, consecrated and sent and following the example of Mary, the first disciple and mother of disciples (MS 4).
Let’s keep Thomas, Stephen and Joseph in our prayers. May the Lord give them the grace they need to be Missionaries in the style of Claret in today’s world.