Parañaque City, the Philippines, 31 May 2018 -- Forever blooms in May. Five clerics residing in the house of formation for the Salesian students of theology in Philippines made their perpetual profession of vows in the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians Parish on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The new perpetually professed Salesian Clerics are Antonio Maria Jose Guterres, SDB from the Vice-Province of East Timor (ITM); John Kanty Nang Khan Mang, SDB and Abele Nee Reh, SDB from the Vice-Province of Myanmar (MYM); and Erwin Joey Escabillas Cabilan, SDB and Bonifacio Tison Lobaton Jr., SDB from the Province of the Philippines—South (FIS). They affirmed their commitment to live as Salesians of Don Bosco and publicly pronounced their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience before Fr. Anthony Paul Bicomong, SDB, FIN Provincial Superior. Fr Peter Myo Khi, SDB of MYM and Fr. Godofredo Atienza, SDB, FIS Provincial Superior stood as witnesses.
Fr. Paul reflected on the reality of 'forever' in his homily. "Why do people say 'walang forever'? (Why do people say there's no forver?... Today's occasion is a statement, #MayForever... there is forever!" His reflection moved from Mary's magnificat to the powerful witness of perpetual profession. "You are promising forever because God himself promised his mercy forever." He closed his reflection paraphrasing the magnificat, highlighting its resonance with the religious life.
Bro Guterres addressed the assembly after communion. He delivered the gratitude speech on behalf of his batch. He capped the speech with his batch's floral offering to Our Blessed Lady. A fitting close to a month dedicated to Mary, indeed #MayForever... In May, there is forever!