Suva, Fiji Islands, 3 September 2021 –- On Wednesday 1 September 2021, the Don Bosco community was glad to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Profession of Fr James Kyaw Hoe SDB. The celebration was very meaningful and warm in the family spirit.
Due to the influence of Covid-19, the celebration was attended only by community members: Fr. Mika, Br. Michael, Br. Antonio, Br. Peter Vu, Br. Afia, and Br Peter Duc.
Fr. James gave a beautiful homily in the Mass. He said that there were many things he learned in the Novitiate, but three that had a profound influence on his life as a Salesian:
- The first one is the responsibility of our own vocation: “Each Salesian accepts responsibility for his own formation” according to article 99 of our Constitution.
- The second is about Obedience. He said Don Bosco’s own words come to mind whenever he was given a challenging appointment -“This also I must tell you, from the day you choose to do your own will and not act obediently, you will begin to feel discontented with your life… and community life is a burden, it will be seen on the close observation that this springs from the want of obedience…”. He learned this lesson the hard way.
- The last one is about love. He remembers when he was in the Novitiate, one of his formators shared with his class: “Remember that to be a religious means to be crucified with Jesus. The vows will nail us to the cross, and the heart will be pierced too because nothing about religious life will make sense without love.” The message continues to have a deep impact on his life as a Salesian priest.
Fr. James made his first Profession in Newton, New Jersey, USA on 1 September 1971. After Practical Training, he transferred to Australia to be closer to his family and began his studies in theology. He was ordained a Salesian priest in 1980. Fr. James has been working tirelessly in the Salesian mission as a missionary in the Pacific. He spent 12 years (1984 - 1996) dedicating his youth and enthusiasm to the Salesian mission in Samoa. From 2009 until now, with the same enthusiasm, he has worked as an educator at the community house and a Biblical professor at the Pacific Regional Seminary, in Suva, Fiji Islands.
Fifty years in the Congregation is a long journey and Fr. James certainly had to face a hard time too on his journey. Congratulations and sincere thanks to Fr James for everything he has been doing for the Congregation, particularly the Salesian mission in the Pacific. We continue to pray for him and may Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco always accompany him in his journey as a son of Don Bosco.