Fatumaca, Timor Leste, 10 December 2022 -- On 8 December 2022, in celebrating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, TLS Vice-Province also celebrated the first profession of 22 young men who willingly answered “YES” to God’s call in the Salesian Congregation. Among them, there were 21 Clerics and one Salesian Brother.
In vocation, there are two entities in the dialogue, the one who calls and the one who answers. It is true that vocation first of all is the initiative of God, while men simply answer God’s call. Men with their total disposition answered God’s call in collaborating with God in His Universal Plan of Salvation. These 22 young men, after one year of formation in the Salesian House of Formation in Fatumaca under the guidance of their novice master, Fr. Isaías Bonifácio, SDB, have expressed their “YES” to God wholeheartedly.
The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Provincial, Fr. Anacleto Pires, SDB. In his homily, aside from expanding the reflection on the Marian Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Fr. Provincial invited all the parents to collaborate and support their children in their chosen vocation. Then, the homilist requested the newly professed to answer God’s call in faith and obedience based on the chosen motto from the Gospel of Luke, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word” (Lk 1,38). This is indeed an expression of faith.
This is truly our lives as consecrated persons. We search to follow God’s will and not vice-versa. Furthermore, Fr. Provincial advised the newly Salesian professed to live according to the demands of the chosen gospel passage as their motto and the Constitutions and regulations of the Society of St. Francis de Sales.
After the Eucharistic Celebration, the newly professed received their first obedience to go for their philosophical studies and some other missions in other Salesian communities in the Vice-Province. Hence, 16 of them will sent to the Post-Novitiate Community for Philosophy and the other 6 will be sent to different communities for pastoral work while waiting for their philosophical studies next year.
On the same day, the admission of the New Novices was held in a Solemn Vespers that was led by the Rector of the Community of Fatumaca, Fr. Davíd Savio, SDB. There were 26 Novices who are committed for this challenging year of preparation for becoming a Salesian. In his short reflection, Fr. Rector requested the Salesians to live authentic life in the Salesian lifestyle in witnessing to a true way of life for the newly admitted novices. On the other hand, Fr. Davíd also invited the Novices to be conscious of their motivation in following Christ.
Let us continue to pray for the 22 Newly professed as they begin their consecrated life, single-mindedly pursuing the path of holiness. For the New admitted Novices, let us accompany them with our humble prayers that they may have a fruitful formation in purifying the motivation in this sacred path.