National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Marianist brothers' vows a reminder of the joy of religious life

 |  NCR Today

This past weekend, I was reminded of the importance of joy in our life and the importance of joy in our church. My husband and I traveled to Dayton, Ohio, to attend the first vows ceremony of four new Marianist brothers: Brothers Hugo Bastida, Norman Capinpin, Michael Chiuri and Brandon Paluch. They were surrounded by their brothers in the Society of Mary, the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (Marianist sisters), members of Marianist Lay Communities, family and friends.

The ceremony reflected the international diversity of the new brothers. The blowing of the conch shell and Hawaiian chants called us all to worship. Two kahili (traditional feather stands of honor) lead the entrance procession. Vows were professed in English, Spanish and Kiswahili.

In the homily, Marianist Fr. Patrick Tonry spoke passionately and lovingly about the prophetic nature of religious life. Throughout history, religious congregations were founded to ensure that the church "stayed on track" or to challenge her to "get back on track".

He spoke of the positive nature of poverty and chastity. Poverty is more than not having. It means sharing all that we have. Chastity is more than giving up sex. It is making oneself available to love all. Obedience, according to 78-year-old Fr. Pat, is the one that "pinches," and pinches ever harder as one gets older and more set in their ways.

Trumpets, flutes and glorious voices soared to the rafters in joyous song. The energy of the community was heard in heartfelt responses and promises to support the new brothers in their journey.

The joy continued and grew during the celebratory dinner. Laughter abounded in speeches and toasts. Hearts were touched as excerpts of the novice letters were read out loud. These letters, requesting permission to be formally admitted into the Society of Mary, gave us a window into the souls of four 21st-century men who are willing to give their lives to God and Mary in service of the church and the world. Wearing no distinctive garb, they will be sent where the need is the greatest.

screen-shot_FB-video-promo-11.21.jpgOur Nov. 21-Dec. 5 edition is out. Take a look inside. Not a subscriber? Become one today!

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade spoke of rebuilding the church in post-revolutionary France by forming communities that would be a "joyful spectacle of saints" who would spread the faith by "contagion." When joy and goodness abounds, others notice and "want what they have."

This is more than a Pollyanna-type of giddy happiness. We know emotions are fickle. It is the deep joy in responding wholeheartedly to the good news of the Gospel. It is the joy in knowing and loving Jesus and wanting to show that love in action. It is the joy of being part of a community that prays with you, nurtures you, forms you and sends you out in mission to bring Jesus into a world that is hungering and thirsting for justice and peace.

Is this not what the new evangelization should be about?

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

November 21-December 5, 2014

11-21-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.