New Rochelle Province Has Two New Novices
Fr. Tom Dunne received two young men into St. Joseph Novitiate of the Eastern Province of the Salesians of Don Bosco on the evening of August 15, 2009.
Philip (P.J.) Ehling, from Ohio, and Juan Pablo Rubio, from Mexico by way of Michigan, began their year of novitiate at a parish Mass at Holy Rosary Church in Port Chester, N.Y., where the novitiate is located.
In his homily at the Mass, their master of novices, Fr. Bill Keane, noted that in the gospel of the day (John 6:51-58), people ask a “wrong” question of Jesus. In the rite of acceptance P.J. and Juan Pablo were asked, “What are your deep desire and motives for your request” for admission? That, said Fr. Bill, is the right question. And their answer must be that they are undertaking a journey that will complete the commitment they made when they were baptized; or, as the ritual puts it, “We think that God our Father, after giving us life and the gift of faith, is now inviting us to follow his Son more closely, in Don Bosco’s spirit, through the total gift of ourselves.”
P.J. was attracted to the Salesians while visiting the Boys & Girls Club in Columbus and seeing how Salesian priests and brothers interacted with kids. Juan Pablo met the Salesians at a convention at Notre Dame and in a visit to the formation community in Orange found himself perfectly at home.
During the year of novitiate, Juan Pablo and P.J. will live in Salesian community, practice Salesian apostolic work, study the Salesian Constitutions, be instructed in the meaning of the evangelical counsels (obedience, chastity, and poverty), and continue discerning their vocation with the assistance of their master/spiritual director, their confessor, their brother Salesians, and indeed the entire parish community of Holy Rosary Church.
New novices P.J. Ehling and Juan Pablo Rubio with Fr. Tom Dunne, provincial