Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Great Day for the Salesian Family

A Great Day 
for the Salesian Family

Fr. Tom Dunne introduced his homily today (Aug. 5) with a phrase something like that.  (I scribbled notes on the homily as best I could in a little notebook with me in the concelebrants' pew, and I hesitate to throw quote marks around anything I scribbled.)

The occasion was the 1st religious profession of 2 Salesian sisters of the FMAs' Eastern Province at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon during a Mass attended by several hundred sisters, SDB priests, diocesan priests, relatives of the newly professed, and friends of the FMAs (Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, aka Salesian Sisters).
Fr. Tom prays for the candidates (foreground) just before they individually pronounced the vows of chastity, obedience, and poverty.
The newly professed were Srs. Merissa Loucks and Joo Yun Park, who had just completed 2 years of novitiate at Sacred Heart Novitiate in Newton.  They have several classmates who are members of the FMAs' Western Province, based in San Antonio, and who made their 1st vows closer to their families' homes in the Western U.S.

Salesians, both female and male, make their first vows a year at a time for 3 years, generally, then a set of triennial vows, and finally--God willing and the discernment process so indicating--perpetual vows.
At the end of Mass, the 2 newly professed sisters thanked God and various people for guiding them in their vocations. Sr. Joo Yun Park is at left, Sr. Merissa Loucks at right.
Sr. Mary Jackson made perpetual vows in North Haledon this afternoon in a separate sacred rite.

In his homily, based on the 3 readings chosen for the profession Mass (Deut 6:4-13; 2 Pet 1:3-11; Matt 6:24-34), as well as on the occasion, Fr. Tom brought out that the religious vocation is a gift from God, and the 2 new sisters have responded to that gift by saying "yes," like the Virgin Mary, 1st disciple of Jesus.  Altho they must, by rule, profess for just 1 year at this time, they are committing themselves totally to God:  to seeking his will, to loving him wholeheartedly, to simplicity of life after the example of Jesus.

Their "yes" is an encouragement to the older sisters and the Salesian priests present, as well as to all the members of the 2 Salesian congregations, to continue to grow in their own relationship with God.

Fr. Tom also pointed to the Constitutions of the FMAs as a sure guide to the newly professed as they strive to deepen their relationship with God within the religious community and the Salesian mission to young people.
The sisters hold copies of the FMA Constitutions just blessed and presented to them
For more photos, go to
Joined by Sr. Karen Dunn, provincial, Sr. Merissa (left) and Sr. Joo Yun prepare to cut a congratulatory cake during the reception that followed the profession Mass. The sisters' proud parents flank them.

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