Renewal Of Vows at St. Daniel Comboni Scholasticate
On April 30th, 2022, eleven scholastics hailing from three different continents (Asia – one , America – two and Africa – eight) renewed their religious vows in the Parish Church of St. Joan of Arc, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The Mass was presided over by Fr. John Baptist Keraryo Opargiw, the Superior of the community, assisted by Deacon Peter Otieno a Marianhill missionary and the concelebrants Fr. Aldo Sierra and Fr. Benno Singer. The feast was also graced by the presence of visitors from St. Anthony’s Parish, Brothers from the Missionaries of Africa, Marianhill, and Sacred Heart of Jesus Formation communities.
The main celebrant emphasized the spiritual and prophetic value as well as the relevance of the religious vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience in our world today. He went on to say that the privileged places for living the vows were in prayer, community and in ministry. Moreover, our consecration is a gratuitous unmerited gift and Jesus calls us as his friends, not slaves. (cf. John 15:12-17).
Meanwhile the scholastics renewed their religious profession each one recalling his personal vocation journey thus far. And then full of trust in God, they declared publicly their “yes” to the Lord who calls whom he wants. Fr. John Baptist received the vows of the scholastics on behalf of their respective Major Superiors.
Ubi Missa ibi mensa! Therefore, from the table-altar of the Mass, we moved on to the table of fraternity sharing with the guests a delicious meal. After the meal, some scholastics presented entertaining items including a poem on Comboni by Simon, a song by Romeo and Fernando, and two thought-provoking letters by Adolf. Two other confreres, Hermann and Fr. John Baptist, shared about the meaning of the religious vows. The latter used the occasion also to share about the joys and challenges he experienced during his 40 years of religious consecration. Interludes of music and dance accompanied our celebration of the joy of the Gospel. It was indeed a memorable day and we concluded it by prayerfully committing ourselves to continue walking in the light of the Risen Christ, always sustained by his unfailing grace.