Monday, May 21, 2012

Marianist Monday

Brother John renews his vows after 25 years of dedication
to Mary and her Church
Every year we who are called Marianists renew our vows whether we are in temporary or perpetual vows. The vows and the vow formula are always the same, those in First Profession have the same commitment as someone in Perpetual Profession, but we renew yearly. Yesterday afternoon two of our Brothers renewed their profession of chastity, poverty, obedience, and stability. One for 25 years of dedication and the other Brother for 50 years of Marianist dedication.

As we stood in the Hearst Auditorium two Marianist Brothers renewed their commitment to Mary and the Church. Together 75 years of Marianist religious life was reaffirmed.

I recalled how powerful and moving the profession formula is. I said to one of the Brothers that I don’t think there is a prayer, especially within the Marianist tradition, that I love more than the profession formula.

Brother George pauses with his family after renewing his
vows after 50 years of religious profession
It contains a richness and beauty that bespeaks the desire one has to follow in the footsteps of Blessed Chaminade in living the Gospel, keeping always in mind and making a priority the communal dimension of our way of life in the world. It is as strong a reminder as one can have of what our way of life is about: prayer, service,  dedication, all that we are about — in community. It was in many ways the community that first drew us to religious life. And, in many ways, it is what continues to nourish and sustain our vocations.

Like Baptism, religious profession is about relationship. We are joined together in a unique way: in Baptism, we are united to one another and to Christ in the Spirit; in religious profession, we are united in community to live the Holy Gospel.

Just as with the Baptismal vocation we all share and at most times live imperfectly, striving ever more to live who it is we are called to be and find in the Communion of Saints, the Body of Christ the strength to follow Christ and become who we are called to be; so too in religious life the intercession of those who have gone before us, as well as our Brothers in community, provide one another with the strength and support to follow Blessed Chaminade's model of following Christ.

So here it is, the full text of the profession formula. Thank you to all who have so kindly offered their congratulations and prayers for our Brothers who renewed their vows yesterday. Please continue to pray for Brother George and Brother John, all the Marianists around the world preparing to make Profession this Summer.

Renewal of Profession

"For the glory of the Most Holy Trinity, the honor of Mary, and to follow Christ more closely in His saving mission, I promise to God and vow to observe chastity, poverty, obedience, conformably to the Rule of Life of the Society of Mary."