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5 December

Saint Gerald
International Day of Volunteers (UN)

Marist Calendar - December

“God’s faithfulness is great… his fidelity is incomparable”



Professions in the Province of Norandina

05/05/2008: Colombia

Certain persons also know how to correspond correctly to the Lord’s faithfulness to them. Today, contrary to the declaration of some disillusioned spirits for whom “fidelity is only found in a hi-fi channel”, it does still exist. We see fidelity among many married couples, and with many men and women within consecrated life.

In our Norandina Province four Brothers recently took up the commitment to live in faithfulness to the Lord, three of them through perpetual profession and the fourth by renewing his vows for one year.
Brother Joan Pablo Marin Esparza and José Julián Muñoz Byrgos made their perpetual profession on April 6, 2008 in the town of Pasto. Brother Fernando Javier Palacios Valencia renewed his vows for a year and Brother Javier Alfonso Echeverry Velásquez made perpetual vows April 19 in Bogota.

These Brothers consecrated their lives to the Lord amidst a great gathering in the chapel of the Champagnat Institute at Pasto and in the church of the Holy Spirit at Bogota. The ceremonies were replete with significant gestures and allegorical symbols connected to the events. Our brothers were encouraged by the physical presence and spiritual accompaniment of so many Brothers of the congregation as well as by parents, friends and members of Marist Fraternities. Brother Pedro Herreros and Brother Antonio Ramalho who were on visitation in the region, accompanied them in the name of the Superior general by their cordial and fraternal presence.

Juan Pablo, José Julián, Javier Alfonso and Fernando Javier testified to the affirmation of our constitutions : “ Full of wonder and gratitude, we accept in all freedom and faith the call of the Lord: ‘Come, follow me’.” (C13)

Brother Laurentino Albalá was delegated by Brother superior to receive the vows from the brothers. The Church representatives in the person of the celebrants Fr. Fernando Mesa Rios at Pasto and Fr. Carlos Anderson Acevedo at Bogata along with all of us participating in the Eucharist were witnesses to the generosity of our four brothers.

During one of the Eucharistic liturgies, Philip asks of the Lord: “Show us the Father, and Jésus replies: “Whoever sees me, sees the Father…, may those who see me, see God in me”. What a beautiful message for Juan Pablo, José Julián, Javier Alfonso and Fernando Javier, and not only for them but for all of us who witnessed their commitment.

The final hymn of the ceremony of religious profession contained two messages in keeping with the event: gratitude – “Lord Jesus you trust me / and you send me as your light to be a sign. Thank you for your gift/. Thank you, Lord”, and commitment – “ Go and preach by your actions /your words and your presence…May all see the Father in you./ He shows himself to the humble”.

Brothers and parents of the four newly professed then shared a delicious and fraternal agapé.
We congratulate our four Brothers and pray the Lord and his Holy Mother to grant all of them happiness and fidelity.

H. Isaac Revilla

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