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18 January

Saint Aquila and Priscilla
January 18-25: Beginning of the Octave of prayer for Christian Unity: That they may become one in your hand (Ezek 37, 17).

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Young Vine and Branches Growing into the Light



Seven new novices in Tudella

17/05/2016: Sri Lanka

The chapel is cleaned and floral arrangements are in place.
The songs have been rehearsed.
The various procedures of the ceremony have been practised.
The guests are arriving.
Then the storm and black out struck.

This was the prelude to the formal prayer service to welcome the 7 young men into their canonical year at the Marist Novitiate in Tudella, Sri Lanka on the evening of Tuesday 10 May.

The show must go on despite the darkness and the entrance hymn of Side by Side, Marcellin (Avec Toi, Marcellin) was coordinated beautifully by the second year novices with the assistance of many torches.

Br Nicholas Fernando the novice master welcomed the local brothers, aspirants, postulant and guests under the subtle ambience of candle light and Br Shanti, provincial of South Asia, called forth the young men.  As if by cue, when novice master came forward to light the lamps on the sanctuary, the power was restored and there was light.

Such was the wondrous way that began this occasion for Xia Baoxuan, Wang Peng (China), H.A.Pradeep Kumara (Sri Lanka), Rubel Nokrek (Bangladesh), Trân Vān Thành, Lé Danh Thuong & Nguyên Vān Trình (Vietnam).

Br Peter Walsh, offered an insightful gospel reflection on the Vine and the Branches and the nature of the novitiate as one which helps one chose the ways to abundant life as well as pruning the part which do not.  The Novitiate years can be compared with both a desert for discernment as well a fertile garden for growth.

Br Shanti accepted the request of the young men to enter into the Novitiate and presented each with a copy of the Constitution, a Bible as well as the Marist Cross.

The evening continued with gracious hospitality.  Songs and stories were shared amongst the young men in the various levels initial formation from the province of South Asia, Marist District of Asia and the District of Melanesia.

May the Novitiate years for this group of young brothers, which began in literal darkness, continue to lead them into the dawn of the third century of our Institute.


Br Tony Leon

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