Nine young men renewed their temporary vows in the Divine Word Missionaries recently – an important step on their journey towards deeper, lifelong commitment to God through the SVD missionary life.
The students, who are studying at the SVD Aus Province’s formation house, Dorish Maru College, in Box Hill, made their renewal of vows on the vigil of the Solemnity of the Annunciation.
Provincial, Fr Henry Adler SVD, urged the students to respond with the same heartfelt “Yes” to God’s will in their lives as Mary did to God’s will in her life.
“Our Gospel reading suggests to us that Mary’s YES was spoken from a heart filled with trust and love for God; a heart that is the Centre, the core of each of us, the place where our deepest identity is rooted, and from which our fundamental choices about life are made; a humble, surrendered heart,” he said in his homily.
“This young woman was not full of herself; she was emptied, in order to be filled. She was therefore, able to completely give herself in love, to Love, and be filled with His Life for others.”
Fr Henry said as the SVD begins preparing for its XVIII General Chapter, the Generalate has called for a renewed focus “on the love of Christ that impels us”.
“We are reminded that to be able to respond to our Mission effectively; to say our YES, we need to renew our rootedness in the Word of God,” he said.
“As remarkable as our commitment is, a closer intimacy with Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh will surely help us grow more into His Image and likeness. His Mission is Our Mission, and to be faithful to it entails a commitment to a constant listening to His Word.”
Addressing the nine young students, who come from countries all round the world, Fr Henry urged them to take Mary as their model in surrendering themselves to God’s will.
“My dear brothers, tonight the nine of you say YES to God in a very special way. By your vows, you make an act of surrender to your God that will allow you to listen to God like Mary, from your heart, and respond with full readiness to embrace His Mission,” he said.
“By taking your vows, you will let God make of you instruments of God’s plan of God’s continuous incarnation in our world. Today, by pronouncing your vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, you say to God: ‘No love but you. No wealth but you. No will but yours’.
“Tonight, on the vigil of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of God’s Incarnation, we pray with you and for you that you may respond to God’s call with a firm YES coming from your heart, like Mary did. We also pray that you will then continue to live your YES authentically and enthusiastically, rooted in the Word and committed to his Mission.”
The nine students who renewed their vows were: Clement Baffoe, Edward Okletey Teye, Joseph Hai Dui Nguyen, Nicolas Duc Hong Le, Michael Trinh Minh Tin, Francois d’Assisi Adrianaohantana, Marius Framihary Razafimandimby, Anthony Chantavong Anisong, and Simon Dominguez Prospero.
PHOTOS by Thien Nguyen SVD