Society Matters | Volume 30 No. 2 | Winter 2020

3 Volume 30 No. 2 | Winter 2020 Thanksgiving and celebration as young missionaries take final vows Three young Divine Word Missionaries took their final vows recently and were also ordained to the diaconate, marking a significant point on their vocational journey. Yosef Meda and Adrianus Mai from Indonesia joined Clement Baffoe from Ghana in professing their vows before Provincial, Fr Asaeli Rass SVD on Saturday, March 14 at St Paschal’s Chapel, Box Hill. They were ordained to the diaconate the following day by Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne Terence Curtin. In his homily at the Mass for Final Vows, Fr Rass referred to the parable of the Prodigal Son, reflecting on his own time as a missionary in Ghana, a nation which has a painful history of its people being bought and sold in the slave trade. Fr Rass said the story of the Prodigal Son tells the story of all who have had to leave their home and who have become dispossessed. “Clement, Yosef and Adrianus, as you are about to commit yourself totally to God and His mission, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in the charism of the Divine Word Missionaries, learn to be part of a community of reconciliation and bridge- building,” he said. Clement, from Ghana, says his vocation story started with the presence of SVD priests in his home parish. He entered the local minor seminary to finish high school and then joined the SVD. Following his novitiate and philosophy studies, Clement came to Australia in 2016 to complete his theological studies at Yarra Theological Union and is currently doing his diaconate pastoral work in the St Martin de Porres Parish at Avondale Heights in Melbourne. “In my vocation journey, I have come to know that God is a person and knowing God is a process,” he said. “No-one can ever claim to have known this mystery fully and this understanding makes my vocation story equally mysterious. “It is my desire to bring God’s love to others, especially those to whom I serve. I pray to be of service always.” Yosef, from Boawae in Flores, Indonesia, said he got to know the SVD through meeting some missionaries when he was a young boy. Yosef entered the minor seminary in 2006 and upon completion of his studies there in 2010 decided to join the SVD, professing his first vows on August 15, 2012. In 2016 he received an invitation to complete his studies and formation with the SVD in Australia and he says he has come to a few realisations about his vocation. “First, vocation is related to God’s will. However, God does not impose anything on me,” he said. “Second, my calling is an ongoing process. I develop and evolve in it throughout a lifetime. I am not involved in a vocation by chance. “Third, it is a relational calling. I am called to build relationships with God, others and creation.” And Adrianus, also from Flores in Indonesia said his call to the priesthood started when he and his parents attended an ordination ceremony in his home-town. During his final year of junior high school, the parish priest visited his class and Adrianus told him spontaneously that he wanted to be a priest and he accepted that priest’s invitation to continue his studies at the minor seminary, joining the SVD in 2010 and professing his first vows in 2012. Adrianus joined the SVD formation community in Dorish Maru College, Melbourne in 2016 and will finish his theology studies at Yarra Theological Union this year. “Final vows and ordination are not the final stages of my life,” he reflected. “Rather, they are the first steps of my ongoing journey. The grace of God and the prayers of people of goodwill are needed, so that this vocation may be nourished. “I strongly trust in Jesus. I believe that He is always with me on this journey.”