18 Jesuit Novices in Vietnam profess first vows


“Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste”

After two years of being formed in the novitiate of the Society of Jesus, early on this Thursday morning May 31, 2018, in the Mass of Mary of the Visitation, 18 second-year novices of the Vietnam Jesuit Province professed first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Presiding at the mass was Fr Vincent Phạm Văn Mầm, S.J., Provincial of Vietnam Province. Concelebrating with him there are also fathers in the formation of ours committee, Jesuit priests and non-Jesuit priests, who have close relationship with our new Jesuits.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord”

In his homily, Fr Provincial shared about dynamics between past, presence and future of a disciple being deep in the God’s salvation through the Mary’s Magnificat. Firstly, he reminisced about the Exodus of the People of God in the Old Testament. That event has been the inspiration for the large number of songs of praising God’s salvation later on. The Magnificat expressed the bliss of the experience of being freed when “He has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness”. Hence, Our Lady spent each moment in her life living up to the unfathomable grace of God from which her hope proceeds on her pilgrimage of faith.

Those sharing are the recommendations of Fr Provincial which had been handed to the new Jesuits before they committed themselves fully to God with three vows today.

Before the communion was distributed, each novice pronounced his vows in front of the celebrant holding the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

“Though altogether most unworthy in your divine sight, yet relying on your infinite goodness and mercy”

Two years of formation in the novitiate was the period during which our novices recognized their weaknesses and sins. Above all, when looking upon the holy cross, they discover the amazing mercy of God. Now, they utter with God “love covers a multitude of sins” (1Pr 4,8).

Moreover, Jesus who is “meek and humble of heart”, is the model of our new Jesuits on their journey of participating more fully in the Society’s body through 3 vows: poverty, obedience and chastity.

After the communion, Fr Dominic Phạm Minh Thắng, S.J., Assistant of the novice master, entrusted the Holy Cross and the Constitutions of the Society to the new scholastics according to the tradition of the Society on the day of taking first vows.

“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

At the end of the mass, Fr. provincial quoted a Vietnamese proverb “Better a lean peace than a fat victory” to express his gratuity for the contribution and presence of those who attended the first vows mass of the 18 novices.

Being amazed at God’s love in the day of taking first vows, 18 novices must appreciate the grate works that the Society has done for them. Besides, they would be thankful to their friends and relatives for their generosity. After celebrating the mass, 18 novices had breakfast with everyone in the precinct of the Scholasticate.

The Jesuit Scholasticate is the place where our young Jesuits will build up the “edifice of learning” in their religious life. At the same time, they also practice sharing their spiritual experience to others in this new period.

Finally, there will not be able lack of the constant prayers of their friends and relatives in their ongoing formation as Jesuits. Subsequently, they feel more energetic on their way of becoming good laborers in divine vineyard.

More photos: CLICK HERE

Minh Trị, S.J.