On Tuesday, August 15th, five MSC novices took the next step on their missionary journey as they made their First Professions in Myross Wood House, Co. Cork. On this special occasion, the community of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart joined together with the novices and their loved ones to celebrate the conclusion of the novitiate year and the beginning of a new chapter for Daniel, Domenico, Giacomo, Jaime, and Piotr.
Fr Joseph McGee MSC, who was Irish Provincial Leader at the time, explains, “First Profession takes place at the conclusion of the Novitiate, which is a one-year period of intense spiritual preparation for young men who wish to become Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. From this point on, they are now members of the Society, with temporary status, and they will continue their studies in preparation for the day when they will make their Final Profession as full members of the Society.”
“Profession is a promise.”
Fr Michael Curran MSC was one of the group’s leaders throughout the novitiate year in Myross Wood, alongside Fr Nicholas Harnan MSC and Novice Master Fr Michael Huber MSC. Having worked closely with the five novices during the course of the year, the First Profession ceremony was a proud moment for the group leaders. “Profession is a promise,” says Fr Michael, “a serious commitment made to God. It has as its objective the ‘following’ of Jesus – taking his word seriously, as all Christians do, but also imitating him in his celibate commitment, in the poverty and simplicity of his lifestyle, and in his obedience to the mission entrusted to him by the heavenly Father.”
Newly professed Br Giacomo Gelardi MSC describes his experience: “We were all very nervous ahead of the ceremony,” he recalls. “The night before, I think we all only slept for two or three hours at a time! The day itself, however, went very well. At moments, I realised where I was and what I was doing, and I felt both peaceful and joyful. This is what I had been waiting for, and now it felt real. I have always been for Jesus, and now it’s official!”
Treasuring the past and building the future
So, what’s next for the newly professed MSC members? First comes a well-deserved holiday, then they will return to their studies in different parts of the world. “The normal course of study would be about six years in total,” explains Fr Michael. “Meanwhile, these young men are in ‘temporary’ vows. They have to complete a minimum of three years in temporary Profession before taking their final vows.”
“During this time,” adds Fr Joseph, “the newly professed members will be given more opportunities to engage in various types of pastoral experience. They will live in community with our MSCs, and thus grow more and more as members of the Society.”
“I’ll be studying theology in Maynooth for three years,” says Br Giacomo. “I know it’s going to be difficult, but I don’t mind. I’m a perfectionist, I want to do my best at everything – in prayer with Jesus and at university – but I’ll take it as it comes.”
“This has been a wonderful day for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.”
This year’s First Profession ceremony has been an event of great significance for the MSC community. “This has been a wonderful day for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart – not only in Ireland, but throughout Europe,” concludes Fr Joseph. “It means new life. It really is encouraging that, in this day and age, young men who might otherwise live fruitful and productive lives in any other professional capacities have chosen to dedicate themselves to our mission and ministry. Each of these young men has many talents and skills which he will place at the service of our mission, and I look forward to watching them progress along their journey as they follow the Lord’s call.”
Congratulations to the Myross Wood
European Novitiate 2016 – 2017!
Br Piotr Zlobinski MSC (South German-Austrian Province)
Br Jaime Rosique MSC (Spanish Province)
Br Domenico Rosa MSC (Italian Province)
Br Daniel Filipek MSC (South German-Austrian Province)
Br Giacomo Gelardi MSC (Irish Province)
Images by Alan Dodd.