CHIKKAMAGALURU, India - The whole world is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and living amidst lockdown with social distancing, although staying at home, the effect of the coronavirus has brought fear among everyone. Amidst this turbulence, we, the Montfort Fathers in the Vice-Province of India, found a moment of grace and God’s intervention. Yes, the 31st of May 2020 is the feast day of the Pentecost and the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a day which is also set apart for the First Profession in the Vice-Province of India. It was a joy to see three young novices who were guided for one year in Sneha Bhavan, our novitiate community, which is situated in the womb of nature, came forward to commit themselves to Christ. As Mary introduced Jesus to humanity at the Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth, so too, by the grace of God, these three young men are introduced to religious life with their first commitment to Jesus in the Company of Mary in the footsteps of Father de Montfort.
The Holy Eucharist was presided over by Rev. Fr. Joseph, SMM, superior of the Vice-province of India, along with the novice master, Fr. Reny Joseph, SMM and other concelebrants. Indeed, it was a spirit-filled day as 12 priests for the solemnity outnumbered the faithful. Rev. Fr. J. Joseph received the evangelical vows of Brothers ARIKA Surya Prathap, Salatil RAITO, Arogya SWAMY, and welcomed them into the congregation of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary. Like Prophet Samuel in the Old Testament, may the ‘Yes’ that is pronounced by these young men, definitely be a reflection of their belief, a reflection of their inner-world and a reflection of their conviction to follow the Master. Let us all pray that these newly-professed would persevere on their road to religious life with a firm discernment, dedication, devotion, and self-determination.
Fr. Aswani Kumar, SMM