Tam Ha (Vietnam). On August 3-5, 2019, Mary Help of Christians Province celebrated the First Profession, Perpetual Profession, and the 25th and 50th anniversaries of Religious Profession.
Journeying with the FMA of the whole world on the first day of preparation for the great Celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
The joy of consecrated life
On August 3, 2019, 73 Temporary Professed renewed their vows in the hands of di Sr. Rosa Vu Thi Kim Lien, Provincial of Vietnam. Fr. Barnaba Nguyen An Phong SDB presided over the Mass in the presence of many sisters of the Province.
The Temporary Professed renewed their love for God that is an ever new love. To renew the vows means to love more deeply, choose in a more conscious way, and become stronger. With the theme, the Joy of Consecrated Life there is the awareness of the great happiness of having been chosen by God. It is God who praises Holiness among the nations and chooses the people He has created. The Lord chose me to make me happy. It is love that accompanies this step, that makes people advance with joy as they respond to love.
After the celebration for the Temporary Professed, a new path opens to live with God in daily life. They are courageous people, ready and happy to respond to God’s call.
Your commandments are all my good (Ps 118, 111)
Life is a choice. Life is this way, we all want to choose for ourselves what is most comfortable, luxurious, entertaining, marvelous…! For this reason, people always seek it.
On August 4, 2019, 13 sisters made their First Profession in the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, expressing the joy of their Yes in desiring to remain with Him through a life of love and service.
The Solemn Eucharist was presided by the Salesian Provincial of Vietnam, Fr. Joseph Nguyen Van Quang, In his homily, Fr. Joseph invited the community to look at their own life and make very concrete choices. Power is not money but the love of God. He referred to Bom, a simple man in the history of Vietnam. The happiness of Bom is so small and his joy is so great: three cows and nine buffalo, a rainbow and a scow. Bom did not desire riches. His only hope was to find what is really essential for his life. From this story comes the invitation to the community and to the New Professed to be like the wise virgins who do the will of God and this is what truly counts in their life.
The moment of consecration is an occasion to express gratitude to their parents, to all those who were the mediation of God’s love, who had accompanied, supported, and illumined their life to make it a gift to God.
My soul magnifies the Lord (Lk 1: 46)
On August 5, 2019 there was the Eucharistic Celebration for the 5 sisters of the 25th, and 2 of the 50th anniversary of Profession, and 8 sisters of Perpetual Profession.
My soul magnifies the Lord is the theme of their life today. Responding yes forever to God in the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and imitating Mary, they desire that their life become a decisive Yes to God’s will.
The Solemn Eucharist was presided by Bishop Louis Nguyen Anh Tuan, Vicar of the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh, and concelebrated by other Vietnamese priests of Don Bosco Province of Vietnam-Mongolia, and by priests of other dioceses. Also participating were relatives, benefactors, and friends.
In his homily, Bishop Louis spoke about the bride of the wedding and of Jesus who is the Spouse. He said that on the day of Profession, a very solemn wedding ceremony takes place, and that the dress of the brides is today a simple white dress, remembering that consecrated life is a configuration to Jesus. The Bishop invited them to follow Jesus on the path of chastity, poverty, and obedience.
The culmination of the festival was the Rite of profession. The Professed sign the covenant forever with Christ on the altar. After Profession, the sisters are given the crown, a symbol of God’s royalty, sacrifice, and beauty.
Perpetual Profession was followed by the rite of renewal of the vows of the sisters who celebrated the 25th and 50th anniversary, as a manifestation of fidelity and thanksgiving for God’s faithful love over time and as a commitment to continue with Him, the journey that still awaits them.
Before the end of the Mass, the Provincial Sr. Rosa, on behalf of the Sisters of the Province present, the relatives of the Professed, expressed her deep gratitude to the Bishop, the priests, religious, benefactors, and all the acquaintances who had come to pray for the new FMA.
The feast continued with simple moments of dance, music, and singing prepared by the professed sisters and by the sisters of the Province for all those present.
Renewal of vows – the joy of consecrated life
First Profession – “Your commandments are all my good ” (Ps 118, 111)
Perpetual Profession – “My soul magnifies the Lord” (LK 1: 46)