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First profession in Matola

13/12/2010: Mozambique - Photo gallery

On the right you see Brother Clement, in the middle you see Brother Davy and on the left you see Brother Joseph in the Angel Gabriel Parish Church in Matola We had just witnessed a colorful first profession. Eight priests concelebrated the Mass. The main celebrant was Father Fredrick, a Consolata Missionary from Kenya and a very reliable friend of us here. Among the other active participants were the novices of the Lichinga Sisters who were in the majority and those of Jose Cluny who took the lead in the animation of the liturgy.We saw the African dancing church through the younger girls throughout the celebration. We avoided any African cultural symbol because it came as a late initiative without too much preparation during the rehearsal days but used the common and tradition ones instead. Some may feel we are not keen on inculturation but we have to be careful because the continent is vast and elements of syncretism may need a thorough study by some of us local brothers.Brother Joseph Walton, our Provincial, encouraged the newly professed to have passion and enthusiasm for their life as Brothers and for the young people they will be introducing to Christ. He thanked their parents for accepting their desire to join the Marist Brothers and congratulated them for their generosity. Everybody had an opportunity to congratulate them in turns. They had hugs from both young and old, something very typical of Mozambique, often called “abraço”.Following the profession ceremony we saw gathered at our novitiate for a meal. The cooks delayed a bit and so we had our lunch at 13.30 p.m. Though late for us our invited guests did not complain like the Israelites in the desert or those at Cana where Mary had to intervene for a miracle. They knew they would not die of hunger and thirst. Like the seven loaves and two fish which were blessed and multiplied by our Lord, we found ourselves in groups and ate to our satisfaction. We colleted not only seven baskets of leftovers but plenty of pots of meat, chicken, and cakes and normal drinks. We shall have to continue the feast for the coming couple of days. We worked like bees. Even our old brothers took a leading role in the food preparations.As if that was not enough, we saw a friend of Champagnat manning the entertainment side. The first ones to entertain the visitors were ourselves and the Master of Novices danced to the surprise of everybody. I am sure if, as at the birthday of Herod, he had been asked to ask for any gift, he would certainly have receive what he asked for. The pandemonium that came after that dancing showed approval all round.We had all of us a chance to entertain the eager watching audience and the applause of shouts and hand clapping were the visible audible demonstration of acknowledgement of our joy charged emotions. We were also almost choked with laughter.We saw gifts falling like manna on the newly professed hands and bodies. Our brothers were wrapped in capulanas(zitenje, khangas). Elias made a diverse selection of the latest music which stole the show. The Lichinga Sisters’ novices entertained us to traditional African music which drew the attention of us all and we failed to repress our emotions of joy at the end of their wonderful eye and heart catching performance.Bravo Davy, Joseph and Clement for inviing us to witness your colourful profession. This day will be special for you and for us. Its memories will remain with us and with those who will have a chance to read what we witnessed. Like Champagnat, we urge you to be faithful to your vocation and to be firm in times of temptation. We are more than ready to continue walking with you in helping the poor youth know and love Jesus._________________Br. Simon BandaMatola, Moçambique

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