The First Religious Profession
It was a sunny morning on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven when we witnessed the first religious profession of 10 of our novices: Chabu John, Galata Xolile, Lanjesi Joseph, Lukhele Hendrick Nkosinathi, Mbalame Paul, Nkandu Paul, Nonde Christopher, Phiri Alfred, Shabangu John-Paul Mpilo and Stener Philip. Eight of them have discerned their vocation to priesthood and two of them, Paul Mbalame and Alfred Phiri to brotherhood, so they are brothers – coadjutors. The above mentioned had begun their journey of formation in their respective Aspirantates and continued in Pre-novitiates. They wish to follow the way of Don Bosco by helping the young people to become good and responsible citizens of their societies.
The ceremony was attended by the Salesians of Don Bosco, both Clerics and Brothers, Sisters from different religious Congregations, including our very own the Salesians Sisters, the new ten Novices, the Salesian Co-operators, and the parents, relatives and friends to the candidates who were professing. Sr. Chanda Nsofwa FMA explained the different stages of the liturgical celebration to the faithful.
The cerebrations started with the Holy Mass around 10:00 hours and the main celebrant was the ZMB Provincial, Fr. George Chalissery, and the co-celebrants were: the Vicar Fr. Leszek Aksamit, Fr Bonginkosi Nhleko from AFM, the Director of the Novices, Fr. Chris Rychcik and many other priests from ZMB Vice-Province. The singing during the liturgy was done by the girls from the Salesian Sisters community of City of Hope, a places where the newly professed did go for their weekends’ apostolate during their novitiate. The procession was colourful and very joyful. The dancing girls – Stella brought a lot of keenness on the celebrations.
The first reading was taken by one of the newly professed, while the second one was taken by one of the Salesian Sisters. After the Gospel, the Director of the Novices Fr. Chris Rychcik called each one of the to-be-professed novices by his name. Each one was to respond to this call personally and was accompanied by his parent or guardians, or another person to the front of the altar. In the homily, the Provincial called upon the to-be-professed Salesians to be faithful and authentic to the Salesian mission and vocation. Then, the candidates made their temporal vows for one year and the Provincial welcomed them into the Salesians of Don Bosco Congregation. All the priests and everyone who attended the liturgical celebration greeted and congratulated the new Salesians of Don Bosco. It was a moment of joy and happiness. When the time came for thanksgiving, the newly professed Salesians come to dance to the songs of thanksgiving with the Stella girls in front of the altar and were later joined by some of the faithful.
Before the final blessing, Br Paul Mbalame gave a vote of thanks on behalf of all the newly professed Salesians and later Fr. Malama Lewis invited all the people there to the celebration at the Provincial House to begin the bicentenary celebrations of Don Bosco, which begins on the 16th of August 2014.