On Sunday 22 May 2016, three distinct parts of our Salesian world came together as Br Daniel Rafanomezantsoa made his perpetual profession to the Provincial of the Australia-Pacific Province, Fr Greg Chambers.
The profession took place during the Eucharistic celebration of the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity which also doubled as the Parish Feast Day at Clifton Hill and Collingwood in Melbourne. The parish of Our Lady of the Southern Cross commemorates Mary Help of Christians as its feast and so there was a ‘trinity’ of celebrations – the solemnity, the feast and the profession!
In his homily Fr Chambers began with a story of a man searching for the secret of success in life and being asked by the sage to ‘stretch out your hand to reach what you can … then to stretch out your hand and reach what you cannot’. Br Daniel as a Salesian was asked to stretch out his hand to the young in the spirit of Don Bosco, in imitation of Mary Help of Christians and in communion with the community of persons who are the Holy Trinity.
‘I say to Br Daniel today as he makes his Final Profession as a Salesian of Don Bosco – may you be a man of the Trinity from this day forward; may you be a courageous witness of the mutual love and exchange that animates the relationship of Father, Son and Spirit; and may you always stretch out your hand like Don Bosco to the young and the poor who reach out to grasp it in hope and confidence’.
Br Daniel shared this reflection at the conclusion of the profession ceremony:
‘Good morning everyone. Happy Feast Day to all of you! Nothing is idle. Everything is moving. All of us are moving. But what does prompt our movement? Today, we are gathered together here because of our faith. Today, our face shines with delight because of our Faith. The faith is the greatest gift through which God bestowed upon us the grace we need on earth to move as Jesus does. How blessed we are today to show our faith in many wonderful ways! We are celebrating the Feast Day of our parish to mark our faith. We have just celebrated the Eucharist, the most wonderful way to thank God because of our faith. The perpetual vows I have just professed are an expression of faith. How beautiful faith is!!! How powerful the faith is!!!!’
Br Daniel is currently a member of the Don Bosco House, Clifton Hill community in Melbourne, an international house of studies, where he is preparing to commence his theological studies.
He commenced his Salesian journey in Madagascar completing his novitiate and philosophical studies there. He then offered his services to the missions ad gentes and was sent to the Delegation of Cambodia within the Thailand Province.
Fr Charles Arun, also a missionary in Cambodia, returned to Melbourne to represent the Delegation, act as Witness to the Profession and to meet up for the first time with his Australian friends following his ordination in Chennai, India last December.
God Bless, Daniel!
Fr Bernie Graham, Vice Provincial