“Where is my gift?”might sound like a cliché thought for one celebrating ones birthday, yet something is likely missing if gifts are absent at birthday celebrations. On 8 September, in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians Fatumaca, Timor-Leste, the ITM Vice-Province rejoiced at receiving a beautiful gift from the Virgin Mary on the celebration of her birthday.
Fr João Paulino Aparicio, who represents the Rector Major, accepted 15 new confreres into the Congregation. They are: Albino Babo, Bernardo Menezes, Domingos Cristovão, Domingos da Piedade, Eliseu Mendes, Fernando do Rego, Filipe Cardoso, Fortunato Soares, Francisco de Araujo, Januario Texeira, Martinho Savio, Miguel das Dores, Nicolau Hilario, Norberto Pereira and Roberto Boavida. Out of these 15 newly professed, 14 are clerical candidates and 1 a Salesian Brother, namely Bro. Januario Texeira.
Fr. João Paulino Aparicio, the Provincial of ITM, who had been their formator during the Pre-Novitiate period, affirmed in his homily that vocation is a mystery. It is an affair between the Mystery and a person himself. Hence, some candidates might be deemed by ‘outsiders’ to be unworthy for the consecrated life. However, if God wants them, then His call is ‘irresistible’.
After the joyful celebration of this First Profession, all the newly professed were brought straight to Dili, to the Post-Novitiate community. In the evening, a simple welcoming program was held for these new arrivals by the community. Their mind-boggling philosophical activity will not begin just yet. However, a serious and intense preparation in languages will take place right from the day after their of arrival in the Post-Novitiate. From then on they will always remember the words of Don Bosco: “Only in heaven shall I take my rest.” Our wish for them is that they be worthy young Salesians, sons of Don Bosco.