Cebu, the Philippines, 6 May 2017—The feast of Saint Dominic Savio saw the solemn profession and investiture rites of eleven new Salesians in the Chapel of Don Bosco Formation Center, Lawaan, Cebu. There were nine clerics and two brothers. Coming from three provinces and two delegations, they are:
cl. Levi F. Arao, SDB [FIN], cl. John Erwynn A. Encarguez,SDB [FIS], cl. Jonas Paulo C. Lacson, SDB [FIN], cl. Faraz Darshan Masih, SDB [FIS-PAK], cl. Chan Dara Norn, SDB [THA-CAM], cl. Alfons Jayzar K. Panganiban, SDB [FIN], cl. Ersan Jacob B. Rosete, SDB [FIS], cl. John Paolo B. Romero, SDB [FIN], cl. Mark A. Soriano, SDB [FIN] and, br. Romnick T. Tabaquero, SDB [FIN].
The celebration of the holy mass, preceded by a short procession and enthronement at the sanctuary of the statue of Saint Dominic Savio began at 9:15 am. The banners of the professandi and the Sacred Heart Novitiate served as a fitting backdrop to the culmination of the year-long intense formation to the Salesian life. Fr. Godofredo Atienza (FIS Provincial Superior) was the main celebrant. About 40 priests concelebrated. Among them were the provincial superior of CIN, Fr. Lanfranco Fedrigotti; the delegates of Pakistan-FIS and of Cambodia-THA, Fr. Eugene Maglasang and Fr. Roel Soto respectively; and the vice-provincial of FIN, Fr. Felino Gueco, Jr. The incoming Director of Novices, Fr. Philip Lazatin, was also present.
Fr. Atienza expressed his joy in the gift of new Salesians professing the evangelical counsels on the feast of Dominic Savio. “It is good to celebrate the profession publicly, in front of the community, in front of your families, your parents and the Salesians.” He presented the young saint as a model, one who lived a lifestyle that profoundly expressed his spirituality and zealously traveled the way of holiness. “Dominic is a proof of the method of education of Saint John Bosco. Inspired by the vision of Don Bosco, Da Mihi Animas… Dominic put up the Sodality of Immaculate Conception to save souls and reach holiness.” Fr. Atienza invited those present and especially the professandi to imitate the fidelity of Saint Dominic Savio and his willingness to bring others to holiness—death was his only hurdle. He encouraged the “new” Salesains to cling on to Jesus especially in moments of hardships and temptations.
Fr. Atienza accepted and welcomed the professandi in the name of the Rector Major, Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime. The provincials and delegates present served as official witnesses. After the clerics donned their cassocks and the brothers wore their formal attire, they received the medal of Don Bosco engraved with their names as external signs and reminders of their consecration. They also received their copies of the constitution and the Salesian Family Charter.
The Salesian Brother from CIN gave the thanksgiving speech on behalf of his batch, the “For Christ Salesians.”
We rejoice in such a gift of eleven new confreres and stand faithful to the same profession we made which fittingly closes, “with the help of my brother Salesians, keep me faithful day by day.” May our prayers and humble sacrifices accompany them as they begin to live our consecration and mission—sequela Christi.
Text: Br. April Jerome Quinto, SDB
Photos: FIS SocCom