Rome, Friday, May 4, 2012
Each year on the 1st of May, the scholastics of St. Daniel Comboni Scholasticate in Pietermaritzburg, renew their vows. The same happened this year: 9 of the 10 scholastics renewed their vows. Unfortunately, one scholastic from South Sudan was absent. He had to travel to his new country in order to regularize his situation, passport and new visa to South Africa.
The preparation for the feast started early in the morning with Lauds and some inputs for reflection on consecrated life for mission, according to the Comboni Charism by Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins, the Provincial Superior of South Africa. In the afternoon at four o’clock took place the celebration of the Eucharist and the renewal of the vows. Each scholastic called by name by one of the formators, answered the call in his own local language, ewe, lingala, sotho, amaric, ... expressing the richness of our interculturality and internationality, although within the African continent.
During the homily, in line with the Word of God, the president of the celebration, Fr. Jeremias , stressed the values of love, gratitude and selfless working for “God and eternity”. He quoted our Founder St. Daniel Comboni on the value and the presence of the cross in missionary life: Comboni lived out his call in the sign of the Cross knowing that the “works of God are born and grow at the foot of Calvary” (RL 4). At the end of the homily each scholastic came forward with a candle lit from the Easter Candle, proclaiming before the community his commitment to God through the living of the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
The celebration occurred in a very simple and intimate way, with the presence of the whole community: the scholastics, the two formators Fr. Román Medina José Luis and Fr. Burgers Jude Eugene and Fr. Vincente Luis Reig Bellver, teacher at Cedara. Only two special friends were invited for the occasion. Each confrere felt free to express his feelings and especially his gratitude to God who calls and never fails those he calls. On the contrary, he prepares and empowers them for the mission he entrusts them with.