We, fortunately, do not get used to beautiful things; they are always nice. So it is, at least for us religious who still believe in it, for a feast of first professions. And it was so once again on July 18, in Makeni, with the six young men (Paul, Stanley, Paul, Sam, Innocent and John) who finished their Novitiate Year and began a new chapter of their lives as Josephan confreres. Aided also by the clemency of the weather, which opened a parenthesis of almost-sun in these days soaked with rain, the day was held in a simple manner, but imbued with those pleasant sensations typical of meetings among friends, who are just united by a friendship made of sincere cordiality, by faith in shared ideals and by the satisfaction at the completion of a stage dreamed of long since. On the face of the newly professed who one by one were kneeling before the celebrant in order to pronounce the vows for the first time, you could see reflected the joy and awe for a step as significant and demanding.
But no welcome ‘hugs’ in the Josephan religious family to the new young members: this Ebola infection not yet completely eradicated wanted to make its mark here too. We know that we are all clean, but… by now we are used even to this, to look at each other and greet each other with a bow, perhaps joining our hands [although Sierra Leone is not Japan!].
In the same celebration the superior of the Vice-Province, Father Luigi Cencin, received the renewal of vows of two young confreres, Francis and Desmond.
Some confreres from the other two communities of Lunsar and Kissy have come to celebrate with the newly professed, as some religious men and women of the city, a group of youths from Lunsar, members of the vocational group, and two or three representatives of the family homes (Murialdo Homes) of Freetown. We prayed together, thanking the Lord for this beautiful gift, but also asking him strength and perseverance for the six ‘young eagles’ which took the flight of the consecrated life. They are just beginning the journey, but if it is true that ‘well begun is half done’… we wish them to continue to advance with determination and confidence; and if they can put their lives in God’s hands, it will be right ‘in good hands!’