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KAINGARAN, Tambunan – The Elias Carmelites – Putri Karmel Sisters and Carmelitae Sancti Elias Brothers – welcomed six new members, three temporarily professed and three perpetual professed, into their respective institutes, recently.
The professions took place on 16 July 2016, Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, their titular feast day, at St Mary Magdalene Chapel here. Bishop Cornelius Piong officiated the two-in-one three-hour long event, concelebrated with five priests from Kota Kinabalu, Keningau, Sandakan and Zimbabwe. Over 300 people turned up for the event.
In his homily, the bishop touched on commitment and the challenges it faces. He said that religious commitment (same as priestly and marriage commitment) entails knowing what one is doing and getting into. It touches one’s deepest desire.
The bishop then gave four points on how to sustain one’s commitment: (1) consistent relationship with Jesus; (2) reliance on the Holy Spirit’s power; (3) community life; and (4) imitate Mary’s example.
After being called and examined, Novices Mary Odilia (Theresa Matilda Binidi of Kinarut), 34; Maria Natalia (Decvianney Julius of Telupid), 24; and Fierry Febry Faver (Jepson Taurin of Toboh), 23, took their vows for one year before their respective superiors, Sr Maximilliane Soon, and Br Theresius, one by one. After the acceptance of the vows, each went to the altar to sign the document individually, witnessed by two professed members of their respective congregation.
After the signing, each newly professed received the scapular and respective Constitution from the bishop.
The rite of perpetual profession followed the rite of first profession. After the calling and examination, the Litany of the Saints was sung.
Then Srs Mary Nicholeta (Rita L Jair of Ranau), 45; Mary Alberta (Gisella CJ Lengis of Tuaran), 29; and Bernard Marie (Ronnie Jenis of Keningau), 29, made their perpetual vows individually before their respective superior and signed the documents on the altar. As a sign of their commitment, they were given the spousal rings.
After the neo-professed had sung their thanksgiving song, the Eucharist followed as usual.
The Invocation to the Holy Spirit and Consecration to Mary took place after Communion. Sr Alberta gave the thanksgiving speech on behalf of all the neo-professed, followed by speeches from Sr Maximilliane and Bp Cornelius. Both shared on how the Holy Spirit and the maternal help of Mary helped them through the early years of priesthood and religious life.
After the speeches and photo sessions, all adjourned to the basement hall for a fellowship meal and a programme of songs and cultural dances.