We spent last weekend celebrating with Duncan, Tony, and Joe as they took their first vows as Capuchin Friars. They had been in the U.S since June last year .
Their profession of vows took place at St Anthony's Shrine which is the National Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua.The church is very beautiful inside. We were welcomed as part of their family by the friars as we waited for the Mass to begin. Duncan asked Caleb to read the psalm and Lachlan volunteered to help bring up the gifts.
Duncan was particularly pleased that his grandmother could travel from New Zealand to help celebrate the occasion.Her faith and those of her sisters is an inspiration to him. His maternal great-grandfather was brought up on lighthouses in isolated parts of New Zealand and Mass must have been a very rare occurance yet the light of faith of these good people has been passed down through generations.And even when those of newer generations such as myself have not always been true to this faith, the turning back to it has indeed been a "coming home".
Saint Francis has always played a part in our family's development. Both Clive and I were enrolled in the third order as Anglicans(and prior to us becoming engaged Clive had considered joining the Anglican friars in Auckland!)Then when we came into the church Clive took St Francis for his confirmation saint. And since that time St Francis' intercession has always been asked for in the "trimmings" we add to our family evening rosary.
Here are the words Duncan spoke as his profession :
Praise and glory to the Most Holy Trinity!
I Brother Duncan, moved by divine inspiration, wish to live the Gospel and follow more closely in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, in the presence of my Brothers here assembled, and at your hands, Brother Julian, with solid faith and steadfast will: I vow to God the Father, Holy and Almighty to live in obedience, without property and in chastity for the term determined by my superiors. I promise to faithfully observe the life and Ruleof the Friars Minor confirmed by Pope Honorius according to the Constitutions of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor. therefore with all my heart I commit myself
to this Fraternity, so that, through the working of the Holy Spirit, the example of Mary Immaculate, the intercession of our Father Francis and all the Saints and with the help of my Brothers, I may attain the fulness of love in the service of god, of the Church, and of all people.