This is definitely not how I imagined it. Hurricane Irene has introduced a new level of chaos and uncertainty that the usual working out of details for such an occasion bring. I am unsure of who will come today to the liturgy, but I know that my classmate Steve, his family, my family, a handful of local friars and a few friends are in town. While this is quite extraordinary to have one of the most important annual events in the collective life of the community (not to mention in the individual lives of the two friars) so minimized and under-attended, I am still excited about what remains in store. The details are entirely lost at this point. Who knows what musicians will be able to make it, who knows which of the ministers originally scheduled to participate might arrive, who knows how many friends, family and friars will attend — everything will be a surprise and a mystery.
Know that if you are able to come to today, you are indeed most welcome. All are welcome.
For those who will not make it in person, know that I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. My heart is indeed deeply saddened by your absence, but I also understand that there isn’t much that can be done. Pray for Steve and I.
These are the words of profession that I will proclaim tomorrow into the hands of the Minister Provincial of Holy Name Province. They are, without a doubt, some of the most moving words and one of the most poignant prayers in all of Christianity. I share them with you — especially those who are far away and desiring to be close this day — as I share them with my community and the world.
Since for the glory of God,
The Lord has given me this grace,
Of living more perfectly and with firm will
The Gospel of Jesus Chris,
I, Brother (name)
In the presence of the assembled Friars,
and into your hands, (minister provincial),
vow for the entirety of my life
To live in obedience, without anything of my own and in chastity
According to the Rule of Saint France
Confirmed by Pope Honorious III
And the General Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor.
Therefore with all my heart
I give myself to this brotherhood
That through the work of the Holy Spirit,
The intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Our Father Francis and all the saints,
And with the help of my brothers
I may fulfill my consecration
To the service of God and of the Church.
This I promise.