The Year for Consecrated Life - Eastern Canadian Chinese Catholic Living Camp, First Vows and Ordination

posted on 24/11/15 10:48 am by Kathy McMerty  

By Fr David Purcell, C.Ss.R.

“… my heart’s one desire is to be holy, set apart for you Lord. I choose to be Holy….ready to do your will.” These words come from a song, “Refiner’s Fire” by Brian Doerksen. I am meeting so many Catholic youth across the country who radiate these words through their actions.

For example, in an unbroken string of almost 40 years, another 加東 (Ga Tung) camp was hosted by a group of young adults at Camp Opemikon, about one hour north of Kingston, Ontario. Consecrated Life and the Laity was the topic.

Thank-you to Fr. Francis Ching and our group leaders who helped us learn about the vows of Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience. These vows, professed out loud by religious brothers and sisters, reflect various faces of the life of Christ. We learned that the values they reflect, are lived out by people in vocations such as marriage, the single life, and other vocations different from religious communities.

Interesting to myself, and maybe to you…in recent years, from this group, have come, Fr. Francis Ching who is a member of the Companions of the Cross; Fr. Bui was here with his parish youth group and he is a diocesan priest in the Archdiocese of Toronto, Sister Cora Bebosa is a Salesian Sister of St. John Bosco, Brother Edmund Lo is a Jesuit, and Sister Jessica is a Servant of the Plan of God!

Here in the picture at the left you see myself, Sister Jessica, and Fr. Armand Galay of the Missionaries of Africa. We are so grateful that we were given an opportunity to promote our various communities and to hear an original song written for the weekend called “We are made for Glory”. Music is by Michael Wu and lyrics by Fr. Francis Ching and the ECCCLC 2015 Committee: “We are set apart. We are made for glory. We are consecrated, baptized, in Christ. We are set apart. We will live for You. We are made for glory. Let Your poverty, chastity, obedience be our path. Amen.”

Out on the west coast, Archbishop Miller in Vancouver, sent out the following invitation…“Sunday, Sept. 20 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Parish Recreation Center, Vancouver for an Archdiocesan Vocations Fair. With 54 religious orders currently serving in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the work they do. Come celebrate the many different religious orders in the diocese, both men and women, followed by Mass in the church celebrated by Archbishop Miller, CSB.”

Thanks to our community and our parish staff like Virginia and Corinna, who supported Fr. Babu Matthew in his work at this fair. Thanks to their efforts they have added another person to our list of those seeking discernment with our Redemptorist community! Thank-you!

This is a special year for our Redemptorist family in Canada. We celebrate several milestones of new members in our midst. Brother Eumir Bautista joined the Redemptorists on the 14th of August 2015. He professed his first vows to the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in Winnipeg at St. Joseph Church.

( r.) Fr. Mike Smolinsky, Fr. Larry Kondra & Fr. John Sianchuck, witnessed Brother Eumir’s vows.

Born in Libon, Albay, the Phillipines, Brother Eumir graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Manila. In 2006 he began to formally study the traditions of the Christian East in Ottawa.

Eumir stated, “I am inspired by the service of Redemptorists to the poor and to those who are most abandoned.” He, therefore, really enjoyed living at The Welcome Home in Winnipeg for two years, before recently completing his novitiate in Toronto. “We Redemptorists are deeply drawn to devotion to the Mother of God,” Eumir added about his reasons for joining the Congregation.

Then on the 20th of September, Br. Joseph Manh Thuong Nguyen C.Ss.R. was ordained to the diaconate. His ordination took place at St. Tite des Capes just 15 minutes east of St. Anne de Beaupré, Québec.

Born in Viet Nam, Deacon Joseph is the oldest of four children. He completed his high school and university studies in Viet Nam and joined the Redemptorists formation in 1997 in Ha Noi.

Deacon Joseph described his experience in this way. “I always feel happy and content to follow my vocational pathway in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. Through experiences that I have lived in the Congregation, I have made enormous progress in my spiritual, community and pastoral life. The spirit of prayer, of charity, and of Gospel Friendship that live in the hearts of each of my confrères, and in the parishioners; strengthens my determination to continue on my pathway through the diaconate to ordination as a priest in Christ, and by following the ways of Saint Alphonsus Marie de Liguori.” He will work as pastoral assistant in the six parishes served by the Redemptorists on the Côte de Beaupré for his internship, and then be ordained as a priest next year.

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