On the feast day of the Immaculate Conception (08 December) in 2013, we woke up to a surprise of white rooftops in the city of Salamanca. This was due to a heavy frost from the night. The white frost did not prevent the sun from shining bright in the morning to last throughout the whole day.
In the evening of that feast day, in the Church of Saint John of Sahagún, the Patron saint of the city of Salamanca, one of our young religious confreres made his perpetual profession as a member of this Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill.
Frt. Thomas Camissone Guetsane CMM, from Mozambique, committed himself for life to God during a festive Eucharistic celebration. Many of the chosen songs for the celebration were in his mother tongue. The youth choir of the parish and the other Mariannhill Fratres undertook the task to interpret them. Especially joyful were the songs for the offerings and for the thanksgiving, since the dance joined the music with African rhythms.
Fr. Lino Herrero Prieto CMM, Provincial Superior of the Missionaries of Mariannhill in Spain, presided over the Eucharistic celebration, together with the other priests of Mariannhill and other priests friends of the community. In his homily, he highlighted the story of the vocation of Mary, a text from the Gospel of the feast.
After the homily, the rite of perpetual profession took place. After being called, the one who was about to profess answered the questions of scrutiny, expressing his free will and resolve to give of himself to God. The scrutiny highlighted his generous disposition to consecrate himself to God for life in the service of the mission of the Church within this religious and missionary family, the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill.
After the scrutiny and while Frt. Thomas knelt, the whole assembly sang the Litany of the Saints to invoke God’s blessings and protection for him. After the Litany of the Saints, with reinforced strength Frt. Thomas read the formula of his religious profession, written in his own handwriting. Once signed, he placed it on the altar as an expression of offering his life to God in the service of the universal plan of salvation.
Frt. Thomas was still given a solemn blessing by the presider and was then presented to the gathered congregation as a full member of the Missionaries of Mariannhill. This marked the end of the profession rite.
After the Eucharistic celebration all the faithful present were invited to enjoy a glass of Spanish wine and eat a share of Spanish potato omelets.
Thus the day was capped with a beautiful gift of the Church in the person of Frt Thomas and the family of the Missionaries of Mariannhill ended the day with joy and gratitude.
P. Lino Herrero Prieto CMM