Preparing for final vows

A banner celebrates the members of the 2013 final vows program in the Philippines

A banner celebrates the members of the 2013 final vows program in the Philippines

As noted previously, Fr. Bernie Rosinski is in the Philippines assisting with English language studies. In this post he writes about the Asian final vows program which brings together students from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and India:

In the SCJ scheme of things, juridical districts and regions are entities that are not yet self-sustainable and independent. The SCJ Rule of Life establishes criteria which juridical entities, such as provinces, regions, and districts, all have to meet.

So how do some districts and regions manage? They pool their meager resources. This is what is taking place over the next four weeks in the Philippines. All SCJ Asian entities are sending their final vow candidates to Dehon House at Quezon City, a suburb of Manila.

The Asian zone comprises the province of Indonesia, the region of the Philippines, the district of India, and a community in Vietnam. These have sent their final vow candidates to profit by the wisdom and instruction of valued SCJ teachers and directors in the matter of how to live the vows of religious life.  India has sent two men, Indonesia five, Vietnam two, and the Philippines has sent four. One Brazilian seminarian seeking to serve in the Philippines has also joined this group, for a total of 14 final vow candidates this year in Southeast Asia. As a matter of practice, this program has been rotated among the participating entities over the years; last year it was held in India.

On Sunday, April 7, Fr. Francis Pupkowski, the regional superior of the Philippines, officially welcomed these men who seek to make their permanent commitment to the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJs). His words of introduction included presenting the five men who are engaged in the program: these include the following SCJs: Fr. Jacek Lukasiewicz (Polish province), Fr. P. J. McGuire (US province), Fr. Rino Venturin (Vietnamese community), and Fr. Delio Ruiz (Philippines Region). Fr. Percy Bacani will also assist; he is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus.

Each presenter will have approximately one week to cover these major topics: (1) Psychological Growth: Personal Assessment of the Vows (Fr. Jacek) ; (2) Dehonian Spirituality:  Foundation of Availability, Community, Mission (Fr. P. J.); (3) Vatican II: Challenges of Enculturation and New Evangelization (Fr. Bacani). At the conclusion, Fr Venturin will preach the final vow retreat; and Fr. Delio will take care of processing and evaluating the four week experience.

Most men arrived at Dehon House in Quezon City during the course of Easter week, though some were already on hand. From an outsider’s perspective, they appear eager to begin the program. Evidence can be found in the number of candidates spending extra quiet time in chapel.  They already know each other by name and have played tennis and basketball together. It seems like every single one of the final vow candidates is a computer sophisticate, a great eater, and very, very friendly. I watched these men work together preparing meals and food and debating the best way to clean chickens for the hired cooks.


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