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Hong Kong: Vestitions and First Religious Professions

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Nine postulants from Myanmar, East Timor and South Korea received their Dominican habits and seven novices make their first religious profession yesterday, July 1st, 2020 in Saint Albert´s Priory, Hong Kong. With the visitation of the Dominican habit our brothers initiate their year of novitiate under the guidance of the Master of Novices Fr. Raymond Mi, OP., his socius Fr. Jordan Z., OP.

The novitiate is a special and important time and place suitable for the discernment each one of the postulants on the religious Dominican Vocation. They are instructed in all the elements necessary for living this kind of vocation. Among other elements, prayer, study,  preaching and fraternal life are the most important ones to be emphasis in this year because these elements will be the base for all their Dominican life.

The Prior Provincial Fr. Bonifacio Solís, OP., presided the ceremony. The fathers of Saint Albert´s Priory and Saint Joseph´s House concelebrated with the Provincial. And the student Dominican friars in Hong Kong sung the Mass.

We share the homily of the Prior Provincial:


Dear novices and postulants you are about to begin a year of discernment, prayer, study and formation At the end you will be in a better position to understand the challenges of Dominican vocation and consecrated life. Gain in the knowledge of the charism and history of the Order, study the Constitutions and the unique missionary characteristic of our Province in which you are accepted as novices or professed brothers.

It is immaterial how you have been drawn to the Dominican Order, but undertake today a serious and responsible process of discernment of what to be a Dominican means; fall in love with our spirituality and charisma. Remember that it is God who has called you to embrace this way of life. Your YES to Him implies a serious and authentic determination to seek his will.

Today is a significant day for you and you are prepared inwardly to accept the commitments of your novitiate and of your religious profession as outlined in our Constitutions, norms on formation, spirituality and history of the Order.

There are three important pillars of our Life: first Community life.

Brothers should hold this significant element of community life in great regard. It presupposes your firm resolve to interiorize the conviction that community life is not negotiable and it is not possible without an honest belief that we must offer the best or rather the whole of ourselves to the common good in the community. We are Dominicans and not secular priest, hence it may be necessary to change a little bit the chip of our brain to realize that we are religious called to live in a community and to become a preacher in the name and from the community. 

It also implies more than our personal or selfish interest. We must set before us the good of others because favouring their good, we draw happiness as the reward for our love of benevolence.

I, therefore, encourage you to assume the great responsibility of living and working for a true community life resolving to give priority to the good of others rather than seeking your own interest first. 

Unless we are men of great faith, who understand the demands of God’s call and the mystery of his plans for us, we may become reluctant to accept the importance of self-surrender over any kind of egoism in our community interrelation.

Be aware that suffering and self-denial are unavoidable in the process of integration in community life because we cannot be guided by selfish motives and longings for a reward. There is only one resounding voice and principle: follow me and take your cross upon your shoulders in the process.

We come from different countries, cultures and family background. These have deeply shaped our personality so that it is somewhat difficult to verbalize and understand who we truly are. Therefore, it is all the more necessary for us to live together, to show genuine concern for one another and to develop attitudes of reciprocal acceptance, co-responsibility, belongingness and transparency so as to achieve the quality of community life envisioned by our norms and spirituality.

If Christians were praised for their love for one another, a good level of community life will give credibility to our work and preaching. Let us be on guard so that, history, culture and sub-conscious resentments do not prevent us from full integration in the community where we are assigned.

Another important pillar of Dominican life is Prayer. Through your novitiate and profession, you undertake a progressive integration of some essential elements such as:  vocation-consecration-mission.

If love is the key commandment for Christians it is more vital and necessary for those who are fully consecrated to the Lord. Loving God deeply will lead us to a closer union with him as his Gospel.

Because consecration implies full assimilation into the mystery of God and the Order, we are asked to be fully responsible, assiduous and committed to personal and community prayer as an expression of the love that we are called to treasure in the teaching and practices of prayer outlined in the traditions of the Order and the Church (cf. RFP n.92 & 95). Hence, we should spend more quality time in prayer and never ever miss the Eucharist.

We are good because first God has loved us and we should not rest until we become completely his. It is not enough to know God, what is urgent is possessing God within oneself. Jesus prayer indicated the communion that is to exist among brothers when he equated it to the intimacy among the three persons of the Holy Trinity.

The late Father Arintero when he was nearing death asked one of the brothers to read from the correspondence of some of the religious under his spiritual direction and only passages that have to do with the love of God and his dwelling within us.

Caring for our most intimate experiences as Dominicans will lead us to shine in positive attitudes and works of friendship, brotherhood and credible religious life in our radical following of the Gospel with simplicity and profound quality of life. Inner life requires quiet places to emerge more Christ-like: “Go into your room and shut the door Mt. 6,6”.

A Dominican knows that his faith and vocation are the trademarks of the actions that shape his features and shine in his gaze so that soul, body and spirit are sustained by virtues of great humility and brotherhood, as well as by a sincere prayer life where his spirituality nurtures the intimate friendship with the Trinity.

Time is the path that, as we step on it, shortens, reduces and becomes irreversible. Sometimes we are disturbed by the apparently meaningless way in which we live our life of the spirit and yet we know that we should experience great joy in our following of Christ. 

Study. Assume the responsibility for your own formation from the very first day of your novitiate and religious profession. It is a life long process.

May the Lord Jesus be your true possession, silent companion and master along the way of life! If you follow Him you will never be disappointed. Everything is possible with his grace.