Twelve brave individuals face a new realm of life after they said “yes” to the call of the Almighty. Their diverse ways of life did not hinder their desire to follow the footsteps of their Creator with Faith, Love, and Service to the Sick. As their journey started, they faced many obstacles and challenges. However, their faith in the Lord overtook their problems. They became more equipped and well armored as they went through the boulevard of life.
First Profession of Vows
Their faith channeled them to the right path, striving to be the best they can be, making every effort to serve others, building spiritual connection to God, and valuing their brothers in the community. Their faith lifted up the life to love the needy in a form of service. As St. Camillus said, “put more heart into your hands.” While living inside the Novitiate formation, some realized that they were called to stride to another path and though they took the different path, they still conveyed the values that they learned from the formation ground. But at that time and onwards, the UPIAC (United Pinoy, Indonesian, African Camillian) Batch carried on the fire in their journey—shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand they walked until they found their first base.
It was on May 30, 2015, a year after the Novitiate formation when the four remaining novices said their first “yes” to become professed religious of the Ministers of the Infirm. The first profession of vows took place in the new St. Camillus Scholasticate chapel in Loyola Heights, Quezon City at six in the evening within the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The Provincial Superior of the Camillian Philippine province, Rev. Fr. Rolando ‘Rolly’ J. Fernandez, MI, was the main celebrant together with the Camillian priests from the Philippines and from abroad, particularly Kenya and Indonesia. During his homily, Fr. Rolly gave thanks to the families of these young men for their willingness to surrender and for their support to the vocation of their children in becoming a Camillian.
It was indeed a time filled with gladness and joy when these four men made manifest their desire to follow Christ in the Camillian way of life by professing their vows of living in complete poverty, chastity, obedience and service to the sick even at the risk of one’s life. Those who professed their vows were the new scholastics, namely: Ronnel B. Agpay and James Virgil Gerald V. Agting from the Philippines; Mensianus Aman from Indonesia; and David Kiarie Gakunga from Kenya.
For the newly professed it was a time to give thanks because the roads that they traversed towards this journey had lots of humps and bumps but these definitely helped them purify their motivations on why they wanted to stay and be part of the Order. Their Novitiate is finished but their journey is still far from over. They have to move on, with renewed enthusiasm and optimism for God is with them and St. Camillus is continually inspiring and guiding them in the journey towards fullness of being true Camillians in spirit, words, and deeds. – Sch. James Agting
A day prior to the first profession of vows of the so-called UPIAC Batch, seven Camillian scholastics, namely, Anthony Ongcal, Antonio Balaba, Jr., Jose Emmanuel Cabarles, Almar Roman, Juegene Cafe, Jesreal Caindoy, and Michael Villagomez, renewed their religious profession of vows at St. Camillus Scholasticate chapel. The renewal of vows took place within the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, presided over by Fr. Rolly and concelebrated by several Camillian priests. (Sch. Henry professed his renewal of vows earlier in Taipei, Taiwan.)
In his homily, Fr. Rolly emphasized the importance of one’s faithfulness in religious life. Hence we pray for these young courageous men that they may always remain faithful in their chosen vocation as they face new challenges ahead of them as they are indubitably renewed anew. – Sch. Jose Emmanuel Cabarles