Perpetual vows

IMG_0716Today is a special day for us Xaverian Missionaries: it is our Founder’s day. On this occasion, three of our brothers (Justin, Adolph and Javier) will consecrate their lives forever to God for the mission in our family. We have asked them some questions.

JustineYustinus Hibur (from Indonesia)

How important and meaningful for you is this moment of your Perpetual vows?

Looking at my journey, I can say that it was a difficult time for me to decide about what I could do after finishing high school. It was at this time that the Xaverian missionaries came to our school for vocation campaign, looking for those who would like to join religious life. That happened twelve years ago, in 2003 when I decided to enter the Xaverian Congregation, saying to myself: let me try. In fact, there was no initial preparation such as recollection, retreat for discernment, accompaniment or spiritual direction. I had no idea what would have been the consequences of my choice. I never imagined to have done philosophical and theological studies for a long time; have been in a foreign country such as The Philippines where I live now together with brothers from many countries, living with a kind of “uncertainty” about where I would be sent after finishing my formation. There are still many other consequences.

Looking back at these experiences, the choice and its consequences, it seems to me that God has taken seriously my “experiment” of living in the seminary. What comforts me is that He has been faithful to me all along my journey. He has brought me to green pastures in Xaverian Family. He has comforted me with his staff through the formators in the communities. He has been surprising me with joy through the beauty of the International Community. Even though I walk through the darkest valley of my daily struggles, He is always with me. Yes, God calls me to experience His love endures forever.

Looking at the man hanging on the cross on this day of my total consecration to God, to our congregation and to the mission, I remember the day I joined the Xaverian Family, especially a loving figure – St. Guido Maria Conforti. For many times along the journey, St. Guido’s experience with Jesus on the Cross has inspired me to look at Jesus’ total dedication to God’s will as a moment of consecration. Today I empty myself hoping that He fulfills it again and again as He did before.

Looking forward to whatever will happen in the future with all the consequences, I am open to all the possibilities with trust in God who has been faithful to me; with hope to serve the people whom I will be sent to. Today, I offer to Him my prayer, “Guide me, Lord. Guide me again, as you did before.”

AdolpheGuy-Adolph Khasa Mvumbi (from D.R.Congo)

How was  your missionary vocation born?

Missionary vocation is a mystery , ascribing it as the work of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, in faith, I believe like Jeremiah (1:3) that God instilled this gift in my heart, and my family was the first to nurture it before it I was entrusted me to the Xaverian Missionaries.

As I look backed over at that time I decided for the religious life, I could detect that it is the vocation to priesthood that led me to the missionary life. In a nutshell, I wanted to be a priest and having been from a diocese (Boma) where the local clergy is mature enough after more than a century of evangelization, I chose to be a priest, but in another place (Mt 28: 16-20). This led me to consider congregations that are strictly missionaries in their charism and I had two in mind: CICM, known as Scheutist Fathers, and Combonian Missionaries. It is through a conversation with a friend that I came to hear about the Xaverian Missionaries and I found out that they were closest to get in touch with due to the location of the house where I was staying in Kinshasa.

Amazingly, it just happened that right at that particular moment Xaverian Missionaries who are mostly based in the eastern part of D.R.Congo (Uvira, Bukavu, Goma and Kasongo), after some years of observation in Kinshasa, opened their door to young men of this place. I was invited to a search in and got admitted. Without delay, after few of months of exposure to Xaverian life in the novitiate-community of Kinshasa as an aspirant, I got right away exposed to a missionary experience with my four years of formation in Bukavu, 2500 km away from my hometown.

Again, as I look backed over a decade and milestones of my formation journey with the Xaverians, it is just amazing to see how things and events have come together one after the other up to now that I am going to make my perpetual vows. I can only see the hand of God behind everything.

JavierFrancisco Javier Beltrán Aceves (from Mexico)

What message do you give to young people like you on this special day of your definitive consecration to the mission?

“Caritas Christi urget nos” (2 Cor 5:14)

The message that I want to give to the youth is none other than the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians: “The love of Christ urges us on.” St. Guido Maria Conforti always reminded us about the origin and aim of our consecration, which is Christ himself; Christ’s love is the only reason and origin of our vocation. At the same time to consecrate our life means to live Christ’s love in our lives and commit ourselves to make known his love to those who don’t know him yet. Therefore, I recall these words as I consecrate my life in a definitive way, and I invite the young people to discover Christ’s love in their lives which impels us to share it with others.

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