Religious profession is the second big step in the journey to the priesthood. The first big step is entering into the seminary. The second is about making vows, which is a total consecration to God. In a certain sense we can say that by doing a religious profession a person no longer belongs to himself but belongs to God. There three vows that are professed: poverty (the religious does not own anything but a crucifix), Chastity (the religious consecrates his whole heart to the service of God and his people), and obedience (total surrender to the will of God, represented in the commands of a superior). The religious profession normally takes place two years after joining the seminary…
Here are testimonies of some of the newly professed religious.
Br. Joseph’s testimony
After two years of novitiate with intense prayer and discerning my vocation to the Legion of Christ, the preparation for first profession was a mystery, which I don’t fully understand. But I am accepting it with humble trust in God who is faithful. Profession was a response to a humble invitation from Christ, who says, “Go, and sell all you have and give to the poor, and come follow me.” It is an invitation to imitate His life by becoming evermore closer to Christ himself. Just as the vow of marriage brings two bodies “to become one flesh” also Religious Profession bears such fruit of faith, motivated by love, which enables me to say “no longer, I who live but Christ who lives in me.”
By making these vows of voluntary Poverty, loving Chastity, and heroic Obedience before the Church, Christ asks of me one thing, and that is Holiness. A holiness that guides me to His Sacred Heart and deeply touched by this Heart, it burns my heart for the mission to evangelize.
Br. Erick’s testimony
We were told to put on our surplices and that was when we knew that it was time. The big moment has finally arrived. Something that all of us have been preparing for the last two years. The song “Come Holy Ghost” began to play and that was when I began to shed tears. It was a beautiful Mass. Everything was beautiful. I really felt like a little child in the hands of his Heavenly Father. He was protecting me, guiding me, being with me and most importantly loving me.
My experience thus far as a professed religious of the Legion of Christ has been that: God the Father who created me out of love, God the Son redeeming me out of love, and God the Holy Spirit sanctifying me out of love. I realized that it wasn’t only Br Eric Truong that is going out to the world but Christ. I have tried to make myself one with Him and in return he makes himself one with me.
My family is so proud of me. My mom now goes out to everyone and anyone telling them of her son that has made this big step. She also says that it is only the first and there are many more to come. I will be deepening in my consecration and my prayers from now on. I just ask that you, too, pray for me. Thank you and God Bless!
Br. Peter’s testimony
Am I ready? Am I up to give my life up for someone who I love? These were the words that came to my mind 20 minutes before the mass of profession. Who am I to be a soldier of Christ, fighting for souls in the world? And I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me, “It is because I have chosen you. I want you to be my soldier, to spread my mercy to others. And this day, I will show you what I can do through you!”
Processing up, my heart began to pound. I felt in great joy. The day I have longed for has arrived. As mass followed, the profession statement came along. The 10 of us walked in front of the altar to prepare to profess our vows. Saying the words, “I consecrate my life to you…” made me cry in my heart. At the end of the prayer, I knew I was totally His. “It is not I who lives, but Christ who lives in me” and “I am dust, and to dust I shall return.” These two phrases came up to my mind as I finished the prayer. Peace came into my heart, and great joy. I knew I was following him.
I had the great grace of going home at the end of the day. Many people came up to me and were very happy that I have become a religious, studying to become a priest. One lady told me her story of how Christ had changed her life. She lived a bad life, being away from God for a long time. It was when she was in the hospital when she heard God’s voice. She knew that He loved her and wanted her to come back to Him. Right after, that’s what she did. And she said that now, God has been showering many graces over her. She had that great love for the Lord and trust. This made me realized that I need to truly love Jesus authentically. Only by this, can I know God’s way for me and this is a way for me to follow Him to the end.