From the Minister (June)
It is with great joy that we look forward to the Mass of Profession for Candidates Kathy and Faith on Monday, June 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the chapel at St. Joseph’s Home. There will be no ongoing formation this month.
Please arrive shortly before 7:00 p.m. and gather in the chapel. Professed brothers and sisters should sit in the pews marked “Reserved” at the front of the chapel.
Social time and refreshments will follow immediately after Mass. Professed members, please bring a snack or dessert to share at the reception after the Profession. All refreshments should be dropped off in the auditorium before gathering in the chapel.
A beautiful explanation of Profession was given at the Mother Cabrini celebration last November. Below is a capsulized version.
God is Love
Profession is the Journey to Love
Profession is less about doing than about becoming. It is a public action that marks you forever as a Franciscan person. Profession is a confession of Faith. All professions are another Pentecost, a calling down of the Holy Spirit on the professed. Profession changes from within.
Profession is a sanctification of the professed to become saints. It incorporates us into the Franciscan family in fraternity. It is not a license to 1) do our own thing, 2) impose our spirituality on others, 3) dominate. What fraternity does do is make God’s graces more attainable for us. The professed can expect the fraternity to aid in attaining their salvation. This puts an obligation on the entire fraternity to live up to this expectation.
Our Baptism was a consecration of ourselves to God through the Paschal Mystery of Life, Suffering, Dying and Rising of Jesus. Profession is also a consecration. Consecration means to dedicate. Through our Profession we dedicate ourselves to God to be used in any way He chooses for His service. In Profession you no longer belong to yourself but are totally at God’s disposal. A Secular Franciscan becomes the property of God.
Profession gives a new — not better- — relationship with the Church. Our Baptismal promises become more clear through profession. Each of us through our Profession has agreed to join our Father Francis in building up the church, “the house falling into ruins”. Each of us is to make Christ available to people.
Profession is also a priestly act of offering oneself. The specific act of priesthood has always been to offer sacrifice. The word is taken from the Latin sacrum facere which means to make holy. Profession empowers us to perform a priestly function. Profession is to be a priest publicly — to make our lives holy publicly.
During Mass, the Bread and Wine offered are gifts of ourselves. When placed on the altar, they become part of Christ who is symbolized by the altar. The Ritual of Profession before the offering of the gifts make the newly professed both victim and priest. It is an act of oblation that is pleasing to Jesus, the priestly action of offering oneself.
Implicit in our profession is embracing the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
Poverty as professed by Secular Franciscans is not the poverty of being penniless, but the poverty of not owning ourselves. We become the property of God. And as such, absolutely everything we do that is sinless — from the simplest act of breathing to the most complex actions — can be used for the greater honor and glory of God and the building up of His kingdom. This is how we preach the Gospel always without using words. The Gospel values are what we live. Father Francis has taught us that the Gospel is the blueprint for salvation.
Chastity is our fidelity to God, deeming our relationship to Him greater than any other.
Obedience is listening to the other, including God.
Profession calls us to live the Gospel life as our Father Francis did. But not by following him exactly step by step. He looked at the Gospel and interpreted it according to his time. We need to look at the Gospel and interpret according to the time in which we are living. “The Lord gave me what was mine to do; may the Lord teach you what is yours.”