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22 June 2011

Lawaan, Talisay City, Cebu 6045 (032) 272-7716 shn@dbseminary.org

Don Bosco Sacred Heart Novitiate

A few words on the occasion of our First Religious Profession and Investiture Dear Friends in Christ, Good morning! I have called you friends. This is what Jesus is telling all of us today. In a special way, these very words of Christ speak to us because we have chosen these words of His as our inspiration for this once-in-alifetime novitiate year. The very first paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of mans primary end or should I say purpose, that is, to know, to love, and to serve God. I would like us to take out the notion that this is merely an imposition or a teaching of the Church. Come to think of it, is this not what we also do for our friends? Do we not know our friends, before we can ever love or most especially serve them? If the Catechism calls this triple act of faith Gods call, then, Gods very first call to each and every one of us is to be His Friends! I have called you friends. And so dear friends in Christ, allow us, the Amici Christi Brothers, to thanks you all in His name: To our Fr. Director, Fr Godofredo Atienza, SDB, who has brought us closer to Christ by his words, actions, and even by his jokes! To Bro. John Baptist Phat, SDB, our assistant, who has been a true brother among brothers, in his lively presence among us. To the Salesian community of Don Bosco Formation Center, which was under the animation of Fr. Roneldo Vilbar, SDB, who is now the current director of Novices. To our Salesian Professors: Fr. Dennis Gabiana, SDB, Fr. Honesto Geronimo,SDB, Fr. Orlando Borres, SDB, and Fr. Roneldo Vilbar, SDB To the members of the Salesian Family, who have ever been supportive in their prayers and material assistance. To our Parents and our Siblings, (a big hand please) whose living example and cooperation with Gods grace has allowed us to continue this journey of faith according to St. John Bosco. To our Relatives, who are near and far, present and absent, we extend our prayers for them and thank them for their continual support. To our Friends, who in one way or another, have contributed to our growth as persons and Salesian religious, please continue to journey with us, wherever we may find ourselves.

In a special way, we would like to thank our Benefactors, without their generous support, we would not be able to go this far in our journey. You have been to us Gods instruments of His Providence. We would also like to acknowledge all the Salesians here present, in a special way to our Father provincials: Fr. George Militante, SDB of the FIS; Fr. Eli Cruz, SDB of the FIN; and Fr. Simon Lam, SDB of China and the Salesians under their charges. Dear confreres you are a continual inspiration to us. Please remain to be so that our mutual support may always make us effective signs and bearers of Gods love especially to the young. To the priests and religious of the diocese(s) and of the different religious families, thank you so much for joining us in this celebration. May we share with one another the joy of life dedicated totally to Christ. In a special way also, we would like to thank our presider, Most Reverend Patrick Buzon, SDB, Bishop of Kabangkalan who has generously accepted our invitation, thank you so much. To all of you, who join us here and via the world wide web, please pray for us who have just begun this new life in Christ as we pray for you and your intentions. And finally, to God, who has called us before we were born, thank you for this great, great gift. All we can give back to you is our own life lived in the service of and in behalf of the young, that they may come to experience your love. Finally, before I end, I would like to address myself especially to young people: Let us to come to Christ as our friend. He wants us all to be happy. He wants to bring us to a way of life lived in joyful friendship and service. Listen to Him and let Him guide you to where you really ought to be just like our Blessed Mother Mary, Most Holy and St. Dominic Savio whose feast we celebrate today. May their example spur us on! Ave Maria! Let us now listen to Bro. Peter So Ming Hong, SDB for some words.

I have called you friends.

John 15:15