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A Growing Order

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By Marc Massery (Aug 15, 2017)
The Marian Fathers now have more seminarians than most dioceses in the country. With 50 priests and brothers in the United States, this order boasts 34 men in formation, which means they have the potential to grow by more than 50 percent over the next several years.

During the Mass for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary on Tuesday, Aug. 15, four of these men professed their first vows at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

We invite you the watch the full Mass here:

One at a time, each candidate knelt before Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC, the Marians' vicar general, and professed vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience and promised to live in conformity with Constitution of the Marian Fathers. After hearing each profession, Fr. Joe responded, "By virtue of the power admitted to me in the name of the holy Church, I accept the vows professed by you dear brothers."

At that moment, Juan, Stephen, Mark, and Seamus became Br. Juan Arroyo, MIC, Br. Stephen Camara, MIC, Br. Mark Fanders, MIC, and Br. Seamus Kettner, MIC.

Each were then presented with black clerics, which symbolizes their commitment to these radical vows. Midway through the Mass, they changed out of their Oxford shirts and ties and into their new cassocks and white collars.

These temporary vows will enable them to experience what life for a perpetually professed Marian feels like. Over the next year, they will continue to discern their future with the Congregation in the hopes that they will one day make these temporary vows permanent.

Twenty Marian priests concelebrated this Mass in which an additional 13 men in formation renewed their vows, inching closer to becoming permanent members of the Congregation themselves.

In his homily, the Very Rev. Fr. Kaz Chwalek, MIC, provincial superior said, "Human life is something that slowly progresses, we accept more and more. [Not] everyone ends taking a perpetual commitment — it's a discernment process."

Next year they will decide whether or not to renew their vows and continue with the process of becoming a Marian priest or brother.

Prior to today, these men were considered novices — not brothers. They spent the last year together in novitiate, receiving instruction, academic and spiritual, in preparation for these vows.

Even though they did not have the title of "brother" until Aug. 15, they already feel like brothers.

"It's beyond a superficial friendship," said Br. Seamus. "These are all brothers and fathers here, but those three brothers walked the walk with me in the desert ... for 366 days [of our novitiate]."

These men have gone through similar experiences over this past year in novitiate and will now continue to share so many things in common through the vow of poverty.

Each one, though, has unique talents to offer, said Fr. Jim McCormick, MIC, the prefect of formation at the Marian Scholasticate in Washington, D.C. Brother Stephen, for example, composed one of the hymns sung at today's liturgy. Brother Mark Fanders has a talent for photography and takes pictures for the Marians' publications.

But what enables them to live as brothers is what they share in common: a love for the Eucharist and a devotion to Our Lady. These devotions have helped them make this heroic commitment of faith, said to Fr. Jim. He said, "They are willing make a radical sacrifice, and they have sensed that [taking these vows] are the greatest things they can do for our Lord and Our Lady."

After the Mass, Fr. Kaz, said that, in addition to having a great devotion to Our Lady, many of these men that professed vows today wanted to join the Marians because of the Divine Mercy message. Several have had a profound conversion where they experience God's mercy in their lives.

"Many young people who have joined us had to go through some conversion," Fr. Kaz. "They actually experience His mercy, and here's a group [the Marians] that do what we wish to do because we want to do something for Him."

He went on to say that being sinful and broken should not be a deterrent to a vocation. In fact, those could be the very factors through which God calls men into formation. This world today has many prodigals, but thanks to God's mercy, we can always come back to Him.

Father Kaz continued, "No matter where we are or how far we have gone, no matter what has happened in terms of difficulties, somehow the Lord with that message of his tender care that I love you and care for you ... you can get up and come back [and he will welcome] you like the prodigal."

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Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Myrna bello - Nov 13, 2017

To God Be All The Glory, thank you Lord Mighty God our creator that through your son Jesus Christ and Blessed Virgin Mary, you continue to bring men and women to your vineyard to plant the seeds and to spread the good news to all people in the world, praises and thanksgiving to you Lord Mighty God forever and ever throughout eternity without end, amen

MAUREEN - Sep 3, 2017


William - Sep 1, 2017

God Bless each of you and may the Holy Spirit and our Blessed Mother be with you always!

Monica - Sep 1, 2017

Congratulations and many blessings to the new Brothers! May they persevere to final profession. Your order has a beautiful spirit and charism. No wonder God is blessing you with many vocations!
Deo Gratias!

Lou Betro - Sep 1, 2017

May God Bless each one of you and may The Holy Spirit guide you with each step you take!

Mrs. LaChita Calloway - Sep 1, 2017

Congratulations Marian Brothers!
Praying for you all daily+++
Jesu Ufam Tobia♥️
Ave Maria

Diane De - Sep 1, 2017

How wonderful! The Lord truly hears our prayers. These young men will be in mine, as well as all the others in the process.

Karen - Sep 1, 2017

May God bless you all. Remember that you are not alone in your travels. Whenever you need help just reach out to those around you and their will be help. Most importantly reach out to Jesus and to His mother and our spiritual Mother Mary and you will have the help to succeed.

Felicitas - Sep 1, 2017

How can one be admitted into Marian Seminary

Doug - Sep 1, 2017

May God continue to Bless and guide each and every soul to their destined place in life. May their be many priest come from this noviate.

Lorraine - Sep 1, 2017

Taking your first vows is very exciting. But after the excitement is over and the work begins, never lose the reason behind your commitment to Jesus Christ and His Church. It isn't a perfect church. It has many problems, but if you look at the church as Pope Francis has said, like your mother, then it may become easier. You love your mother, despite all of her shortcomings and faults and sins of the past, you see her as beautiful and kind and smart, and loving.
"Commitment is doing what you said you would do, after the feeling you said it in has passed."
— St. Camillus
May God bless you with courage, strength and fortitude in your new life with HIM.

Michael - Aug 16, 2017

Congrats men in pursuing with enthusiasm this brotherhood in Christ. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with his enthusiasm as you spread that enthusiasm in Mercy to others who are hurting.

Sheila - Aug 16, 2017

Our world is so in need of the new novices vocation and their witness to His Mercy.
May they truly understand the difference they make in our world and that we support them with our prayers.