Three Brothers professed their Solemn Vows 2023
On Friday, 25 August 2023, three brothers professed solemn vows in the Order of Carmelites for the Province of Saint Elias at The National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, New York. Brother John Truc Minh Nguyen, O.Carm., Brother Joseph Tuan Anh Bui, O.Carm., and Brother Gregg Jude Durham, O.Carm., knelt in front of the Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O. Carm., Prior Provincial, and promised to live a life of obedience, poverty and chastity for life according to the Rule of Saint Albert.
The Mass was attended by about 200 people coming from near and far to witness the joyous occasion. There were Carmelites representing nearly every house in the Province as well as the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm. Rev. Maurice Cummings, O.Carm., Rev. Paul Denault, O.Carm. and Rev. Nepi Willemsen, O.Carm., concelebrated the Mass. Each of these brothers were instrumental during Bro. John, Bro. Joseph, and Bro. Gregg’s internship year. Rev. Bro. Jonathan Steele, O.Carm. served as deacon, Rev. Francis Amodio, O.Carm., served as Masters of Ceremony. The Most Rev. Gerardo Colacicco, Auxiliary Bishop of New York, attended in choir. The music was provided by the Vietnamese Choir as well as the choir from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.
Fr. Mario opened his homily by talking about the Marian statue that is found at the Order’s international House of Studies, Sant’ Alberto in Rome. St. Albert of Trapani is the patron saint of all the Carmelites students in formation. Beneath the statue there’s a quote that says “Their sons shall come from afar” which welcomes all friars from different parts of the world studying there. The statue serves as a reminder to all of those who enter that they are protected under Mary’s maternal care and scapular. Father Mario observed that the St. Elias Province has become a multicultural reality that welcomes Brothers from our houses in Trinidad and Tobago as well as Vietnam and the U.S. into one family. Towards the end of his homily, Father acknowledged the Province accepting the three new brother’s commitment to live out this life of obedience, poverty, and chastity. He also thanked the families of the brothers who were present in the Shrine, those halfway across the world, or in heaven (referring to the parents of two brothers who passed away during their time in formation) who were instrumental in their role of raising them in the faith. To conclude, he invoked the help of Our Lady and the Prophet Elias to always watch over our brothers as they continue to live generously their life as professed members of the Order and Province.
At the end of Mass, before the dismissal, the brother all received a sunflower lei necklace from family members, a tradition coming from Vietnam which received a joyful applause from the assembly. A delicious meal was enjoyed by all at the luncheon reception at Pilgrim Hall.
We pray for these brothers as they continue with their ongoing formation and as they begin their studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC this Fall.
News and photos from Media of SEL Province