Three novices answer the call; profess first vows

After two years of formation and discernment in the novitiate, three Jesuit novices in Zimbabwe and Mozambique Province professed their first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at Xavier Jesuit Novitiate in Lusaka on June 17, 2017.

Tafumanei Chikanya SJ, Lovemore Mashiri SJ and Ricardo Nogueiro SJ entered into their religious life in a vowed way and committed to the Society of Jesus.

In these initial years, novices are prepared by learning about the Society, contributing to the service in local ministries and experiencing the Jesuit community life before making the vows.

Novices also complete the Spiritual Exercises- a 30-day silent retreat developed by St. Ignatius and perform community service.

In his homily, Fr Rowan David SJ, the Regional Superior of South Africa, urged the trio to follow the life of Roman Christians and conform to Christ’s mind.

“Do not conform yourselves to this age, but allow yourselves to be continually transformed by renewal of your mind.”

Turning to the Jesuit formation, Fr David SJ said, “For the past two years, you have learnt here the tools, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.”

He also reflected on his days in the novitiate and passed on the advice from his novice master to the three vow-men.

“When I was sent to Britain for my novitiate from Zimbabwe, my novice master said this moment that you make your vows is a moment full of generosity.”

“So, I say to you, may that generosity that is in you today as you give up yourselves to follow this Lord, this king who you meditate in spiritual exercises, in the call of the king. May you continue to follow him and use the tools that St Ignatius has left us to find out what the will of God is for you and that you may do that in the way that follows, letting your love be sincere.”

“We pray that you continue this road of discernment and continue this generosity that you have displayed today in offering yourselves to the lord and pray that you will able to conform to the mind of Christ,” he concluded.

The trio made their vows individually in front of the Eucharist, like St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits, and some of his first companions did.

They each received a vow cross that they will keep for the rest of their lives, a bible and the constitutions of the Society.

They were handed by Fr Chiedza Chimhanda SJ, Zimbabwe-Mozambique Provincial, Fr Rowan David SJ, South-Africa’s Regional Superior and Fr Emmanuel Mumba SJ the outgoing Provincial of Zambia-Malawi.

Usually, Jesuits in formation in Zimbabwe-Mozambique province begin first studies in philosophy at Arrupe College in Harare.

Jesuits do not join provinces but the international Society. This year, the Lusaka novitiate will house seven novices from Zimbabwe-Mozambique, one from East Africa, three from Zambia-Malawi provinces and one from South Africa region.


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