Dominicans brothers and nuns celebrate first Profession together in Karen

Dominicans brothers and nuns celebrate first Profession together in Karen

On Tuesday 2nd February 2016, feast of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple, Day of the Consecrated Life and closing of the Year of the Consecrated Life, three Dominican brothers and one Dominican nun, made their first profession, together at the Dominican monastery of Corpus Christi in Karen, Nairobi, Kenya. Friar Maury Schepers, OP, Vicar Provincial of the Provincial Vicariate of Eastern Africa, gives us, himself, the story of this wonderful Dominican common event.

It happened quickly! At midday on Monday, 01 February, three Brothers of the Vicariate of Eastern Africa, having completed their year of Novitiate in the care of fr. Albert Nolan in South Africa (Aquinas Priory, Mondeor, on the outskirts of Johannesburg), boarded a Kenya Airways flight for Nairobi. They arrived at six in the evening. Next morning (02 February) they went over from St. Dominic's House of Formation (Karen) to the Monastery of the Dominican Nuns, to rehearse for their profession. Coincidentally the Nuns had scheduled a profession of their own; and we agreed, as Brothers and Sisters, to come together for this event - their one and our three!

So in mid-afternoon the Nuns and Friars were together at the Monastery, for the blessing of candles (the Nuns make paschal candles - and other kinds too - that are used all over this region), a procession, and the Eucharist - with the first professions!

Sr. Bernadette Wanza made her first profession in the hands of Sr. Mary Martin,O.P., the Prioress of the Dominican monastery of Corpus Christi. Brothers Francis Kawooya, Alfred Omondi and Stephen Sese made their own in the hands of fr. Maury Schepers, who presided over the Eucharist, with a number of concelebrants, and preached. Since it was the feast of the Presentation, the theme of the homely was LIGHT - the witness of Simeon: “let your servant go in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation, LIGHT for the Gentiles, and GLORY for Israel”. Our profession is also to be light to the world.

What a wonderful way to conclude the year of the Consecrated Life for all of us, and to begin the consecrated life of these Brothers and Sister of ours! Now, Lord, you can let your servants go forth in peace, as missionary disciples.

Please offer thanks to God with us for this great blessing, as we put the newly professed symbolically into the loving arms of the Mother who carried her Infant Son to his Father's House. One of our newly professed is Ugandan, the other two Kenyans, as is Sr. Bernadette.

fr. Maury Schepers, OP - Vicar Provincial


(12 February 2016)