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Eight Basilian Novices Profess Their First Vows in Mexico

January 9, 2023

On Saturday, January 7, eight Basilian novices concluded their novitiate year with their first profession of religious vows. Their first vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience were received by Father Kevin Storey, CSB, superior general of the Congregation, in la Parroquia de San Lorenzo, Diacáno y Mártir in Tehuácan, Puebla, Mexico.

The newly professed were Alejandro Balderas Rosas, CSB, Juan Gabriel Galvis Villamizar, CSB, José Enrique Hoyos Avilez, CSB, Walter Roberto Martínez Royaceli, CSB, Luis Alberto Rodríguez Justo, CSB, Marco Antonio Sierra García, CSB, José Antonio Zamudio Reyes, CSB, and José Raul Zarama Guetio, CSB. This special novice class combined novices from Mexico and Colombia. Father Paul Walsh, CSB served as their director of novices and Father Javier Higuera, CSB was their assistant director of novices.

Present for the first profession were members of the Basilian community in Mexico, who were joined by Father Javier Higuera, CSB and Father Carlos Rodríguez, CSB from Colombia and Father John Huber, CSB and Julio César Martínez, CSB, Basilian scholastic, from Houston. They joined by those with whom the novices have served with including people from the parish’s chapels and women religious. Also in attendance were family members of the Mexican novices and a married couple stepped in to support the Colombian novices in a familial way.

For these young men, the novitiate was a year away from familiar everyday life, including family, friends, and work to build a strong foundation of prayer and spirituality. Unlike most Basilian houses which are focused on a specific ministry like those connected with a high school, university or parish, the novitiate is a house dedicated to growing in prayer and community life. This lends itself to following a more structured routine with specific times for prayer, meals, classes, chores, exercise and recreation. The rhythm of community life was interrupted by monthly “desert days”. Inspired by Catherine Doherty’s book, Poustinia, members of the house unplugged from cell phones and computers and participated in 24 hours of silence except for evening and morning prayer and Mass. The novices also took part in two 7-9 day silent retreats. By the second half of the year, the novices were involved in parish ministry in the chapels in the area.

The first profession marks the end of the novitiate year, and these eight young men now enter the scholastic phase of their Basilian formation. As scholastics, they will engage in theological or philosophical studies and pastoral ministry while living under vows. The newly professed from Colombia returned the day after the profession. Members of the novitiate class will be reunited at the Latin American Summit in June and the Encounter of Scholastics in July.

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