Called To Be Saints Together
Last Saturday 8th September, the Feast of Our Lady’s Birthday, was a great day for the Rosminian Order in this Province. Fr Anthony Meredith IC received three Novices into the new Rosminian Novitiate at the Rosmini Centre, not far from here, who want to test their vocation – to see if God is calling them to the Religious life. Hopefully a fourth Novice will be arriving soon from New Zealand. This is surely an answer to prayer since we have not had a Novitiate in this country for many years. We in this Parish have been praying our Prayer for Vocations for almost two years now, that God “give worthy Priests to His Holy Church and Brothers and Sisters to Religious Orders.” And “choose from our homes those who are needed for Your work.” I know a number of you pray this prayer daily at home with your families and it has certainly borne fruit, since not only do we now have a Novitiate, but one of the Novices – Nam Vu – is from this Parish and I know of others who are considering it.
This does not mean that everyone who enters the Novitiate will make Final Vows or be ordained a Priest. The Novitiate lasts for two years, during which time the Novices will be seeking to purify themselves and to discern what the Will of God is for them. “Does God want me to be a Religious in the Rosminian Order?” So it really is a period of discernment and a testing of their vocation, seeking to become holy, or as Blessed Rosmini put it, “becoming Saints together.” The Novitiate is designed to be a kind of desert experience, since in solitude it is easier to hear the voice of God. It was also in the desert that God tested Israel, and Our Lord Himself spent forty days of prayer and fasting in the desert where He was tempted by Satan. Therefore these men need spiritual support and so we must pray for them. After all, they could be future Priests here at St Mary’s.
So as we pray now for these new Novices, let us continue to pray that God bless us abundantly with vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life from this Parish. Could God be calling someone reading this now to be a Brother or Sister in a Religious Order or a Priest in the Diocese of Nottingham?
Fr Paul Gillham, IC