Thirteen novices from India made their First Profession for the Congregation of Holy Cross on May 25, 2019, in Yercaud, Tamil Nadu. Reflecting the Congregation’s charism of an “indivisible brotherhood” of religious priests and religious brothers, the Profession Class included three members of the Brother’s Society, and ten members of the Priest’s Society.
The three newly professed brothers are all from the Vicariate of India: Bro. John Kenty, C.S.C., Bro. Dilip Kumar, C.S.C., and Bro. Christy Sheelan, C.S.C.
The ten newly professed seminarians represent the three other jurisdictions of the Congregation in India. Two are from the Vicariate of Tamil Nadu: Mr. John Arockiam, C.S.C., and Mr. Philomone, C.S.C. Five are from the Province of North East India: Mr. Francis Gayang, C.S.C., Mr. Nirmal Kumar, C.S.C., Mr. Tarsish Marak, C.S.C., Mr. John Nongphud, C.S.C., and Mr. Rahul R.J., C.S.C. The remaining three are of the Province of South India: Mr. Thomas Lima, C.S.C., Mr. Rabindra Mallick, C.S.C., and Mr. Eedara Vamshi, C.S.C.
This was the First Profession class to be formed by the new Novice Master, Fr. Joby Sebastian, C.S.C. He expressed his pleasure that the ceremony “went well” and that the newly professed were “joyful” and “good spirit” at having completed their Novitiate year and professed First Vows.
The Mass of the First Profession was held at the Chapel of the FIHM Sisters, whose property is adjacent to the Holy Cross Novitiate campus in Yercaud. Fr. Panneer Selvam, C.S.C., Superior of the Vicariate of Tamil Nadu, presided at the Mass, while Fr. Roque D’Costa, C.S.C., Superior of the Province of South India, preached the homily.
Fr. Selvam received the professions of the novices of the Vicariate of Tamil Nadu, while Fr. D’Costa received them for the Province of South India. Receiving the vows of the three brothers was their Vicariate Superior, Br. John Joseph, C.S.C. Fr. Maria Raj, C.S.C., Formation Coordinator for the Province of North East India, received the First Vows of the five novices of his Province. He also preached the pre-profession retreat for the novices.
Over 250 people attended the ceremony, including many family and friends of the novices as well as many Holy Cross religious. All enjoyed a wonderful meal following the Mass.
There was no rest for Fr. Sebastian and the Novitiate Staff, because the day prior to the First Profession, 13 new novices were formally received into the Novitiate in a Mass presided by Fr. Mariaraj.
The new batch is diverse, coming from seven different states in India. Of the 13 new novices, there are seven for the Province of South India, three for the Province of North East India, one for the Vicariate of Tamil Nadu, and two brother novices for the Vicariate of India.