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Brother Daniel Pardo makes final vows in Giuliano

24/03/2010: Italy - Photo gallery

On February 27, Brother Daniel Pardo made his perpetual profession in Naples, at the Giugliano school-chapel in the presence of his mother, his relatives, many Brothers of his Province. the Generalate Brothers, and a large group of his friends and students.

At the school, the vow ceremony had been preceded by an in-depth week of reflection on vocation. Throughout the school the topic had been front and center: the three vows, the FMS vocation in its general significance and its specific elements, viz.: service of youth, simplicity, Mary. Throughout the school were signs of the theme: colorful posters set up in the classrooms adorned with phrases created by the students. In the classes, to teachers and parents, to the local Fraternity and to many groups of young people, Brother Daniel had taken the time to explain the meaning of his consecration. In this way he had the opportunity to bear witness to the choice he had made and to respond to numerous questions asked by the young people.

The preparatory week became truly a family event because many occasions arose in which everyone was actively drawn into the definitive “Yes” which Brother Daniel was to make. The upshot was that the school breathed an air of family unity. All were caught up in the event, as each detail of the Saturday profession was prepared. Brother Daniel said, “I want the profession to be a celebration for everyone; I want all to be able to play a part so that the ceremony will be more meaningful to each participant.” And so it was.

The first ones that must be highlighted are the Brothers of the community whom Brother Daniel thanked for being “marvelous companions.” Through their presence and prayers, they have been with him every step of the way, including this defining moment of his life. They organized the celebration down to the least detail. Besides the Brothers, there were also the Fraternity members who worked together throughout the day with wonderful family spirit. Then there were the young people, each one with a unique gift, a special way of imaging what was happening: some invented symbols of the perpetual profession and the seed of vocation, others painted a stained glass window; some made posters, others wrote the Prayers of the Faithful; still others formed the Offertory procession. The choir was composed of school graduates directed by the exacting hand of Brother Daniel who finds in song one of his preferred forms of expression.

He explained it this way: “I asked the choir members to sing not only technically well, but as an expression of the unity, the happiness which we experience in the depths of our hearts when we encounter God.”

Surely the choir followed the maestro’s wishes because all those present admired the apt-ness, interpretation and beauty of the songs chosen for the celebration. Then, during the Communion thanksgiving time, a dance was performed to the song “E’ pace intima,” keyboard interpretation by the newly professed himself. Music and dance combined to offer a special expression of God’s beauty as each participant had just experienced it during the profession Mass.

Brother Daniel’s perpetual profession was truly a joyous occasion for everyone present. One might say that it was not merely the celebration of a single Brother but the celebration of “vocation in general.” The workaday efforts of the in-school organizers over the preceding week helped to assure that the celebration was a touching moment for all, that the preparations were not merely pro forma but held real significance. It seemed that everyone entered into such sentiments and participated in the celebration accordingly.

The church was filled with lots of young people, and of course many Brothers were on hand as well. Special guests included Brother Superior General and Brother Vicar General, several General Councilors, the Brother Provincial of Mediterranea Province and its Provincial Councilors, many Brothers from the Generalate and from various FMS communities of Italy. In the homily, Father P. Julio Parnofiello, SJ, pointed out the importance of, yes, discovering one’s vocation, but also of re-discovering it.

The act of profession was very moving. The dialogue between Brother Emili and Brother Daniel set out in a clear and decisive manner the promises of a consecration being made, as it were, in Mary’s fashion, because each response of the dialogue included the name of Mary: a discrete and constant presence.

After Holy Communion, Brother Daniel addressed a few words expressing his feelings of gratitude. One could see upon his countenance the glow of happiness of one who has “discovered the treasure.” The first words of gratitude were dedicated to God from whom, he said, he had received everything, feeling like a “spoiled child” in view of the many gifts that he has received. Then, Brother Daniel thanked his family and, after recalling his deceased father, he singled out his mother, his brother and the entire family who had provided him with a milieu favorable to the development of faith and religious vocation. He then went on to thank his new family, the Marist Brothers whom he has come to know as “marvelous companions.”

Brother Daniel mentioned by name a few of the Brothers who had played important roles in his vocational story and in his experience of community life. He offered special words to the senior Brothers, true witnesses of fidelity to vocation, men who have offered him solid support through their prayers. At the end, he thanked everyone who was present, particularly the young people, “my delight” as he called them.

The two hours of the profession Mass passed very quickly, an experience that will remain in the hearts of all those who were present, one that will help them appreciate the simple and beautiful things of everyday life. The liturgical joy was carried over to a meal for the Brothers, relatives, close friends. In such a pleasant atmosphere the splendid day drew to a close.

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