After all things for the next day was prepared, with the rite already rehearsed, we proceeded to the refectory for a simple fellowship. Eat, drink and be merry! We had a good time laughing, sharing stories and drinking together with other confreres from different communities and units.
And so Bro. Dodong’s day came…
At around 10am in the 14th of December, the final profession commenced. While the faithful are waiting in the church, the liturgical servers, Bro. Dodong with his parents, Redemptorist confreres, guest priests, and the mass presider and Provincial of Cebu, Fr. Ben Ma, were processing from the front office to the altar accompanied by Fr. Fruto’s singing of Veni Sancti Spiritu. The place was in a solemn mood as the liturgical celebration continued. Two of the car watch boys sung the psalm while Fr. Fruto shared about Bro. Dodong’s vocation and the vocation as religious brother in his homily. Bro. Arnel led the faithful in praying the Litany of the Saints. Then the celebration of the Eucharist continued.
After the whole celebration of the Eucharist, Bro. Dodong delivered his reflection and thanksgiving speech. Teary-eyed, he shared how wonderful his life and the day had been with all those people who were significantly sharing, supporting and praying for him in his journey towards religious life. Then the photo-op for the finally-professed Redemptorist happened. Everyone wear a smile as they congratulate Bro. Dodong in his most special day.
A simple yet equally sumptuous lunch awaited everyone in the convent’s refectory. That’s how Bro. Dodong’s final profession ended and so the day’s celebration.
But oh, wait, not for the students. Immediately after lunch we had to return back to Davao for the next day’s another big event: the final profession of Bro. Shaun and his ordination to diaconate together with the five Indonesian confreres. Again, we have to take our homeward eight-hour trip back to Davao with our sometimes-slow-sometimes-fast driver. (what’s his name again?) But we had a stomach-filling pit-stop in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Thanks to the generosity of Fr. Ben’s family, we had something in our stomach as we travelled back to where we belong, our Davao Community!