Saturday, March 19, 2011

Reception of Novices

Our fourteen new novices arrived at the Br. Paul Noonan Formation Centre in Tamale on February 6, but their formal reception into the novitiate did not take place till February 19. This marked the official start of the novitiate experience that will unfold over the next 21 months, culminating in the first profession of vows in late November, 2012. For two weeks the new arrivals were introduced to a new country and place (none of them are Ghanaians), new companions and mentors, and the particular way of life that goes with a religious novitiate. Two weeks is not enough for a complete introduction to so many new things, but at least heads had stopped spinning, and feet were more-or-less on the ground, for the ritual that signaled the beginning of this special time.
We were delighted to be joined by Christian Brothers from the Choggu community, and a cross-section of our religious brothers and sisters from congregations in Tamale, to witness the young men asking for admission and being accepted. The novices were presented with symbols of the journey ahead – a candle of encouragement and some of the basic sources of nurture and challenge for them on this journey - the Bible, the Constitutions and the 2008 Congregation Chapter document.
In the photos above (from top left going clockwise) we see Br. Tony, the Director, speaking at the Reception; Br. Kevin presenting the Bible to the novices; Br. Con pouring a libation for the ancestors; and the final blessing of the novices by the assembled community.

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