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s2smodern

On Sunday, September 15, the Parish Church of Cernache, in Coimbra, celebrated a Eucharist in which three novices of the Society took their first vows. José Maria Ribeiro, Afonso Espregueira and Domingos Perloiro professed their vows of poverty, chastity and perpetual obedience in the Society of Jesus, thus ending the period of the Novitiate, the first phase of formation as Jesuits. José Frazão Correia sj, and was attended by about 30 Jesuits. Many family friends of these Jesuits were also present.

In his homily, inspired by the readings of this Sunday, Fr. José Frazão began by recalling that "the love and mercy of God reaches us before anything we can do for the Lord or in the name of the Lord. As St. Paul experienced, it is the Lord's forgiveness that converts us.

Towards the end of his reflection, the provincial of the Portuguese Jesuits underlined the importance of making vows on one's knees: "Vows must be made on one's knees because the body has to follow the meaning of the words, the vows cannot be made proudly. All the good that those who take vows today do will have to be done by rising from this prostration, from the desire to go to the humus, to go to the earth. In this way they will give voice to the experience of having been reached by God's mercy". He added that "kneeling down is an experience of rupture," and stressed that "there is no story of love and freedom without that rupture. And the greatest rupture is the rupture with oneself, because leaving ourselves is what costs the most. And then there will be this story and this adventure of freedom. This rupture with yourselves is the beginning of a history of freedom, in the form that God's love takes on in your lives".

After the celebration, the feast continued in the Novitiate house, with the presence of family, friends and benefactors of the Society, as well as religious from other congregations.

Once the novitiate is over, the new scholastics will live in Braga where they will begin their juniorate, dedicating themselves to the study of Philosophy, History and an introduction to the Social Sciences.

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s2smodern