On 2 February, twenty-five years to the day after the Society of Mary left Taradale parish, Adrian O’Flynn, Tom Kouijzer and Brendan Jenke took their first-vows as Marists.
Tom (Holland), Adrian and Brendan (New Zealand) took their vows at Mass attend by forty Marist priests and brothers, who came from around the country for the occasion, Fr Martin McAnaney the vicar provincial of Europe, local religious, clergy and around 350 lay people from the Napier pastoral area.
For the past year Adrain, Tom and Brendan have engaged in the Marist International Novitiate programme during which they studied, learned, reflected on and prayed about what it means for them to be a Marist.
In his homily, Fr McAnaney focused the congregation’s thoughts on the call to holiness that each Christian has, and u reminded everyone of Pope Benedict’s challenge to young people during his visit to London for everyone not only to be holy, but be saints.
Fr McAnaney said that these young Marists had been chosen by Mary to be Marists, and while on this day they are choosing to think, judge and act as Mary, the challenge in the years ahead is to continue to fully embrace their chosen Marist way of life, and also be saints.
Fr Brian Cummings, provincial of the New Zealand province, received Adrain and Brendan’s vows, while Fr McAnaney received Tom’s.