Prayer, ringing mission bell sends off novices

Posted: 8/25/2017

Glenmary novices Josiah Kimani, left, and Matt Solarz each received a crucifix as part of the blessing and send-off ceremony Aug. 25.

Brother David Henley rang the mission bell outside the novitiate house at Glenmary headquarters loudly. The ringing celebrated two novices, Matt Solarz and Josiah Kimani, as they received a blessing and prepared to leave for their mission-placement assignments.

Matt, a priesthood candidate from North Olmstead, Ohio, will serve at Holy Family Mission in Lafayette, Tenn. Brotherhood candidate Josiah, who is from from Nyahyruru, Kenya, is assigned to Glenmary’s St. Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Church in Maynardville, Tenn.

The novices spent the recent months studying in Cincinnati at the Glenmary novitiate house. The second phase of the novitiate year helps the students prepare for their career as missioners.

"This is a way of recognizing and sending these men off to their mission assignments," Glenmary Father Dan Dorsey told an assembled crowd of Glenmarians and coworkers. "The five-month mission assignment is a significant time. It gives the men a very good taste of what our mission life is like for an extended period of time."

During the brief ceremony, led by Glenmary's co-novitiate directors Father Dan and Father Tom Kirkendoll, both men received a blessed crucifix. The priests, and all in attendance, traced the cross on the novices' foreheads. When the rite concluded, the mission bell began to ring. Solarz and Kimani got in their cars and drove away, with Fathers Dorsey and Kirkendoll blessing their vehicles with holy water as they passed.

"We pray this day, God, that you fill the hearts of these your missionaries, Matt and Josiah," Father Dorsey prayed. "Fill them with the Holy Spirit so that becoming all things to all, they may lead many to you, the Father of All, to sing your praises.”

Both men's mission assignments run from Aug. 25 to Jan. 30, 2018, when they will return to their studies. Solarz and Kimani each hope to make their First Oath as Glenmarians next summer. The duo is among 15 men in formation studying to become Glenmary missioners.

The send-off with the mission bell is a Glenmary tradition whenever a missionary is leaving headquarters for a mission destination.