Glenmary Prepares to Celebrate Oath Ceremonies

Brother David HenleyMay 2011

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings...."—Is 52:7

This month we are excited to celebrate Oath ceremonies for five men in Glenmary formation:

Oath Renewal Mass for Brother Levis Kuwa will be Thursday, May 26, 12 noon, at Our Lady of the Fields Chapel in Fairfield, Ohio.

First Oath Mass for Clive Owuor Otieno will be Friday, May 27, 4 p.m., at Glenmary Headquarters in Fairfield, Ohio (outdoors, weather permitting).

Final Oath Mass for Crispine Adongo, Brother Craig Digmann and Aaron Wessman will be Saturday, May 28, 10:30 a.m., at Sacred Heart Church in Fairfield, Ohio.

Although these events won't be televised around the world like the royal wedding or the beatification of John Paul II, there will be photos, Facebook and blog posts, tweets and possibly a YouTube video in the near future.

So what exactly is Glenmary's Oath? The actual text of the Glenmary Oath can be found on our Web site, and you can watch Glenmarians recite it on the Vocation department's YouTube channel (English or Español). But an oath is more than just words to be read or recited.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, an oath (vow) is defined as a "promise made to God." The Glenmary Oath is a promise we make before God to dedicate ourselves to Glenmary's "missionary apostolate in the rural areas" of the United States. Our Oath commits us "to a special practice of poverty, chastity, obedience and prayer." It also serves as a covenant we make with the Glenmary community and all of its members. In other words, it means we are dedicated to one another and the work of the society, which strives to build up the Kingdom of God.

By our Oath we commit ourselves to be members in this spiritual family called Glenmary Home Missioners, and in turn that family commits to us. As the Glenmary Constitution states: "By our Oath, therefore, we reinforce our baptismal commitment to God.... By our Oath, we publicly renew our baptismal commitment to live habitually in imitation of the virtues of Jesus and the Apostolic Community."

Congratulations to the men who are preparing to take their Oath very soon. As a result, Glenmary will have new members in its growing society. We'll have new missioners to serve in Mission Land, USA, and their public profession is a great testimony of faith in this secular age. For me it is a wonderful opportunity to gather with my fellow Glenmarians and listen to the words I publicly professed a few years ago.

The Oath celebrations for Glenmarians are like the Easter Vigil. At the Vigil, we are awed by those being baptized into the Church—and are reinvigorated and rededicated to the baptismal promises each of us has made. In the same way, we Glenmarians are awed by these five men and we will rededicate ourselves to our missionary apostolate.

You are welcome to join us for one or all of these celebrations, if you could please just let us know in advance. If you are unable to be with us in person, I ask that you remember each of these men in your prayers as they continue their missionary journeys.