Three Oath Masses Celebrated for Five Men
Two men professed their Final Oaths to Glenmary Home Missioners on Saturday, May 23, at a Mass at St. John Neumann Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Brother Levis Kuwa of Ol'Kalou, Kenya, and Brother Jason Muhlenkamp of Maria Stein, Ohio, each made a lifelong commitment to serve the neglected people in the home mission areas served by Glenmary.
On the preceding two days, three other men took steps on their journeys toward professing their Final Oaths. Patrick Muriithi of Embu, Kenya, renewed his Glenmary Oath for the first time during a Thursday, May 21, liturgy at Glenmary's Our Lady of the Fields Chapel at Cincinnati Headquarters. He recommitted himself to his ministry and membership in the home mission society.
Charles Aketch of Kisumu, Kenya, and Richard Toboso of Kakamega, Kenya, professed their First Oaths on Friday, May 22, also during a Mass at St. John Neumann Church. In doing so, they became members of Glenmary Home Missioners.
Glenmary's president, Father Chet Artysiewicz, presided at all three Oath Masses.
By professing the Glenmary Oath, all five men committed themselves to the practice of poverty, chastity, obedience and prayer. As missioners, they also committed themselves to their fellow missioners and to the proclamation of the Gospel in areas of the South and Appalachia served by Glenmary. The three temporarily professed men will renew their Oaths in future years, leading up to their Final Oaths.
Charles Aketch completed his novitiate year in May, leading up to his First Oath on the journey to missionary priesthood. "The novitiate was about entering into Glenmarians' way of life and ministry to enable me to understand them well." The year included a five-month mission placement at Glenmary's Maynardville and Rutledge, Tenn., missions. He says that in Tennessee, he learned more about the importance of Glenmary community, the qualities of good missioners, and U.S. and Southern culture. "I also learned to be really present to the people I served," he says. In the fall, he will return to St. Meinrad School of Theology for his second year of studies there.
Richard Toboso, like Charles, completed his novitiate year in May in preparation for his First Oath. He, too, is preparing to be a missionary priest. His five-month placement at Glenmary missions in Lafayette and Celina, Tenn., helped him better understand Glenmary's work and the U.S. and Southern culture, while gaining valuable experience in serving people in home mission areas. He'll resume his studies at St. Meinrad School of Theology for a second year this fall. "I hope to later serve and share my love and joy with all the people I meet as a missioner," he says, "and to help bring a Catholic Church presence to places where it has never been before. I ask God to help me as I discern."