Three Oath Masses Celebrated for Five Men

Posted: 5/29/2015

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.

Brother Levis KuwaBrother Levis Kuwa professed his Final Glenmary Oath as he continued his nursing studies at the University of Cincinnati on the road to bachelor's and master's degrees by 2017. His ultimate objective is to become a registered nurse and nurse practitioner. When he reaches these goals, he hopes to work as a missionary nurse practitioner in a mission-area clinic for the poor. "I could help people a lot," he says. Brother Levis was initially attracted to the rural aspect of Glenmary's ministry; to the challenges of serving where Catholics are a minority and ministering to both Catholics and non-Catholics; and to the idea of going where he could focus on his vocation. "Ministry to people who are forgotten is what God wants me to do," he says. During formation, he has served in a range of ministries during his mission placements—including health care-related work that helped confirm his vocation.   
 
Brother Jason Muhlenkamp Brother Jason Muhlenkamp made his Final Glenmary Oath after spending the previous year completing coursework for his second bachelor's degreein social work—at Brescia University, Owensboro, Ky. He also completed a clinical pastoral education (CPE) program at a hospital in Huntington, W.Va., as well as an internship with Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Evansville, Ind. In 2008, his vocation search had led him to volunteer as a manager with the Glenmary Group Volunteer Program. After further discernment, he ultimately concluded that "the Holy Spirit kept leading me to Glenmary" and that he wanted to serve neglected and forgotten people in U.S. home mission areas. He has gained invaluable experience in varied ministries during his formation. Brother Jason's first full-time mission assignment will be made by Glenmary's newly elected Executive Council following the 16th General Chapter in June 2015.
 
Patrick Muriithi Patrick Muriithi renewed his Glenmary Oath for the first time in May, after completing his second year of studies for the priesthood at St. Meinrad (Ind.) School of Theology. "I recommitted myself to Glenmary's ideals and mission," he says. "My goal is still to serve with the people in the home missions. This renewal of my Oath brings me one step closer." He has continued seeking opportunities to learn about the U.S. culture, too. Throughout the school year, he also visited weekly with residents at a nearby nursing home. He'll complete a clinical pastoral education (CPE) program at a Huntington, W.Va., hospital this summer before returning to St. Meinrad in the fall for his third year.

Charles Aketch 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 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."