L to R: Noe Garcia, Milton Lara, Wilber Mejia, and Jose Alexander Palacios pronounce their commitments as vowed members of the order.
The Vincentian priests and brothers of the Eastern Province celebrated a Mass and vow ceremony in which four men pronounced their commitments as vowed members of the order and three men entered the community as novices on July 31.
The growth of the Eastern Province is a joyful occasion; for the novices, it brought a hopeful conclusion to their year-long novitiate by pronouncing first vows as members of the Vincentian community. Known as “Good Purposes,” it is a commitment made for three years to grow in knowledge and practice of vows Vincentians strive to live by: poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability.
The four young men who pronounced Good Purposes are Noe Garcia, 29, originally from Guatemala, with family on Long Island, NY; Milton Lara, 32, originally from Honduras, with family in Charlotte, NC; Wilber Mejia, 31, originally from El Salvador, with family in New York City; and Jose Alexander Palacios, 32, originally from El Salvador, with family living in Newark, NJ.
All four seminarians are 2019 graduates of St. John’s University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Philosophy. They have served in Vincentian ministries in New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Alabama. In August, they began a four-year program of theological studies at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, PA, while residing at DeAndreis House of Studies in Philadelphia, PA.
In addition, three young men were received into the community as novices at the same Mass. Graduates of St. John’s University in May, the young men being received into the novitiate year are Vy Tuan Nguyen, 23, born in Vietnam, with family in Greensboro, NC; Juan Carlos Perez, 37, born in Mexico, with family living in Queens, NY; and Peter Dai Tran, 24, born in Vietnam, with family living in Houston, TX.
The ceremony represents the continued dedication and global reach of the Vincentian priests and brothers to recruiting and educating people devoted to service to others.
Rev. Michael M. Nguyen, C.M. ’90CBA, a member of the St. John’s University Board of Trustees, serves as Rector and Formation Director at Miraculous Medal House in Jamaica Estates, NY, the house of study at the college level for the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, and often the first step in the Vincentian vocation journey.
“With much pride, our Vincentian family celebrates the commitment of these men who represent both the proud history of our religious order and the hopeful future of our community,” he observed.
“These talented and generous seminarians made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ, Evangelizer of the Poor, in the way of our founder, St. Vincent de Paul.”