First professions in Myanmar

By Clare, fcJ

In the Church of St Augustine, Yangon, the joy and excitement of the celebration of the first profession of Faithful Companions of Jesus in Myanmar began to build from early morning. The choir and musicians arrived and held an early practice which really helped to create the atmosphere. The FCJ Sisters and friends were quietly completing last minute preparations.  Cecilia and Maria were there to greet the guests as they arrived.  Gradually the church filled up.  There was a buzz of happy conversation as people greeted each other.

Just before 10am the people for the entry procession gathered at the back of the church.  It was an impressive group: altar servers; lectors; Maria and her family; Cecilia and her family; Agnes, Barbara and Clare, the FCJ witnesses; Afra, Area Leader, who would receive the vows and Fr Victor Nyan Myint, Parish Priest, the celebrant. Moments before the Mass was due to begin the priest invited the five Jesuit priests who were present to concelebrate, they quickly donned albs and stoles and took their place in the entry procession.

The Mass flowed throughout to a joyful rhythm. It was wonderful when Maria and Cecilia made their vows. The FCJs stood and sang the Magnificat, the sound of which resounded throughout the church. After Communion a soloist sang whilst Cecilia and Maria went to a side aisle and signed the Vows Register.

In a light hearted gesture Fr Victor transformed the Recessional Procession into a photo session and photos were taken to the rousing tones of Michael Herry’s Light a Fire on the Earth.  It was a touch of spontaneity that captured the joy-filled spirit of the whole ceremony.

All those present were invited to a delicious lunch in the church hall.  Maria said The laughter and happiness that filled the hall said all that needed to be said about the Vows Ceremony. It was a day of joy for everyone.