Faith increased, Hope strengthened

“FAITH INCREASED, HOPE STRENGTHENED”, this is how we described our experience when our bishop in Dalat Diocese celebrated a solemn mass for the Rogationist Vietnam Mission Station (RVMS).  It was even more meaningful because he celebrated the mass on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, our Rogationist Feast day par-excellence. With the permission of our beloved Bishop, this special occasion was also marked with the launching of the Family Rogate Vietnam, Dalat Diocese Chapter. Seven families of our seminarians formally took the promise as new members of the Family Rogate ( Hoi Gia Dinh Rogate).  The first members are the parents of the Rogationist’s seminarians from Bao Loc and Don Duong, Lam Dong Province. Both places belong to the Diocese of Dalat.

The celebration was simple and as much as possible kept it in secret and private. The good bishop allowed us to use the bishop’s house for the celebration and only a few guests were invited including some priests, religious men and women, benefactors and friends.   It was a risk to organize that celebration but we felt safe and secure in the bishop’s house assuring us that we are in God’s hand.

It was only a half day celebration. It started with the solemn adoration for vocation presided over by Fr. Alfonso Heredia, Responsible of the Mission.  The reflection which Fr. Alfonso prepared for the Eucharistic Adoration emphasized the Meaning of Vocation, the Role of the Rogate in the Church and the Conviction, Joy, Sacrifice, and the Desire of St. Hannibal in living, propagating and proclaiming the Rogate.

After the solemn Eucharistic Adoration for Vocation, the Bishop presided over the solemn mass. In his homily, the Bishop spoke boldly about the importance of the charism of the  Rogate in the Church, especially in the his local diocese, at the same time, he also appreciated  the initiation of the group of family that is committed to pray daily for vocations in the Church.

Here is the summary of the Bishop’s homily.

-          He gave the introduction about the World Day of Prayer for Vocations which was started in 1964 and in 1971 the date was officially fixed on the Good Sherpherd Sunday as the  WDPV.

-          Then he spoke about the Rogationists, the charism of the Rogate, a command from the mouth of Jesus. The necessity of obeying the Word of Jesus, to pray for Vocations, especially for the Priesthood and religious vocations.

-          Touching on the crisis of vocations in many countries of the world, he underlined that in the developed countries, there is the experience of the lost of spiritual life, the lost of the sense of God, and  the lost of faith because of the culture of consumerism, and nobody wants to follow Christ because many young people have lost their faith, they don’t see Christ. He said that Vocation needs FAITH - and so there is the need of more pastors to bring back and animate the faith.

-          He also underlined the connection of FAITH-à VOCATIONàBLESSING (HOPE) and explained it through the story of the faith of Abraham. Abraham’s faith led him to answer yes to God full of hope and because of that yes (vocation) he received abundant blessings.

-             Finally, he mentioned the important role of the family in Vocations. “No family, no vocation”. And focused his attention on the Family ROG which started as a small group of family, wishing that it will later expand as a big group. And the most challenging words he said for us Rogationists, Daughters of Divine Zeal and the FAM ROG is that “we are vocation for all the Vocations.”

Thanks to our beloved bishop in the Diocese of Dalat who is a real shepherd and who is always available for the people. Thanks to our parents who generously responded to the call of witnessing the Rogate. Thanks to our friends and benefactors who always assure us of their support, protection and guidance. Thanks to the different congregations for their fraternal support and blessings, thanks to our students and aspirants both Rogationists and the Daughters of Divine Zeal, because of their generosity and availability to say yes to the call of God, the Rogate becomes ever more active, dynamic and triumphant.

With all these people and experiences, the RMSV is continuously casting its net into the DEEP. We are assured and convinced that we walk in the Direction of God following the Examples of Christ of the Rogate through St. Hannibal. This leads us to a more and a deeper Encounter with the Heart of Jesus, with the Heart of St. Hannibal and with the heart of the Avignone, the poor.  Whatever is the Plan of God for our mission here in Vietnam, we will joyfully obey and we hope and pray  that  it will be brought into completion.

Indeed, it is in our experience of being in the DEEP that our FAITH is increased and our HOPE is strengthened.