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20 Indonesian, Vietnamese novices make their first Religious Profession in Philippines

Newly professed nuns and priest concelebrants (Photo: RVA News)

Twenty international novices—13 from Indonesia and seven from Vietnam—made their first religious vows in the Franciscan Daughters of Saint Elisabeth congregation on June 13.

Sister Rachele Casamis, councilor and delegate superior, accepted the vows of the young sisters on behalf of the mother general at a Mass presided over by Father Marlou Lemaire at Kimco Village, Quezon City, Philippines.

In his homily, Father Lemaire talked about how important faith is as a seed for the religious life to grow.

“The first and foremost undertaking in our life's journey should be to know our faith,” he said.

However, "knowing faith is not enough," he said. Recalling Saint Augustine’s Fides Quaerens Intellectum,” (Faith seeking understanding,) the priest said, “although our faith is a gift from God, we must understand it. The most excellent way to do so is via study.”

The profession of the first religious vows is part of the celebration of the Catholic faith, said the priest, who is also the parish priest of Our Lady of Annunciation Parish of Novaliches Diocese. 

He told the Italian founder sisters, who had just taken their vows, to study, pray, meditate, and think more to bring God's light to religious vocations.

"As long as you continue to be religious, you will be the continuation of God's light for all,” he stated. 

Sister Anna Nguyen Thi Duyen (Vietnam) and Sister Agustina Yunda Jenita (Indonesia) (Photo: RVA News)

Agustina Yunda Jenita, one of the newly professed nuns from Indonesia, thanked God for giving her the chance to serve Him.

She liked learning about religion in a different culture while living in a foreign country, she told RVA News.

"As a Christian, I have been exposed to many different cultures, languages, ways of life, and situations. Even though I am from a different country, I am trying to fit in with this congregation by learning humility from how we live here in the Manila community,” she added.

"With humility and love, I have learned how to move smoothly with our friends, people, and culture," the nun said. 

Sister Anna Nguyen Thi Duyen from Vietnam said that she is grateful to be part of the congregation carrying out God's mission.

"It is been more than four years since I have lived here, and it has been amazing to see the community come together with different cultures and languages," she said, adding, "Still, we are somehow all one before God as one community."

Sister Casamis, on behalf of the Franciscan Sisters, thanked all the priests, nuns and people who attended the event, including the new nuns’ parents and families from Indonesia and Vietnam.

Elizabeth Casci founded the congregation of the Franciscan Daughters of St. Elizabeth in Casalino Pratovecchio, Italy, in 1888.

The members of the congregations follow the Franciscan way of life by living in contemplation and service and caring for the needy, orphaned, abandoned children, and young and sick people.

The congregation is present in many dioceses in Italy, Bolivia, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Israel, and Vietnam. - Kasmir Nema/Anbu Selvam


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.