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Presentation Brothers Celebrate Two New Professions in Kerry

 Presentation Brothers in Ireland are celebrating the profession of two new young members from Ghana in a ceremony in Killarney on Wednesday.

Augustine Dassah (29) and Callistus Nero (28) made their First Profession in the presence of a large congregation of local well-wishers during Mass at the Franciscan Friary in the Co Kerry town.  The two have been studying at the Presentation Brothers' novitiate since April as part of the final stage of their training programme that includes a multicultural experience.

Both men have already completed third-level studies.  Bro Callistus holds a degree in Science and Bro Augustine qualified in welding and fabrication.

Speaking after the profession ceremony, Bro Augustine said, “This is a special day in my life.  I know that religious life will be challenging but today I am very happy.  This is my vocation.  It makes it even more special that we are making this commitment on the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Presentation Brothers in Kerry.”  His confrere, Bro Callistus joked that the, "biggest change," in coming to Ireland was the weather.

“Once you get used to that, Ireland is a very pleasant place," he added, and praised the people of Killarney who had been very friendly to them. 

"Thanks be to God and all the people who have supported, prayed and encouraged us on this journey.  It has been a great adventure and experience of God,” he said.

During their time in Killarney, both men have been involved in community activities, with Bro Augustine volunteering with the Kerry Parents and Friends Association, and Bro Callistus helping with the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service. 

During the First Profession ceremony, the two new Brothers made vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, in the presence of the Congregation Leader of the Presentation Brothers, Bro Martin Kenneally.

In his homily, Bro Martin said it was, "wonderful to see the faith commitment made by these two young men.  We need to encourage commitment and generosity throughout our society today.”

Bro Barry Noel, the Novice Master for the Presentation Brothers in Killarney, said that there had been a buzz of excitement in anticipation of the event.

“First professions are rare in Ireland these days.  Today we had two men from Ghana making their first professions as Brothers.  I would encourage anyone interested in our way of life to get more information about this vocation.  Men are still being called to religious brotherhood."

He added, “I also want to take the opportunity to thank the people of Kerry for the warm welcome they have given our novices over the past three years.  We have had nine men through our programme here now.  There is a great bond between the Presentation Brothers and the people of Killarney in particular.”

The Presentation Brothers have been in Kerry since 1837 making this year the 175th anniversary of their arrival.  Killarney is home to the Presentation Brothers novitiate where there are currently eight Presentation Brothers living in the novitiate community.

By Sarah Mac Donald




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