To live for God: Men profess, renew vows as religious brothers
By Sarah Metts
All those who attended the Oct. 13 evening Mass at St. Mary Church in Littleton were blessed to witness both the perpetual profession of vows by Brother Juan Espino, D.C.J.M., and the renewal of vows by Brother Felipe Carmena, D.C.J.M.
The men belong to the Disciples of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a 25-year-old religious order founded in Spain.
A native of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Brother Espino, 38, came to St. Mary in August 2011 after spending six years of formation in Madrid. Brother Carmena, 23, is from Madrid and is spending a year in residence at St. Mary while studying at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.
Father José Noriega, superior general of the Disciples of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, along with five other priests from the order celebrated the Mass, which drew 700 people, including Brother Espino’s family, who travelled from El Paso, Texas, to attend.
Father Noriega opened his homily by speaking about the meaning of vocation.
“The measure of life is not the measure of your feelings or of your projects,” he said. “Vocation is not about what pleases you, but about God’s dreams for you.”
A touching moment came when Father Noriega told Brother Carmena that his mother, Teresa, who died in 2007, would be watching him from heaven as he made his vows.
Before Brother Espino professed his vows, the faithful knelt in prayer to intercede on his behalf, as he lay prostrate before the altar.
Brother Espino then vowed perpetual obedience, chastity and poverty, as well as a special promise of obedience and availability to the Holy Father. With these vows he was consecrated to God. Not only will this consecration last for the rest of his life, but it will also remain in heaven as a special sign of his bond with Christ, according to Father Alvaro Montero, D.C.J.M., pastor of St. Mary’s.
At the close of his homily, Father Noriega focused on the new family Brother Espino was entering into
“God works in communion, the devil in loneliness,” he said. “Jesus doesn’t want to take away anything, but he gives you all. He gives you a full humanity, a new family.”
With the final vows Brother Espino entered in a definitive way into his religious community as a place where he will live for God alone for the service of all. The joy his religious community had in receiving him into their family was unmistakable.