This year our Religious Family celebrates 20 years of missionary presence in the Province of the Immaculate Conception: United States of America, Canada, and Guyana. In thanksgiving to God for all the many blessings He has bestowed upon our missionary works, our Religious Family – including priests, sisters, and Third Order members from all parts of our province – gathered for the Holy Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Monday, December 14. The Mass was presided by His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington. We were also honored to have present in the Mass Bishop Martin Holley, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and Bishop Bernard Harrington, Bishop Emeritus of Winona, MN. Fr. Carlos Walker, first IVE missionary to this province and current Vicar General, and Provincial Superior Fr. Gustavo Nieto, IVE, concelebrated together with more than 50 IVE and diocesan priests.
During the Holy Mass, the following ceremonies took place:
- The Perpetual Vows of Fr. Joseph LoJacono, IVE and seminarian Gerardus Hauwert, IVE
- The Investiture of cassocks of the novices of the Institute of the Incarnate Word
- The Investiture of habits of the novices of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará
- The profession of First Vows of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará
- The Admission to the Third Order of the Institute of the Incarnate Word
Our 20th Anniversary celebration continued at the reception, with over 800 friends, family members, priests, and religious present. After dinner, we watched a video presentation of all the missions of our Religious Family around the world. We closed the evening with a fogón (a show of songs presented by various communities of our Province), according to the tradition of our Religious Family.
We thank our Blessed Mother under her title of the Immaculate Conception for the many graces and blessings she has obtained for us these past 20 years. We ask you to continue to pray for the fruits of our missionary work in this Province and of all the missions of our Religious Family throughout the world.