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Chinedu Enuh, took vows in the Congregation of the Mission (Province of Ireland) on Wednesday 28th March 2018 during the celebration of the Eucharist.  The following is the text of the homily given by Fr Paschal Scallon CM, Provincial 

Mass for the Vows of
Chinedu Enuh CM
28 March 2018

The Lord has given me a disciple’s tongue. So that I may know how to reply to the wearied he provides me with speech. Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple…I know I shall not be shamed.

Obedient to the Father, you were led to your crucifixion…


Pardon me for stating the obvious and even perhaps for verging close to the tasteless, but there is something beautifully ironic for us to be celebrating your taking vows in the Congregation, Chinedu, on a day when the liturgy of the Church reflects on Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.

If one were to work this idea a little more, it seems doubly ironic that we should be marking your taking vows when the culture in which we live and witness almost constantly seeks the greatest flexibility in order to maximise the freedom to move between commitments as it suits.

The best one can say about this aspect of our culture is that it too is a quest for salvation, a sign of restlessness which, please God, will one day find the peace it seeks, and find it where St Augustine suggested it will be found: in God, in the shalom at the heart of the One who made us.

In the meantime, here we are, this little company, gathered to welcome you, Chinedu, into closer affinity with the Congregation with all the rights and responsibilities that come with taking vows.

And, laying aside our sense of irony, or perhaps embracing it, we recognise that part of the grace of a moment like this is our being at peace with our awareness that the Lord invests in us a treasure beyond value – in these earthen vessels that hold our physical, mental and spiritual gifts together. And if we are at peace with this reconciled sense of our strengths and frailties, we have come to some appreciation of who and what we are before God and in the company of Christ. If we are at peace like this, to whatever extent, then God’s Holy Spirit has led us here, and would lead us further, and all irony falls away.

So, here we are, missioners in a culture that we experience often as both inspiring and dispiriting, that seeks grace and spurns it, and we decide to take a stand.

In this Holy Week and in the context of our being Vincentians, we resolve to stand by the cross. At the risk of deepening our sense of irony in a culture that often but not always seems unable and unwilling, we resolve to face the myriad experiences of human failure and destitution and be the presence of Christ, the word of God who asks us to help and heal, to restore and resolve whatever degrades our brothers and sisters.

Resolving to do this we dedicate ourselves for our whole lives to discipleship with Jesus Christ whose mission was to bring good news to the poor, and we do it, precisely, notwithstanding all the other ways we might, here in the community given to us by St Vincent DePaul.

The Holy Spirit has led us here but we decide – and we do so precisely because we are disciples, people who decide to follow and to learn, to listen and having listened well to be the strength and grace of Christ in the world.

Isaiah puts it beautifully…

The Lord has given me a disciple’s tongue. So that I may know how to reply to the wearied he provides me with speech. Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple…I know I shall not be shamed.

What I like about this reading particularly is the commission to speak words that will be grace in any situation, and the assurance that what we do honours the dignity of the person to whom we minister and in that the Lord dignifies us.

At the heart of the Vincentian vocation is our commission to face the shame that blights so much of human experience and seek to heal it. Evangelizare pauperibus misit me is the tie that binds us to Christ and to Christ crucified. There is no irony here, no mixed message. May God bring to completion in us, and in you especially today, Chinedu, the work he has begun in us.

Some photos from the happy occasion:


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