On August 14, 2011, family, friends, priests, religious, and many of the lay faithful joined our Mercedarian friars in celebrating the Silver Jubilee of Religious Vows of Reverend Father James W. Mayer, O. de M. at a special mass at Saint Rocco Catholic Church, Cleveland, Ohio. Saint Rocco, besides being Father’s home parish, is also the oldest of our foundations here in the United States. It is there, fittingly both a beautiful sanctuary, and the ideal place to call to mind the commitment made by Father James twenty-five years ago. As a youth it was there that Father James experienced the joy, fraternity and witness of the Mercedarian religious. Their commitment, as Father James’ commitment, is the response of a generous lover to the call of God. A free response made by all of us individually and collectively as Mercedarians to consecrate ourselves more intimately to God, in imitation of our Father and Founder Saint Peter Nolasco, attained through the grace of God and the help of our Mother, Our Lady of Mercy. It is this free gift of oneself, as Father James did so many years ago, and continues to live to this very day that permits the perfection of love given through generous and faithful fulfillment of the redemptive mission of our Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy. A perpetuation of he redemptive mission to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Surely, it is this total gift of self for others that sweetly lulled not only our ears as the Introit was magnificently chanted, but within the very heart of Father James himeself: “God, our protector, keep us in mind; always give strength to your people. For if we can be with you even one day, it is better than a thousand without you” [Psalm 84:10-11]. For Father James, to answer God’s call to religious life, is better than anything else the world might propose. Following the homily, given by Father Mark Hollis, we witnessed Father James renewing his Profession of Vows. What a blessing for us all, especially for Mr. and Mrs. Mayer, to celebrate with their son this milestone of his life-giving commitment. Deo gratias! And thanks, Father James, for your continued “yes” to the Lord! Ad multos annos.
PHILADELPHIA, PA –
Professing his final vows on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Br. Justin Freeman made the life-long commitment to a life of chastity, poverty, obedience and the fourth vow according to the Rule of St. Augustine and the Constitutions of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy.
The Profession took place at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Philadelphia, PA. His vows were received by Fr. Richard Rasch, O. de M., Vicar Provincial. He was joined in this blessed event by his family, local community and fellow classmates at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Fr. Anthony Fortunato O. de M. gave the homily.