On 12th September Brothers Ronan Sharply and Denis Aherne professed their Solemn Vows as Friars Minor. The celebration took place in the Franciscan church, Killarney. Because of pandemic restrictions numbers were limited to immediate family, some friends and friars.
Vicar Provincial, Joe Condren OFM, received their vows during the joyful celebration.
The two friars have appointed to the Franciscan friary, “The Abbey”, in Galway city. There they will focus especially on youth ministry in the city along with the local fraternity.
In his homily, Fr Joe said, “This year, 2020, is one that we will remember as not having been our favourite year ever. This is the year of lockdown, COVID, travel restrictions, and uncertainty. An almost endless litany of disruption has gripped us for nearly six full months now.
But today, despite having to observe the restrictions on our numbers and on how we celebrate, today we are gathered in joy to witness the Solemn Profession of vows of our brothers Denis and Ronan. Here in Killarney, in this church dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity, they are dedicating their lives to God, their supreme love.
Today their long journey of preparation arrives at a destination. Today, they take the final step in giving their lives to God. As the Order teaches us, ‘Through profession of obedience, poverty and chastity, which they are to live in the spirit of Saint Francis, they contract a covenant with God and life becomes, as it were, for the whole of their existence, a sacrifice offered to God in charity.’
The love that comes to us from God with a fullness beyond understanding has, in our brothers’ decision to make Solemn Profession, triggered this response, to love him totally who has loved them totally in his Son, Jesus Christ….
Denis and Ronan, may the love of God to which you are responding by surrendering your lives to God through in poverty, chastity, and obedience, may that love of God always surround you. May his love always inspire you. And may it lead you always until you enter into the joy of eternal life.
I will end with the Exhortation of St Francis: ‘My sons, we have promised great things to God; greater things are promised to us by God if we observe what we have promised him; let us confidently await those promised to us. Brief is the delight of the world; but the punishment that follows is eternal. The suffering of this life is small, but the glory of the other life is infinite’ (Fioretti 18).”