Two Ghanaian men took vows on Thursday in Killarney, Co Kerry to be ordained as Presentation Brothers in front of an Irish and international congregation.
The Irish Independent reports that the two men, Callistus Nero and Augustine Dassah, had begun their studies in Ghana before coming to Killarney to finish their three-year program in the spring of this year. The two were among eight Irish and international students studying at the Presentation Brothers Novitiate in Killarney.
Both men have third level educations - Nero, 28, has a degree in science, while Dassah, 29, is qualified in advanced welding and fabrication.
The Presentation Brothers organisation first arrived in Killarney 175 years ago and is still associated with education in the area. A large congregation made up of the Novitiate’s primary school pupils and its principal, as well as religious colleagues from India and Kenya,were present to watch the men make their vows.
Additionally, Congregation Leader of the Presentation Brothers in Ireland, Brother Martin Kenneally was in attendance. As part of his homily, Brother Kenneally said, "It’s wonderful to see the faith commitment made by these two young men. We need to encourage commitment and generosity throughout our society today."
Br Barry Noel, the novice master in Killarney, said, "Today we had two men from Ghana making their first professions as brothers. I would encourage anyone interested in our way of life to get more information about this vocation. Men are still being called to religious brotherhood. Our website, presentationbrothers.org, has plenty of details," he said.
The newly ordained Br Augustine said after the Mass that, "This is a special day in my life.
"I know that religious life will be challenging but today I am very happy. This is my vocation. It makes it even more special that we are making this commitment on the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Presentation Brothers in Kerry."
Br Callistus paid tribute to the people of Killarney: "They have been very friendly to us and I'm grateful to them. Thanks be to God and all the people who have supported, prayed and encouraged us on this journey -- it has been a great adventure and experience of God."