WALTHAM, MA - Surrounded by family, friends and friars, on a beautiful September day, Br. Joseph Powell, OFM, placed his hands into the hands of the Provincial Minister and professed to live the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for "all the days of my life" at Sacred Heart Church here.
More than 30 friars gathered with the family and friends of Br. Joe, along with parishioners from Waltham, Derry, Winsted and the Cape for this special moment in the life of the whole Province on Saturday, September 21.
In his homily for the celebration, Provincial Minister Primo P. Piscitello, OFM, spoke of the great importance of the moment unfolding before those gathered, "Solemn Profession is not about some abstract idea. It is about your real life; it is about the vows that you are going to pronounce. You will say the words aloud for all to hear! With these words, you will bind yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, bound to Him, you are to embrace His spouse, the Church, as your spouse. This vowed life that today you embrace is a gift. One does not choose this bond for oneself. It is the Lord who chooses whom he wills."
Br. Joe is 26 years-old and originally from Granby, Massachusetts. He is one of 12 children. Most of the Powell family were present for the celebration and made up a large portion of the congregation. Over the summer, Br. Joseph made his 30 day retreat in preparation for Solemn Vows in the places that were significant in the life of our Holy Father Saint Francis in Assisi and surrounding areas. He completed his theological studies in June at the Pontifical University of St. Anthony (the Antonianum) in Rome successfully defending his theological thesis, "Abraham as a Model of Faith in the Old Testament."
Br. Joe is currently assigned to St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Derry, NH, as a pastoral associate and is also engaged in graduate studies at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, MA.
Br. Joe is also an occasional blogger at: http://thebluewilderness.wordpress.com/