The American Region celebrated the first vows of Brother Gerardo Toscano, C.J. with Vespers and Mass on Thursday, July 25th, the Feast of St. James. After the congregation sang the entrance hymn, Veni Creator Spiritu, Fr. Ludo DeClippel, Regional Superior, welcomed members of Brother Gerardo’s family (including his mother, sister and grandfather), members of the Josephite Associates and parishioners of St. Louis de Montfort parish. In his homily Fr. Ludo encouraged Brother Gerardo to have the attitude of Christ who came to serve and he reminded him of the Founder’s exhortation that Josephites must become instruments of mercy. Fr. Ludo also invited the young men and young women present to consider the blessings of religious life and to be open to the Lord’s call.
After the homily Brother Gerardo made his first vows. Fr. Timothy Lane and Fr. Charles Hofschulte served as witnesses. Fr. Alex Mubenga, Fr. Ed Jalbert, Fr. John Mayhew and Fr. Mark Newman were also present and concelebrated the Mass. At the end of Mass, Fr. Ludo thanked Brother Gerardo’s family for their support and prayers and Fr. John Mayhew thanked all those who had helped prepare the Mass. Those who attended the Mass were then invited to the reception in the parish hall. The reception, hosted by the Knights of Columbus, the Josephite Associates and the Bereavement Committee, included a traditional Santa Maria barbeque dinner and a variety of desserts prepared by the various organization and members of Brother Gerardo’s family.
Brother Gerardo will have some vacation time with his family and begin his academic studies on Monday, August 19th at Hancock College in Santa Maria.