The investiture ceremony, which was held at the seminary chapel, also admitted the 19 seminarians into the postulancy stage of formation which aims to help them gradually transition from the secular to religious life.
“The religious habit is a sign of the seminarians’ consecration to God through a life of poverty and simplicity,” Fr. Provincial said in his homily, urging them “not to use the habit to boost their personal insecurities.”
“We should not see the habit as an opportunity to attract attention or to receive honor from people,” he said. “The Church reminds us always to avoid pomposity.”
The religious habit, he added, is also a sign of the Supernatural and Infinite.
“You wearing the religious habit are identified with the Lord,” he said. “It’s a call and constant reminder, therefore, to behave properly and to remember your identity.”
While civilian clothing, he said, could be used to conceal one’s identity, the religious habit, on the contrary, reveals it.
He encouraged the new postulants to take care of the habit and cherish it, thinking themselves privileged to be wearing the same habit worn by the first religious and saints of the Order.
Though he said that the habit doesn’t make the monk, it is a visible sign of God.
“People clamor for physical signs that would bring them closer to God,” he said. “You wearing the habit are a reminder that God is alive, that He is with his people.”
The postulancy, which the seminarian enters after 2 years of aspirancy, precedes the novitiate. It gives them certain experience of religious life, opportunity for a deeper vocational discernment and community integration.
It also aims to give the seminarians the chance to bring to maturity their decision to embrace the religious life according to the character and mission of the Order.
“The religious habit is a sign of the seminarians’ consecration to God through a life of poverty and simplicity.”
— Rev. Fr. Dionisio Selma, OAR