How fortunate you are, David, the Lord asks you to witness his merciful love!
The ceremony of David Conejo's solemn profession began at eight o'clock in the afternoon at the parish temple of Santa Rita in Madrid, where all necessary precautions were taken to preserve the health of those present and comply with current legislation for acts of worship and meetings of groups of people.
David was physically accompanied by fewer people than he wished to be there for this reason: the church had plenty of space even though there were 17 concelebrators accompanying the provincial prior, Sergio Sánchez, who presided over the Eucharist and received David's vows; about 80 lay people convenientlydistributed to leave a distance of at least a 6 feet between them; and about 15 professed Augustinians Recollects and Augustinians, who had until recently been David's fellow students.
Many more accompanied David via social media, as the ceremony was broadcast live with a reach of about 2,200 people between the platforms of the Province of St. Nicholas on Facebook and YouTube.The time of the celebration had been scheduled to allow for greater attendance: in the country of origin of David, Costa Rica, it was noon at the time the broadcast began.
Another of the characteristic notes of the celebration was the modification of one of the most exciting rites of the religious profession, the welcoming embrace; under normal conditions, once the new profess has issued the profession and has been accepted by the provincial prior on behalf of the prior general, he would have received a warm embrace of welcome from all the professed present at the ceremony.
This time only the provincial prior was able to give the hug, but what David received was a warm applausefrom all the participants in the event and, without a doubt, from many of those who attended through digital media. David was moved at this moment.
The provincial prior addressed David in a special way during the homily in a warm and grateful manner. First, he asked him to live this day as a true gift:
Secondly, the provincial prior did not miss the date on which the profession was celebrated: The Solemnity of Our Lady of Consolation, one of the Marian meanings most beloved by the Augustinian Family. And also dear to David, who left at his feet a candle and to which he addressed especially in a few final words that we will point out. David is also a visual artist who has already painted Our Lady of Consolation. The provincial prior could not let this rather intended coincidence pass:
After alluding precisely to the biblical texts that were read in the Liturgy on consolation and the art ofcomforting others, the provincial prior finally wanted to remind David's family, who by social networks attended the celebration:
At the end of the Eucharist it was the neo-test who, at the time of thanksgiving, addressed everyone. These were his words:
There was no food to share for much time to depart. By small groups several were congratulating the newly professed; although the masks and protocols prevented physical contact, they were sincere congratulations and even received some gift from the Augustinian-Recollect Female Lay Fraternities who were present.
David will now continue his service to the People of God by preparing himself with the study of Patristic Sciences in Rome. Thus he will be able to approach Augustine of Hippo and other Fathers of the Church from many aspects: as a religious, as a bishop, as a doctor of the Church, as an older brother of so many lives who, like David's, follow in his footsteps in common life and service to the People of God.