Linwood, New Jersey                                    Fall 2003                                                       Page 2

F I R S T   V O W S.  .  .
M Y   P E R S O N A L   J O U R N E Y
By Brother Peter DiTomasso, Jr.  

  On pilgrimage to Italy during the Jubilee Year of 2000, the many sites of Eucharistic miracles we visited renewed within my heart the call to religious life.  I had previously studied for a religious order in 1989-1992 but left for personal reasons and began work as a 401K administrator for a large investment firm.

   I knew that Christ has always been there for me no matter my circumstances. It was my fear that kept me from feeling confident that I would be accepted. Upon my return home from the pilgrimage, I made a discernment retreat, addressing my fear and offering it to Jesus. I soon felt at peace and began my journey again towards a vowed religious life.

  I discerned that I was called to the religious life, in particular to be a religious with the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. My time as a Postulant and Novice was a special opportunity to discern what vocation means and where I was being called. My call to be a religious comes first,

Bro. Peter's profession of vows.

Bro. Peter DiTomasso and his parents, Mary and Peter DiTomasso.

and how I live this life as a priest comes second. With this vocation comes a commitment and on January 5, 2003, I committed myself in a profession of first vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and the additional vow of perseverance.

  Why did I take this first step on the road to completing the journey to perpetual profession in three years?  I took these vows to the Lord under the mantle of His Sacred Heart and
and His Mother's Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart because of my love for Jesus and Mary.  Secondly, my conviction to serve the poor and most wanting is done with a community dedicated to this ministry.  Our Founder, Blessed Gaetano Errico, had similar feelings when he began our congregation.  Thirdly, community life, united to my fellow members in our mission and vows, will help to strengthen me every day in my giving of myself to God and in so doing, giving Him to those I serve.

 God has blessed my life with many graces and now I pray He may grant me the gifts that my vows proclaim, as I place myself in God's hands, following His will for me.