BRO. JUAN DE LA CRUZ PROFESSES FIRST VOWS IN THE SOCIETY OF MARY
Bro. Juan De La Cruz professed first vows in the Society of Mary (Marianists) on June 10, 2023, at Capilla de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe) in Querétaro, Mexico. Director of Novices Bro. Dennis Bautista and Assistant Director of Novices Fr. Tim Eden presented Bro. Juan as a suitable candidate for the profession of vows after a period of formation and discernment. His vows were received by Fr. Oscar Vasquez, Provincial. Principal concelebrants included Assistant Provincial of the Office of Religious Life Fr. Tim Kenney and Chaplain of Comunidad Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Fr. Quentin Hakenewerth.
Family members, friends, and members of the Marianist community attended the vow ceremony and reception. The ceremony was also live-streamed so that Marianist family members and friends worldwide could witness the celebration virtually. A video of the celebration will be available soon.
Bro. Juan De La Cruz, 32, was born in Villahermosa, the capital city of Tabasco State in southeast Mexico, and is the middle child of three. His father Juan De La Cruz senior worked 33 years in the oil industry, following a pattern of being stationed on an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. His mother Matilde Perez dedicated her life to raising her children with a traditional Catholic upbringing. “I met the Marianists at the age of 13 in 2003, my first contact was Bro. Lawrence McBride and Bro. Nereo Ramirez Hernandez. They introduced me to Marianist life and my interest in knowing more about them increased,” explained Bro. Juan.
Bro. Juan, whose first language is Spanish, came to learn English very well and went through the language program at University of Dayton. “I believe the Marianist life is an option for a happy life with freedom, where everything is shared – accentuating equality and inclusion. It’s also an opportunity for growth, not only spiritually but intellectually. Marianist life has a great pillar that is Mary, whom I consider the path and association with Jesus, through her and with her, we expand and express the love of God to others. Those are some of the points that led to my interest in being a Marianist,” said Bro. Juan.
Bro. Juan applied for aspirancy in 2015 and connected with the Marianists in Mexico both in Puebla and Querétaro, living in community until he went to the novitiate in Dayton, OH, in 2018. He left the novitiate to return to Mexico but in discerning his vocation and working in a school, decided to re-apply. He lived in the Puebla Marianist Community from 2020-21 doing part-time ministry at a local school and parish. Bro. Juan then moved to San Antonio for six months as a pre-novice before becoming a novice at the Marianist Novitiate in Dayton in 2021. He is currently living in the Querétaro community where he volunteers at a local school, supports a social justice program, and is pursuing a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in mathematics.
Thank you for remembering Brother Juan De La Cruz in your prayers.