Brother John Taylor Professes as a Salesian
FORT WORTH- Fort Worth native John Taylor was one of two men who made their first religious profession as Salesians of Don Bosco on Wednesday, August 16, at the Marian Shrine chapel in Haverstraw, N.Y.
Father Dominic Tran, SDB, provincial, received the brothers’ vows in the name of the Salesian rector major, Cardinal-elect Angel Fernandez Artime, SDB, and gave the homily. Brother John’s uncle, Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock, Ark., presided at the Mass; he received both a warm welcome from those present and warm thanks from the Salesians.
John Lawrence Taylor was born in 1985 in Fort Worth and was a parishioner of St. Andrews Parish in Fort Worth. He’s the third child of Joseph and Lynnice Taylor, with an older brother and older sister.
John’s vocational inspiration has been his Uncle Tony, who was a priest of the Oklahoma City Archdiocese until he became bishop of Little Rock in 2008. John used to spend parts of the summers of his youth attending Father Taylor’s vacation Bible school and accompanying him to various parish events and services.
In 2010, John became a Salesian missionary volunteer and spent 2010-2011 serving at St. John Bosco Parish in Chicago. This interested him in youth ministry and a Salesian vocation. In August 2020, he became a candidate for Salesian life at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., contributing to the school’s ministry; he became a prenovice there the following year and engaged in youth ministry at St. John Bosco Parish in Port Chester, N.Y.
The Mass of Religious Profession was the culmination of the two men’s year of novitiate, which they made at the Salesian house in Richmond, Calif., under the guidance of Fr. Joseph Thinh Nguyen, SDB, master of novices.
The part of his novitiate year (2022-2023) that made the biggest impression on Brother John was being at Camp St. Francis in Watsonville, Calif., this summer: “I really enjoyed spending time at summer camp with the young. In this apostolate, I was able to get a full perspective of what the young are living. I was able to know their dreams and interests and what bothers them. I got to share in their true joy.”
This year, Brother John will continue formation in the Salesian community at Orange, N.J., while taking pre-theology courses at Seton Hall University. He aspires to “keep learning about myself and to grow as a Salesian with the support and help of the Salesians” of the community and the province.
As a Salesian, Brother John “would like to specialize in promotion of social justice advocacy and service to those in need together with the young.”
In addition to the families of the professed, the congregation included 37 concelebrating priests, 15 Salesian religious brothers and sisters, some seminarians, Salesian Lay Missioners, and other friends of the two newly professed.
The basic rite of profession includes the presentation of the candidates by one of their formators, in this case Father John Puntino, SDB, from their novitiate staff. The candidates respond and state their intention to profess as Salesians. After the homily and the provincial questions them about their commitment, the presider and congregation pray over them. The candidates individually pronounce their vows and are welcomed by the provincial. After those intending to study for the priesthood (both men, in this case) change into clerical garb, the provincial presents them first with the insignia of their Salesian religious profession (a medal) and then with a copy of the Constitutions. The congregation signals their approval with applause. The rite concludes with prayers of intercession.
The 4:00 p.m. Mass was followed by photo opportunities and then a buffet supper in the Shrine pavillion.
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By Father Mike Mendl, SBD, from the Salesian Communications Office