LOMERI, FIJI—We are now at the end of our 8-week long preparation for perpetual profession here in Marist Brothers Novitiate where we arrived last May 24. We, the 15 participants from six different countries, are the following
District of Melanesia
1. Dominic Nekebatu (Solomon Islands)
2. Jeremy Wabi (Bougainville)
1. Fabio Oliveira (Portugal)
Marist District of Asia
1. Cong Nguyen (Vietnam)
2. Quy Nguyen (Vietnam)
East Asia Province
A. Philippine Sector
1. John Emil Alada (Philippines)
2. Rechie Dean Bagsican (Philippines)
3. Raymund Gallardo (Philippines)
4. Lloyd Gamboa (Philippines)
5. Deo Dudz Hizo (Philippines)
6. Philip Caesar Renacia (Philippines)
7. Cian Marco Tabuada (Philippines)
8. John Allen Timola (Philippines)
9. Aljon Yonder (Philippines)
B. Korea-Japan Sector
1. Moses Cho (South Korea)
Along with the Novitiate community, we were welcomed by the Preparation Team headed by Br. Bryan Davis (Australia), Br. Jacobo Song (South Korea), and Br. Ted Fernandez (Philippines).
Br. Bryan Davis led the first week with “Vocational Quest”, where we shared about our vocation stories, our questions on religious life, discernment, meaning of life for us, and our hopes and expectations.
Br. Graham Neist presented the topic on Listening and Responding Contemplatively, where contemplative practice and “turning up” (presence) appealed to us.
Br. Michael Green presented us Marcellin’s Spirituality according to the vows, wherein the “bon enfant” style of being a brother, a down-to-earth way of being a brother, struck us the most.
Br. Sean Sammon presented An Undivided Heart, a topic on celibate chaste living, and even gave out copies of his book.
Br. Barry Burns presented Living Simply, a connection of our vow of poverty with our pope’s call to care for our common home.
Br. Tony Leon presented Brothers Today as an epic love story, and he even prompted us to make our own artworks.
Br. Angel Medina presented New Expressions of Marist Life, particularly the La Valla 200 Program.
In the midst of the program, the brothers enjoyed going to the nearby beach in Loloma to swim and play volleyball. But what excited them most was drinking kava, a must-try local drink here. Each brother even bought Bula shirts and some even wore Fijian sulu.
Our final week of the program is dedicated to what we call as the Synthesis, wherein each brother will make a creative presentation of all their experiences of the program with songs, dance, music, artworks, poetry, crafts, video presentation, and even told their own life stories.
And now, our hope for the future is that we would bring all of these learning into our respective communities and our ministries.
Please pray for us. 🙏