It was really
a great joy for me to have the chance to follow and to experience the mission
process of Cebu province. I appreciate the experience because it gives
much meaning to my life as a priest and a follower of St .Alphonsus.
I have been accompanying
the Tacloban Redemptorist mission team on their mission in the parish of
San Julian, Diocese of Borongan, Eastern Samar. This mission is being conducted
by Fr. Carlo Villaflor and Fr. Pio Makabenta and their team of five lay
missionaries. I saw and realized how the presence and the input of the
lay cooperators helped the whole mission process. I want to salute also
the hard work of Fathers Carlo and Pio.
I arrived in San
Julian parish in March 24, 2002 together with six Redemptorist seminarians
who were on exposure to the Redemptorist mission work. Portia and Rose,
counselors of the seminarians came with us on the mission. Upon arrival
in San Julian we were welcomed by the parish priest Fr. Moises Mela Campo
and by Fathers Carlo and Pio.
During my three weeks
experience (still continuing), I realized as a Redemptorist priest how
important our mission work is for the faith life of the people especially
those who live in the rural areas and who rarely receive spiritual service.
With our mission activities, we can really serve the people and help them
to renew and refresh their faith. I remember my experience of mission in
Indonesia. During the mission and after the mission, usually the
church is full of people. Also during the mission many people are baptized
and some receive the sacrament of marriange. In San Julian I had a similar
experience. Based on this experience I realized that as a Redemptorist
missionaries, we are good shepherds looking for the lost sheep.
Besides the above
experience, I really enjoyed my mission exposure in San Julian. Coming
to a new place with different culture, and meeting, living and working
with different people was a challenge and very enriching. Yes I really
tried hard to understand and communicate with the people -- listening to
what they say and observing how they react. Even though I hand difficulty
in communicating and was unfamiliar with their language, nevertheless with
the help and encouragement of Fr. Carlo and his friends, and the parish
priest, I learned sufficiently "waray-waray" to be able to offer Mass with
Living and staying
with the people, I sometimes shared their life style. For example, I enjoyed
taking a turn in pounding the rice, going for a bath with the carabao in
the river, or joining in their singing -- these had helped me to be close
to the people.
To conclued my story,
I wish to express my thanks for the opportunity to share in a mission experience
of the Cebu province.
Fr. Robertus Ndajang,