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Mission Experience (San Julian, Samar) 

 
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 the people.

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, CSsR