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5th group in Davao

04/09/2008: Philippines

Almost a month ago, the 7 Brothers who form the 5th group of the Mission Ad Gentes arrived in Davao, Philippines, with the purpose of discerning the call to the Marist Missionary life in the Asian continent. According to their nationality, the Brothers are distributed in the following way: 2 Brazilians, 1 Paraguayan, 1 Guatemalan, 2 Mexicans - one of whom joins the group after more than twenty years spent in South Korea - and 1 Nigerian. Little by little we discovered the surprises that awaited us: the fraternal and festive welcome of our fellow Marist Brothers who coordinated the Mission Ad Gentes project, the Marist family, the sisters who provided the house in which we live, and even the representative of the neighbourhood where we live. We began a new stage in our lives taking up tasks, sharing our way of life, realising that here, time is precious and, in some ways, it passes very quickly. The objective in Davao is to carry out a discernment process starting with the reception and acceptance of the letter from the Superior General sent to the Brothers of the Institute, in which he invites us to commit ourselves, hopefully for life, to being missionaries in the Asian continent.

The road travelled so far has allowed us to be open, with simplicity and generosity, to sharing our life, to helping each other to improve our communication in the daily chores, since the language here is English, both in the tasks and in the liturgy. The tasks have been distributed, and the community life continues to knit little by little.

Here we are not greatly devoted to the apostolate; as it stands, each one has chosen a work or a project, in collaboration with other religious Institutes, being present, at weekends, in places where there is a need. Our mission is to be with people on Saturday mornings, sharing, listening, playing, eating with them, and sharing the mass on Sundays. This contact certainly helps us to prepare for our future apostolate in those Asian lands.

We are beginning this journey and we have very good intentions: the prayers prepared, with love and creativity; the community moments are marked by sharing and good coexistence; steps are also taken in the process of personal accompaniment in which each Brother can express what the missionary project means to him. They are all aware that they have received the call, that the religious and Marist life in this continent can become so much richer through our presence. Above all we know that we will always have the grace and the goodness of God to take up the challenges that the Church and the Institute asks of us.
Pray for us!

Bro. Marcio Correa dos Santos

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