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Interview with Br Jean-Marie Batick

29/10/2013: Solomon Islands

The International Commission Brothers Today met in Rome from 4 to 11 July. On this occasion, we spoke with some of its members. We present today a conversation with Br Jean-Marie Batick, of the District of Melanesia.

Tell us about yourself
I am Brother Jean Marie BATICK and I belong to the District of Melanesia which includes Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. I was professed as a Marist Brother in November 1998 at the Pacific Novitiate in Lomeri, Fiji. My scholastic was done at the Marist Asia Pacific Centre (MAPAC) in the Philippines. My Country of origin is Vanuatu. Currently I am in charge of the Laumanasa Formation House as postulant master, in the Solomon Islands. I am also a member of the District of Melanesia Council.

What does it mean for you to be a brother today?
Being a brother today, for me, is all about committing oneself to a call of service and to the call to live my vocation as a Marist consecrated religious. And to live fully and joyously my life regardless of the challenges that the call will bring. To be available and present sensitively to the calls of those with whom I live and work.


Is the animation of vocations an important mission for the Institute? How should we go about doing it, in your opinion
Yes I absolutely believe that the animation of vocations is one of the main important missions of the Institute. And how should we go about doing it? Well, I think that, firstly, each brother must see and believe that this animation of vocations is an important mission of the Institute. And that everyone is call to do that mission whether we work in schools, administration or offices, formation houses, in youth ministry, etc..we are called to help and accompany those who are searching for a vocation in life. Each one should have an interest in the life of young people and to talk or share about his identity as brother to them. Be welcoming and open to those who are showing interest in our way of life and invite them to share some part of that life (prayer, meal...).

Almost 200 years from the foundation of the Institute, what are the challenges for the brothers, today? Are the challenges taken on by Marcellin still relevant?
Looking at Marcellin life’s story since the foundation of the Institute, I would see the following as the challenges for the brothers, today.  Being dedicated to prayer life or to see oneself as men of God. The courage to talk about our lives as brothers to others. Lack of appreciating the work of lay Marist as part of our mission in some areas of the Institute. No sense of community life in many parts of the Institute.

Yes many challenges taken on by Marcellin still relevant in many part of the Institute today. There are many places where children have no access to education because of poverty or lack of schools or lack of teachers...

What particular experiences of the brothers of your region could be an example for the Institute?
The brothers are happy wherever they are to carry out their ministries regardless of the limited resource that they have. The brothers open their schools’ doors to every student regardless of their religion. We welcome any students with any level of study or knowledge. We have Vocation School or Rural Training Centres that cater for the drop out students. Many young brothers are taking on leadership role as community leaders, school principals.

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