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10 Marist Postulants arrive to MAPAC

12/12/2019: Philippines

On Monday 26 August ten postulants from Timor-Leste, all in their early twenties, arrived at the Marist Asia Pacific Centre (MAPAC) in Manila. The postulants began the process of settling into life in their new home in the Lorenzo Fraternity. They are Belarmino, Cipriano, Damião, Feliciano, Igidio, Jefriano, Joel, Norberto, Paulo, and Rogerio.

Prior to their arrival they had spent six months in the aspirancy program in Baucau (Timor-Leste) before travelling to Australia and then on to the Philippines. A warm welcome awaited the postulants when they eventually arrived at MAPAC. Waiting at the airport to greet them was Br John Hazelman (Director of MAPAC), Br Matthew Green (their formator from Australia for this first stage of the postulancy) and three of their countrymen, Brothers Benjamin, Melquiano , and Jacinto (first year student Brothers newly professed from the Novitiate in Sri Lanka).

The postulants will remain at MAPAC for nine months to improve their English (Timorese people speak Tetun - their local language - and Portuguese). The English program is intensive with classes each morning and in the afternoons. The morning classes are organized into three groups, each with its own teacher. In addition, they have more practical classes in pronunciation, reading and library research skills in the afternoons.

The prayer life of the postulants is consistent with morning prayer and Mass each day. In addition, each evening the postulants have time for spiritual reading, meditation, and community prayer. Every third Sunday they have a silent reflection day and most recently they completed their first three-day silent retreat on the theme of Advent. The solitude and silence were received enthusiastically, and they are looking forward to their next retreat experience during Lent.

In May 2020 they will commence the second stage of the Postulancy joining the other postulants in Davao (on Mindanao, Philippines). All going well, after 12 months in Davao, they will then head to Sri Lanka for the Novitiate. Timor-Leste is the newest and poorest county in Asia with a very young population. As Brothers, these young men will make a significant contribution to the life and wellbeing of the young people of Timor.

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