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Experience of the Brothers of the VI Mission ad gentes group

23/06/2009: Philippines

The sixth group of the “Mission ad gentes” programme, in the first fortnight of March, lived a significant experience with the communities of the “Society of Mary” (Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, Marist Missionary Sisters) living in the region of Mindanao (Southern Philippines). Following you will find a little report from one of the Brothers, together with some photographs.

Br. Cesar
I was in the university community in General Santos. The house is simple, cozy and full of life. The brother works a lot of, because “the mission is big and the workers are few”. I felt very happy living with the brothers. For me the brothers in the university are true family.

Br. Isma
My expreince in Maitum with the SMSM Sisters was amazing. I could feel a very simple life style, a good communication, a nice impression of spirit of family. In every look, every gesture, from the sisters, from the students, one can discover a sign of humnaity, a life that opens wide to welcome you and which offers you the best of thier lives. And of course, that never lacks a smile.

Br. Andrew
The experience at the Marist Brothers Community Buda was edifying and enriching. The Brothers live in a very simple lifestyle and very close to the nature. I cannot forget their warmth hospitality and the friendliness of their neigbours. It was really a previlege being with the Brothers and got to know their apostolate in the local parish and the Diocese Centre at Malaybalay.

Br. Eddie
My experience in the Marist Father community, in Timanag in the mountains; was wonderful. I could live in the simple community in the middle of many another relligions; in these days that I was there the hospitality of the communities; the presence and the work with the young people and the children was amazing. I could felling the presence of God in the people, specialy in the young. My experience of listening and work with the fathers and the community was very important in order to dialogue with the another religions in the village.

Br. Pietro
I was with the Marist Brothers’ Community operating in the High School of “Notre Dame” in Cotabato city. I could enjoy the worm hospitality of the Brothers Wincey, Armando and the youngest one, Bro Leo.
In partnership with OND Sisters, as well with lay partners who are very active and participative, they are running a big and important work in that School, situated in a Muslim region, with 50% Muslim students in the school. The Educational Plan reckon on important values and skills in order to integrating people of different religions living and studying in same grades. I could meet many groups of students, in the mornings and in the evenings, because there are Night Shift Classes as well.
I can say in two word what I felt in that experience: “Welcome Brother Pietro” and “We will miss you”. My thanksgiving for the warm friendless of all the people, myself telling you: “I will miss you”, I learnt a lot of things from you, I hope to continue to be in relation with each one who gave me his own mail address.

Br. Max
Some of the highlights of my experience were visiting three indigenous communities near of Kidapowan City, with the responsible of the Marist College’s Extension Program. Meetings with students of the inter-religious dialogue, volunteer work and community leaders training were other important moments. Thanks to the Brothers Ted, Noel and Vivee, for give me the opportunity to stay with them.

Br. Marcos
It was a opportunity to live in a international community, sharing the life with students, lay partners, teachers and religious people. The strongest experience was to be open to the surprises that God bring us everyday. Welcome, joy, faith, love and hope were easily perceptible wherever I went.

Br. Ramon
My time in Lagao with the sister SMSM was wonderful, it was a sing for me of how we can live in a international community, they are five from four different countries. And I want thanksgiving because they showed me the beautiful work with street boys.

Br. Pedro
I lived during that period with five Sisters. With them I was able to live and share not only community life but also some of their works in the city of Davao. The prison, a rehabilitation centre for children and adolescents who are involved with drugs, a kindergarten in a very poor area, and a NGO which works with girls involved in prostitution, are some of those works. Many were the feelings and calls I felt during that experience, but the strongest is the statement that the brothers go where the children and young people are, especially the poorest. I am convinced that the way of Jesus and the way of reality are the only way in which we will be able to make our best reponse as brothers and lay Marists.

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