5491(II)_Missionary reflection before priestly ordination in Brazil

by ceteratolle posted Oct 23, 2020


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By Deacon John Baptist Nguyen Duy Tan
Vietnamese missionary in Brazil

Manaus, Amazon, Brazil (BMA Province), 23 October 2020 -- On 5 December 2020 three Vietnamese missionaries will be ordained to the priesthood in Sao Paolo (Brazil), one for Brazil - Campo Grande and two for Brazil - Manaus: Deacons Tran Van Lich, John Baptist Nguyen Duy Tan and Bartolomeo Nguyen Quang Lam Son. All AustraLasia readers are invited to support them in prayer in preparation for their important step in Salesian consecrated life. Muito Obrigado!

"Before I arrived in Brazil 8 years ago I was asked many times 'Why do you want to be a missionary?' Since that time I learnt many lessons. Yes, Brazil is one of the countries with the most developed economy in Latin-America. Moreover, Brazil has a diverse culture due to the freedom and variety of different religions and cultures which are the main challenges for me to encounter as a young missionary. I'm called to widen my knowledge about many concrete realities of our modern life. I realized that the missionary has a special heart. It means 'leaving and being dedicated to their vocation' by the call within their deepest heart, like the Apostles who were sent by Jesus, their Master, to all the corners and nations of the world to bring God’s love to all people. Jesus Himself said to His disciples in the Last Supper: 'As the Father has sent me, so I send you.' (Jn 20:21). Saint Paul also expresses his sentiment: 'Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.' (1 Cor 9:16). Therefore, my heart is formed by a divine call that I cannot explain, a call that God gives to each one uniquely, especially to me. The missionaries always open their hearts to receive the happiness and sorrows in life from the people for whom they are sent to serve and help for the love of God. For me, it is not that I change or transform their lives but on the contrary, for them, I can change my heart by listening, empathizing, and accompanying them in their daily life. The missionaries do not necessarily do great things or glorify their own benefit but first and foremost, they should be authentic missionaries who have generous hearts, always fulfill their duties joyfully, and totally dedicate themselves to the people for whom God, the Church, and the Salesian Congregation send them.

The missionaries are also the good shepherds present among their sheep in order to accompany and welcome them as their own brothers, as Jesus taught us in His commandment: 'Love one another, just as I love you.' May we become authentic missionaries who live with the honest heart and love them as God loves His Only Son. Finally, the Salesian missionaries love and serve the abandoned children with their hearts, as our Holy Founder talked to his children: 'For you I study; for you I work; for you I live; and for you I am even willing to give my life.' (Constitutions art. 14)"