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"I was graced to meet many Salesian missionaries"

By Cl. Mbanu David

Rome, 31 December 2019 --

How did your Faith and Salesian vocation journey begin?

I was graced to be born into a Catholic home and like every good Christian family in Nigeria, I was initiated into the life and practices of the Catholic Christian community. So I would say that it is a faith I received from my parents but also one I have grown to take responsibility of because of my personal conviction in what I believe in which was made possible through my encounter with Christ in the Eucharist. As regards to my Salesian vocation journey, it all started from my days of studies in the Salesian high school. During the course of my studies, I encountered Salesians for the first time and I was attracted my their simplicity and their closeness to the young people. I felt so welcomed and at home that I didn't have to miss home much. But funny enough during those moments I never thought of becoming a priest or a brother the only thing I ever wanted was to stay with the Salesians. So after my studies, with the guidance of the Rector whom I shared with, I started the discernment process.

What do you bring with you from the vibrant Catholic community of Nigeria?

The Church in Nigeria is indeed a vibrant Church with so many young people who are willing to serve God and devoted to the teachings of their faith. Its a passionate Church that longs to bring Christ to everyone and everywhere. So it is this passion that I bring with me. A passion that unites, a passion that draws everyone to Christ, and a passion that extends the love of Christ, the Good shepherd, to all. And more importantly, I bring the Christ in me to the young people of Mongolia.

What do you appreciate most in the Salesian Mission in your homeland?

The Salesian mission in Nigeria has been one of the best things that have happened to many youngsters in the country. The presence of the Salesians in Nigeria has been a blessing to many youngsters. I appreciate so much, their closeness to the young, their openness and willingness to assist the young, the family and welcoming spirit they create and most especially their simplicity of life. The Salesian way of life has drawn so many young people to them and has also won the trust of many parents who aren't Catholics. The witness of the Salesians in Nigeria has not only improved the lives of many youngsters but it has also presented Christ to the young people in a very unique way. Such that each encounter with a Salesian leaves and imprint of joy and hope.

How did you discern the Salesian missionary vocation ad gentes?

I would say that I was graced to have met many good Salesian missionaries who through their lives have planted in me the desire of total abandonment to God. I nurtured the desire since my pre-novitiate, when I got to the novitiate, I spoke to my novice master about it and he was really supportive. He encoyraged me and ask that I pray over it and also read some materials about the Salesian missionary dimension of which I did. Getting to the post- novitiate, I continued the discernment process with my Rector who gave me some materials to read. Not forgetting my spiritual director who kept inspiring me and guiding me to make a good discernment. I also spoke to some Salesian missionaries in my province about what I feel and they helped me to understand better what it means to be a missionary. While I was trying to understand what I feel, I spent a good time in prayer and meditation listening to myself and to what God wants from me. At the end with the aid of all the good people around me , I will say God's saints, I was able to make the decision and apply to go for the missions.

Any expectations or dreams about your mission land of Mongolia?

As of when I received my mission destination, I knew little about Mongolia so then I started to read many articles and I discovered that Mongolians are really good and welcoming people with many rich cultural heritage. However, I will admit to the fact that I was a. bit scared at first precisely due to the weather but on a second thought, I said to myself that I didn't send myself to Mongolia, God did and since He is incorrect, I have no fear that He will make things work for good. Over the past few months I have imagined a lot about Mongolia but I have only two expectations: the first is to be able to pick up the language as soon as I can and my second expectation is so dear to me and that is to encounter Christ with the youngsters in Mongolia. I am very excited to be joining the Vietnam-Mongolia province and I am also happy to be a member of the EAO region. May God Bless the Salesian Mission in Mongolia. God Bless all the EAO Confreres and most especially our Chief animator Fr Vaclav Klement.






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