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By Br. Marcelino Ximenes

Paranaque, the Philippines, but from TLS Vice-province, 1 September 2020 -- Honestly, I grew up in the Salesian environment. I knew the Salesians from my childhood but I didn’t clearly know the two forms of the Salesian vocation. I had no desire to become a Salesian because it was not clear to me during my childhood.

I came to know better about the two forms of Salesian vocation when I was in the Don Bosco Agriculture School, Fuiloro. There I met Salesians both Clerical and Brothers. By knowing them personally I was not attracted to the Salesian clerical vocation. But I was happy and still very happy with my Salesian Brother vocation.

I have met some senior Salesian Brothers like: Br. Jose Ribeiro, Br. Marcal Lopez, Br. Adriano de Jesus, and some other model confreres, full of wisdom. All of them are good examples for me, but I really admire Br. Jose Ribeiro. People love him very much, especially in the places where he worked as a catechist. He was a great missionary. Br. Jose died when I was in Post-novitiate. His death was so peaceful and he was so happy as a Salesian Brother! He loved people of my country with all his strength, and during his whole long life in Timor Leste. This is what moved my heart!

I was sent for practical training for three years in two different communities, Fuiloro for one year and Fatumaca for another two years. After all the happiest and joyful moments in practical training I was told by my Provincial to come here in Parañaque – Sandor community for Pastoral Theology.

We do Theology here and also have had so many opportunities to enrich ourselves. Since our community is an international community, therefore without question we are enriched by other different cultures. I am so lucky to live with my companions who are so gifted, so skilful and full of wisdom. They have assisted me day by day. Here also I have prepared myself well for perpetual profession.

The most striking moment for me was to say my final ‘Yes to God’ following the footsteps of our Father and founder Saint John Bosco. As Salesian Brother I realize that ‘We have complementary functions’ and help each other according to Constitution art 45. I am aware that pastoral objectives are achieved through unity and joint brotherly responsibility of both Salesian Priests and Salesian Brothers. My confreres help me to answer Yes to God and to remain with Him, within a community living the family spirit. And I know God will take care of me, and the community will support me. God is the Vine and "we are the branches; cut off from the vine we are nothing” (cf. Jn 15:1-17).

What makes me most happy as a Salesian Brother? – “That I don’t feel any inferiority among the confreres in the community but we journey together towards the Salesian style of holiness”.









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