Comoro, Dili, Timor-Leste, 7 September 2022 -- A former Muslim will now be 'with Don Bosco forever' as of 8 September. The following are his responses to a series of interview questions.
How were you attracted to follow Jesus?
I was interested in following the Lord Jesus at the beginning when I studied at a vocational high school at Don Bosco Fatumaca. I was originally a Muslim, because I came from a Muslim family. My father is Indonesian and my mother is from Timor Leste. The call to follow the Lord Jesus grew in me while living in Fatumaca for three years, and when I was in grade 3 I dared to express my desire to become a follower of the Lord Jesus and also wanted to become a Salesian in the future. The rector of the Don Bosco Fatumaca community at that time was Father Virgilio do Carmo da Silva (present Archbishop of Dili and Cardinal). With his gaze as a father and a friend like Don Bosco, I was guided to receive catechesis to prepare to receive the Sacrament of Baptism, the Sacrament of Holy Communion and also the Sacrament of Confirmation on the day of Pentecost in Fatumaca.
Your Salesian vocation story?
My vocational motivation to become a Salesian brother was related to my interest in the Salesian Brother's way of life, giving their life to the young as consecrated educators. Especially when I saw the Brothers who worked in the workshops, for example Brother Carlos Gamba. I made my first profession in 2013.
What makes you happy as a Salesian Brother?
What makes me happy as a Salesian Brother is that in the Salesian Congregation, both the Priests - pastors and Brothers complement each other in carrying out one mission for the salvation of the souls of young people. My formation experience during in Jakarta really helped me in preparing myself as a Brother, namely experience in the world of (technical) education.
What did you learn during your years of specialization studies in Jakarta?
My experience in education is mechanical engineering education where I learned many things to become an educator. Not only that, I could also interact a lot with many young people in Jakarta who are mostly Muslim. I also learned a lot about religious tolerance in Indonesia. All of these experiences have made me steady in living my calling as a Salesian Brother. Despite the academic challenges I experienced, I was strengthened that all challenges must pass “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” (Phil. 4; 13).
What is your personal project of life when you are ready for the perpetual profession?
I have decided to move forward to give my life to God completely because I am grateful to God who has been faithful to me. God's faithfulness is the reason for my faithful response to him to want to stay alive in the Salesian Congregation. I want to be his disciple, sharing the good news with young people, especially the poorest, wherever and whenever I am sent. My personal life is to always be grateful for the grace of the vocation God has given to my life and continue to be a sign of God's love for every one especially for the young people who need the charism of Don Bosco.
NB: The Perpetual profession of Salesian Brother Joazinho (32 years) takes place on September 8, 2022 in Timor Leste, Viceprovince of Saint Callistus Caravario.