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By Cl. Joshua Tarere SDB

Cl. Joshua Tarere, 30 years old, hails from Vunadidir, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. “When I was a child I knew only the diocesan priest in my parish. As a secondary student, I was not in a Salesian school. But thanks to Salesians from Don Bosco Rapolo who came to my parish for Sunday mass, I was inspired by their missionary work. They came to my country to serve the young people. This experience of service and availability to others helped me identify myself with their missionary vocation.”

“During my novitiate, my Novice Master, Fr. Philip Lazatin, encouraged me to discern and clarify my missionary interest. In the Post Novitiate, I continued my discernment with my Rector, Fr. Ramon Garcia, as well as with my spiritual guide, to discover if my desire to be a Salesian missionary is truly a call from God. After a long period of discernment, I finally decided to apply to the Rector Major and make myself available anywhere he would send me to. This I did freely without any pressure from anyone.”

“I am told that I am the first Salesian Melanesian to be a missionary. But to me, this is not important. What is important is my availability to respond with generosity to God’s personal call to me. As a missionary to South Sudan, I have a mixed feelings of fear and courage. The media present all negative images of violence, and displaced people in South Sudan. But, I am also inspired to be courageous because I know fully well that the Lord who has sent me for His mission will surely take care of me. My fears have not overtaken my great desire to serve, to love and to be one with the new culture and people I am sent to.”

As the day of my missionary send-off in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians approaches, I ask God for these two gifts: that I may always be faithful to my Salesian missionary vocation and that God who calls me may also send many new Salesian vocations to my young Vice Province (PGS) who has supported and encouraged me to respond to God’s call to me to be a missionary!”



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