The four-week Course for the neo missionaries is about to begin here in the Generalate. It is good that we get to know some of the former EAO participants of this intensive course offered by the Missions Department.
From the big number of the missionaries coming from Vietnam who had attended this course, one of them is Fr Joseph Dat Manh Nguyen SDB. He was asked by the Missions Department to help Fr Alfred Maravilla SDB organize and run this course for the new missionaries.
Six years ago, as a young cleric, Fr Joseph attended this course, received his Missionary cross with a mandate to go to Turkey. After the course however, he went first to Milan to help as practical trainee in the school for two years, learning more the Italian language. He then continued his theological studies in Crocetta-Turin. Last May 31, he was ordained priest in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians.
During his theological studies, his weekend apostolate for three years was with the Filipino community of Turin, with Fr John Benna SDB as their pastor. It was only in his last year of theology that he had the chance to stay during the summer vacation in Istanbul, so that he could practice the Turkish Language. Later on, after helping in this course, he might really start to stay in Turkey and serve the youth there.
Missionary life is not always about being immediately settled in our places of destination. Many times, there is a period of prolonged waiting in order to enter a mission teritory, to obtain a visa, or to finish a requirement or many other assignments. Indeed, the missionary life is more of the journey towards God and the others- anywhere, rather than achieving a far-off destination to arrive at.