by Bro. Jose Lemuel Nadorra, CSsR
Goings and Comings
Last February 17, 2016 was another momentous day for SATMI. Seven of our Redemptorist brothers namely: Ronald Balase, C.Ss.R. (VP-Manila), Eric Sevencruz, C.Ss.R., Kenneth Gallamaso, C.Ss.R. (Cebu Province), Aruna Jayan, C.Ss.R., Amila Pathum, C.Ss.R., Jude Perera, C.Ss.R., and Kasun Dananjaya, C.Ss.R. (Region of Colombo), were among the fourteen (14) SATMI students who were officially “sent-off” to their respective mission areas for the SATMI Immersion Year 2016-2017.
As a freshman in SATMI, I cannot help but feel excited for them. It was like witnessing that moment when Jesus sent the twelve apostles and the disciples out to their first mission; that sense of “divine excitement and adventure” can give you goosebumps!
These courageous, young men, being sent into the world like “sheep among wolves” (or perhaps vultures, crocodiles, piranhas….), will soon face the challenges and perils ahead of them. The challenge of denying oneself from the comfort of one’s home, to becoming a “resident alien” in the world, all these for the sake of proclaiming God’s plentiful redemption.
Surely, we will miss these guys and we continue praying for their safety. Like the empty tomb in the Passion story, these guys will be physically absent from us but this will only affirm the value of their presence with us. But the Passion story does not end there, for the empty tomb brought us to the truth of the resurrection; and this year, the five SATMI Immersionists sent last year namely, Edward Allan Pandaan, C.Ss.R., Mark Anthony Benedicto, C.Ss.R., Christopher Sta.Ana, C.Ss.R., Kokiat Deesri, C.Ss.R., and Dan Kevin Solayao, OFM, will soon be “resurrected” in our midst, bringing home with them a plethora of stories and experiences, which I believe, had and will have a profound impact in their lives as missionaries. In short, they come back with “new life” in them.
These “comings” and “goings” will always be part of the exciting dynamism of SATMI. As the new immersionists will soon empty themselves in their mission areas, becoming vulnerable, yet strengthened by the power of God’s message in their lives, so will our “returnees” come home, fresh from being immersed in the constantly unfolding adventures of the world. Their “resurrection” in SATMI will hopefully bring new insights, new hope, new life, not only for themselves but for the whole institution. These courageous guys and their witness, their lives, will become and have become the Gospel itself. Just like the Passion story, the empty tomb had brought confusion and awe to Jesus’ disciples, yet it also brought them hope of the Gospel truth and the promise of eternal life.