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25 years of Religious Life

21/02/2013: Philippines - Photo gallery

TheNotre Dame of Marbel University, a Marist school in Koronadal City, Philippines, has put its jovial mood to celebrate the 25 years of religious life of Brother Mitsuaki, volunteering for AD GENTES, in 11th February 2013. It was a wonderful initiative undertaken by the Community and of the group of his English teachers.

A solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist, as called upon by the occasion, was held with more than 60 people invited plus some college students. Some Brothers and lay people coming from the different schools of the Marist Brothers of the island of Mindanao also came to grace the occasion. Everything ended up with a festive dinner party where Filipino special food and sweets were served.

At the end of the Eucharist, Brother Mitsuaki addressed the assembly with a beautiful speech of 3 pages. He did it in perfect English. The following passages are extracts from the speech.

Dear Father, Brothers and Sisters, Teachers and Students:

I cannot talk about my Marist life without referring to my family. I was born in a Christian family. My parents, sisters, and brothers were all born in Japan. They responded to a call from God to leave their land and go as missionaries in a foreign country (Bolivia), which was totally different from where they came from.

I met the Marist Brothers when I was 15. I entered the Marist High School in my city. I was used to speaking Japanese and Spanish, and to studying with colleagues from the countryside. But the level of education in the Marist School was very demanding, very high. I faced a lot of difficulties with the language.

On the last day of classes, the principal of the school called me into his office. After a conversation of about twenty minutes, he invited me to become a Marist Brother. I just answered him with a question: "Will you give me one week to think about it?"

At the end of the week I gave my final decision. I took the bike, and I went to tell Brother Director, "Yes, I’ll become a Marist Brother." I have experienced the Light of the Lord, and since then that light never went out on me. It was November 7, 1984.

I’d like to thank the brothers, the teachers, and the students of this university. The President of the Notre Dame of Marbel University, Br. Willy, Brother Superior of the community, Br. Chris, and Brother Provincial, Br. Manny de Leon, have accepted us here to learn English.

I can summarize my 25 years as a Marist Brother in a few words: trust in the Lord, listen to the Lord.  Thank you to all of you for gathering around me here today to give thanks to God for my Silver Jubilee as a Marist Brother. Thanks for welcoming me in your land, in your beautiful country. We are all members of the same Marist family.

Thank you and God bless.

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