2023-12-28 EAST TIMOR

Aspirancy Program concludes in Baucau

For the past five months, 11 candidates to the Marist Religious Life from Timor Leste, from the Province Star of the Sea, have participated in the first stage of Marist initial formation in Baucau. The group has included a variety of young men from across Timor-Leste. Each aspirant brought his culture, language and gifts to the group, along with good questions and an openness to learn about the vocation of a Marist Brother.

Throughout the past five months a solid formation and study program have helped them to experience the Marist way of life. Studies in Scripture, Sacraments, Marist Pedagogy, spirituality, psychology and human development, life of the Founder, youth ministry (pastoral) and basic technology have provided them with a good grounding in the fundamental areas of learning, and weekly pastoral work at St Mary’s school for hearing and speaking impaired children has allowed them to work with children with special needs.

The spiritual formation has included daily Mass and prayer, regular accompaniment, weekly choir for Tuesday morning Portuguese mass in the Cathedral, Friday evening Adoration, reflection mornings and a 3-day retreat.

Gradually, the individuals molded well to become a cohesive and inspiring group of aspirants. Their love of music and natural capacity to laugh and enjoy each other’s company and get to know the Baucau Brothers made the program a positive experience. Given the growing number of professed Timorese Brothers back in country, the aspirants were also able to observe the potential for Marist religious life among their own countrymen.

At the end of the program, eight aspirants have written to the Provincial, asking to take the next step as postulants, with letters of support from their formators. They have now received their letter of confirmation from Br Peter Carroll.

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