Dear Brothers and Lasallian partners,
Greetings in St. La Salle
With faith in Christ and with a heart filled with joy I share my experiences here in the Philippines.
My deepest gratitude goes first to Almighty God for the health and blessing that I have enjoyed during my four years in Philippines.
Indeed, it is with profound happiness that I express my deepest gratitude to LEAD most especially to Br Edmundo Fernandez FSC and Br. Armin Luistro FSC, who had given me the opportunity to study my Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology in De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, and to Br. Gus Boquer, who has been a source of guidance and encouragement throughout the three years for my studies. In addition, I would also like to extend my gratitude to General Councilor Br. Ricardo Laguda FSC, who has given me the opportunity to be a Staff Formator and to Br. Rey Mejias FSC, who had given me the chance to learn from and be trained as a future formator of the young for the mission.
My role as assistant Director is to help Brother Director in accompanying the novices and teaching some classes. All the time spent in this formation’s house has also enabled me to re-evaluate or re-examine the values of the Religious life of a De La Salle Brother. These values are taught to the novices.
This year was very difficult for all of us, because the novitiate was not as it should be following this Covid pandemic. The novitiate using a framework of cloistered life by its nature, is in sense living doubly confined, strictly following the preventive measures by the local government and respecting the rule of hygiene, physical distancing in the chapel, in the refectory , in the classrooms although the courses are given online. The limiting of the movements in and out of the novitiate was overwhelming. We lived sometimes in moments of stress but by the compassion of God we were able to end our novitiate in kindness. God be praised.
Like Christ, I am also called to go elsewhere for a new mission. Leaving is not always easy. To leave is to feel the sadness of moving away from those I have grown to love. However, in the Lord, despite the sadness, I find comfort in knowing that I will boldly go “wherever I am sent and do whatever is assigned to me”.
Truly, I had a good experience in the Philippines and my heart rejoices to have lived in true fellowship with active Brothers who are filled with ardent zeal to serve others like Christ's compassionate affection towards the poor. In addition, I am inspired by their serious concern to proclaim and live the Word of God while addressing societal issues on social injustices. With these thoughts and sentiments, I am convinced that the learning I have received here will give me the opportunity to improve the way we live the Lasallian Mission in my next community.
My time as a Brother in the Philippines has allowed me to grow spiritually and professionally. With this and with all the fraternal support that I have received, I am always open to future invitations to work for PARC and LEAD since I already consider the Philippines as my second country and the Brothers of the district as my second family. It will also be with great pleasure and happiness in my part, if I will be given the chance to come back and resume face-to-face classes as I finish my PhD program.
As I return to Congo ( DRC) and continue my ministry, my wish for the Lasallian East Asia District, and the Pacific Asia Regional Conference Novitiate is to be able to continue the Mission that our Founder St. John Baptist De La Salle has given us with sustained development and endless service especially to the last, the lost and the least. Rest assured of my prayers for you.
Live Jesus in our hearts! Forever.
Fraternally yours in St. La Salle
Brother Sébastien Sebi Matundu
District of Congo