Society Matters | Volume 28 No. 2 | Winter 2018

7 Volume 28 No. 2 | Winter 2018 visiting people at home and in the nursing home, as well as joining in with choir groups and playing music for the choirs. “From my experiences, I reflect that the challenge for mission and ministry is how to approach people and their world,” he says. “What I did during my time in Macquarie Fields in order to approach people was to use my hobbies and talent. Fortunately, I’ve been given a small talent in music and sport, and I used it in my ministries.” In Melbourne’s Preston Parish, Marius Razafimandimby from Madagascar was involved with the singing ministry and distributing Holy Communion for the elderly parishioners. He says he learned much from his interaction with the parishioners, but also from the older SVD confreres living at the presbytery who shared their missionary lives and insights with him. “My 12 weeks at Preston Parish was a formative experience,” Marius says. “I made friends, we sang Tongan songs in the choir and we visited the elderly members of the Parish and we made them feel that they are not forgotten.” Also in Melbourne, Duc Le, from Vietnam, spent his summer at St Anthony’s Parish, Noble Park and Resurrection Parish, King’s Park, participating in parish activities, visiting people in their homes, nursing homes and hospitals and attending the ACYF in Sydney. He says getting involved with the various groups and connecting with people of various nationalities and ages was a big part of the experience, as was learning from the example of the priests. “Regarding my vocation, through talking to people, they shared that the church needs more religious vocations like mine and they admire that a young man follows this way, because nowadays, not many young men enter religious life. That makes me encouraged.” Seminarian Edward Okletey Teye, from Ghana, completed his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) requirements at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and says it was a great privilege to spend time with people from so many different cultures at a vulnerable time in their life. “The Clinical Pastoral Education offered me a great experience of the hospital pastoral ministry,” he says. “It helped me focus on people’s lived experiences and enlightened me with a deeper awareness of my own lived experiences which I could tap into to give me strength. My most important discovery was that different cultures understand things differently and this has helped me appreciate cultural diversity greatly.” Clement Baffoe, also from Ghana, says his CPE at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, helped him overcome his fear of getting to know people in Australia. “Coming from a culture where one can easily make a friend on a bus or train, I found people here a bit cold, and couldn’t easily approach people in Australia. This really crippled my weekly pastoral ministry because I feared the other. However, in my CPE, I came to realise that rather than the other, I was cold and I was projecting this on to the others. This revelation raised me from my own prison of coldness and now I look at ‘the other’ with a new and corrected eyesight.” NOTE: Formation of young missionaries is a major work of the SVD AUS Province. Donations towards formation are always appreciated, but please be aware that these donations are not tax deductible. Adrianus Mai with parishioners at Macquarie Fields Duc Le with parishioners SVD students at Australian Catholic Youth Festival Edward Teye CPE Graduation

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