I am fine and well here in Borgerhout community as we start to settle in the diocese of Antwerp and we are also looking for a house to move to. This is our plan for the new intercultural community. Even though it’s cold here, I am managing ways to adapt to the weather such as walking, playing football or accompanying Br Ludo on our bicycle. The community here consists of 11 priests and 2 brothers. We have prayers and Mass together and now Clement and I are celebrating Mass in Dutch.
There are 4 of us, Mark is Belgian, Martin from Cameroon, Clement from India and me. Fr Martin is already in a parish and we are trying to work together to create a vision as we usually come together on Monday or Tuesdays depending on Martin’s availability. Fr Mark did his pastoral there in Fiji. He helped out in Chevalier hostel and also with Fr Kusitino in St Anns, Napuka.
We have visited places here as in which areas we would do our mission effectively. The Bishop was open to us as he said that we have our charism already that should be our base in trying to find ways in reaching out to those in need.
We just had a session with a facilitator which we visited and we really came out with ideas to work on in trying to put together our vision.
Mark will be doing prison ministry, Clement and I are looking at the young people here as we try to find ways possible to reach out to them and we have some ideas already. We managed to make friends through sports and music.
I have just finished 1.1 Dutch course on 8th November and 1.2 Dutch course just finished on 24th January. I have done well so far even though I did not do well when I started at Linguapolis for Dutch class. The language here is not easy and I just manage to follow through slowly. Now I am doing classes at CVO Vitant for Dutch course. I have done integration class already which is connected with the history of Belgium. Now I am going to do the speaking class which started on Tuesday 2nd February.
We as the new Intercultural Community are also journeying with the Open Heart Movement which is the same as the Lay Associates there in the Pacific Province. We have join them in a few occasions such as weekends, meetings and city walk and activities.
We were also privileged to be visited by our General Superior and his colleagues and managed to share with him our progress as a new Intercultural Community. He was happy to meet us and with our mission here.