By Bro Emilio Mossa, sss, and Bro Louis Ndione, sss
We joined the International Scholasticate in Sri Lanka in June 2017. This brief account is to share the immense experiences we have received at this Scholasticate.
Called to witness the love of God manifested in the Eucharist, we all are aware of the various challenges of our time. The Eucharist unites us in one family, sharing the joy of living in a community of brothers. This is a great Joy, which strengthens our zeal and passion for the Eucharist mission. Today it is no secret that the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament needs to move beyond the limits of culture, race, nation, and color in order to respond to its vocation and charism all over the world. This is what prompts the culture of internationality which has become a real challenge for all of us. It is also a practical chance for generations because it will offer them the possibility to exchange deeper experiences and to encounter people of various cultures, in all their richness and diversity. It may be called as the “faith exile” like Jacob on his way.
The aspect of internationality is real and blessed. We have been given the chance to experience it away from our own home-town, parents, relatives, culture, belongings, from one continent to another and from different countries. In fact, we can say we have found a new family: a community of brothers in the Blessed Sacrament Scholasticate in Sri Lanka. In this Scholasticate, we have two formators and eleven brothers including both of us Bro. Emilio Mossa from Mozambique and Bro Louis Ndione from Senegal. We also have among the eleven brothers, a Rogationist from India and a Jesuit from Sri Lanka. We are a community of four nationalities: Sri Lankan, Indian, Mozambican and Senegalese. However this is not just a simple community, but a family where we all are, despite our differences, cultures, languages, races, colors, moved by the one spirit: the love of Jesus in the Eucharist. We can just call it “unity in diversity” it’s a great joy to live the Eucharistic love in this kind of family. There will always be life where the Eucharistic Jesus is adored and glorified.
We must be truthful, however, in saying that it was hard for us at the very beginning of our journey to deal with the languages, the culture, and the food. Nevertheless, we were given the necessary support which encouraged our efforts and helped us on this journey. We worked hard on our theological studies. We are grateful to the Province of Christ the Bread of Life of Sri Lanka and all its members, for the help provided to us in order to sustain our experience. We treasure with grateful hearts Very Rev. Fr. Dilan Fernando, sss, the Provincial Superior for all the initiatives and support extended in realizing this vision of the present General and his team. We are also thankful to our formators Fr. Justin Chawkan, sss, the Director and Fr. Sunil Rupasinghe, sss, who stand for all the exigencies of our integral formation.
Even though the fear of encountering others is part of the human condition, we are convinced that there is something greater than fear within us and it is the love of Jesus. The tendency to claim our belonging and origins may be within us but the beauty of the Christian faith is that we are all children of one Father, God and through baptism, we are united as a single family all over the world. This is what makes us strong and open to the challenges and to overcoming them. It also makes our journey rich in experience and more meaningful. So, the Eucharist is none other than the ability to be open to others, to accept them and to share this love with all our fellowmen. As consecrated people, we do not choose our brothers but God by His call chooses brothers for us along the way of our journey and experience. This is all about the zeal and passion of the Eucharist mission.