PONTCHÂTEAU, France - The Montfortian presence in Europe has a long history, rich in spiritual and missionary fruits. Today, this history continues with the presence of confreres from other countries coming on mission. It is a missionary collaboration within the Congregation that fits into the wake of the best Montfortian tradition in response to the challenges of the new evangelization in Europe.
Let us enter into the spirit of this missionary collaboration by listening to all those confreres who share their first steps in Europe in a series of articles bearing the title of "Montfort EurHope", in preparation for the Montfortian Continental Year 2020, dedicated to the Montfortian mission in Europe.
We start this series of articles with the self-presentation of Fr. Willy SELMAN, SMM, from Indonesia, who arrived in France in 2018.
I am Fr. Willibrordus Krista Selman, SMM and I was ordained in 2012. After my ordination, I served a parish for a year in the Diocese of Sintang, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. I finished my service there in 2013. From 2013 to 2017, I became a Superior of the Montfortian Community in Putussibau. There, with all the members of the community, we planned, organized, and did some montfortian mission programs. I was then a teacher too. I taught Art subject in a Catholic Senior High School in Putussibau, West Kalimantan.
In 2017, the congregation asked me to come to France. As a missionary, I didn’t have any reason to refuse it. Hence, I accepted my new mission. However, it was important for me to prepare myself first before I go to France. For that reason, I went to the Philippines to learn English for three months (5 January 2018-11 April 2018). I didn’t find any difficulties when I studied English because I have started to learn the language since Junior High School.
I arrived in France on June 2, 2018. That time, I cannot speak French. So, I started studying the language for two months in St. Laurent Sur-Sevre and then I continued in Angers for another two months. I would like to say thank you to the Father Provincial of France who helped me in this preparation. I know it’s not easy to learn other languages but I have to do it.
Since the end of October 2018, I have stayed in the Montfort International Community of Pontchâteau. I am enjoying my life here while learning so many new things. I have also started to participate in the community programs. Every Thursday, I help Bro. Jean during choir rehearsals in preparation for the Sunday mass. Sometimes, I play the guitar, the organ or sape (one of the traditional music of Indonesia). I am also happy because I can celebrate mass now, not only in the community, but also in the big chapel on Sundays.
I need to be patient in going to many missions outside because I don’t have a driver’s license yet. I am currently taking a driving course and hoping to get my license this year.
As a missionary, I am always optimistic that I can do my mission here to the best of my ability. I firmly believe that with the prayers of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, Marie Louise of Jesus, and the protection of the Virgin Mary, I will be able to do it.
Fr. Willibrordus Krista Selman, SMM