MONTREAL, Canada - The congregation asked me to join the Montfortian Mission in Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a young religious in 2012, a year after my ordination to the priesthood. My mission experience outside my country started in the Philippines where I learned English and prepared to get a visa to enter PNG. I arrived in PNG on September 2013. I served there as a Parish Priest of Daru for 5 years.
At the end of this enriching experience, our congregation offered me another mission at the Sanctuary of Mary Queen of All Hearts in Montreal, Canada. When I received an email from Father General, I had more doubt than confidence. I needed to make the necessary adjustments because this is a change from one extreme to another. During that time, many questions were left unanswered including what I am going to do there. Without finding any response to all these queries, through prayers, I had launched myself into a YES (FIAT), trusting that this is God’s call for me. It was not easy to leave knowing the fact that there were still many things to do in Papua. In fact, my parishioners were crying but I firmly believed that this is God’s will for me, through my superior.
I arrived here in Montreal on the 3rd of July. Father Georges Madore, SMM, the Provincial of Canada, welcomed me at the airport with great joy and enthusiasm. Here at the Sanctuary, our community is composed mainly of elder confreres but still active. They gave me a warm brotherly welcome. They are old missionaries who have many experiences. Now, I am in a country with a long catholic tradition, together with my brothers who have so much missionary experiences and with my youthfulness and enthusiasm, I make myself available at the service of the Lord. I consider this place as a favorable environment to continue to grow as Montfortian according to the dream of Father de Montfort: “Liberos: men as free as the clouds that sail high above the earth, filled with the dew of heaven, and moving, without let or hindrance, according to the inspiration of the Spirit. They are included among those whom the prophet had in mind when he asked: qui sunt isti qui sicut nubes volant? Ubi erat impetus spiritus illuc gradiebantur, What men are these who move like clouds in the sky, wherever the Spirit leads them?” (Prayer for Missionaries No. 9).
Without me fully aware of everything, the Lord has called me to leave the ‘Land of the Unexpected’ (PNG) to the ‘City of Festival’ (Montreal). There are many festivals in Montreal but more than that, everyday is a feast: feast to be together among brothers; feast to share faith and joy with the persons who come to our Sanctuary, the joy of the Gospel and the joy to be a Montfortian Missionary – a fruit of a free YES to God.
Fr. Doris Sullivano Tombaosa, SMM