From the “Land of the Unexpected” to the “City of Festivals”

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From the “Land of the Unexpected” to the “City of Festivals”

Montfort News
Published by Fr. Doris Sullivano Tombaosa, SMM in Canada · 2 August 2019
Tags: NUCAN558
[FR]  [ES]

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

Brian Harrington
02 Aug 2019
Dear Father Tombaosa,
Your story of arrival in Montreal is very moving. I am a former US Province professed Montfort seminarian. I departed voluntarily in 1965 but have remained in contact with my former confreres, many of whom went on to ordination and lifetimes of devoted work as Montfort missionaries.
You may be aware that the US Province sprung from the Canadian Province early in the 20th century. Sadly, in recent years, new vocations have all but disappeared in both provinces and elder confreres comprise the majority of those who remain.
Your acceptance of this new assignment and your trust that this is God's call to you is a most inspiring indication of your dedication to the dream of Father DeMontfort. I have every confidence that you will be welcomed and accepted by all of the Canadian faithful and their descendents who have benefited from the labors of the missionaries who preceded you. I pray that God may bless your efforts and generously reward you for the trust you have placed in Him.

Brian Harrington
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