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This past week we, the Claretian community celebrated the feast of our father founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret (October 24th). How do you celebrate a man that continues to inspire men and women over the world? We are in 65 countries and growing, with 3,000 men religious, and 1500 women religious serving over a million people in the world. In our tradition, a saint is celebrated on the day he or she dies but here in the delegation of Indonesia-Timor Leste (a delegation is a mini-province), we actually celebrated the life of Claret all month long at our seminaries/houses of formation. It...
Often when you begin to teach a class or join a new group, you spend some time learning names, you make games and activities to learn new names.  When you go to a new country, especially one on the other side of the world, you hear many names that you have never heard of before.  Indonesia is no different. For me, almost all the names were names I had never heard before.  I would like to share the simple beauty I found in the new names (please forgive that they are all just men’s names, but I am using the names of my students and brothers in Indonesia, all of whom are men.)...
Catholic Life in AsiaFor the last year I have been living as a Claretian member in the independent delegation of Indonesia-Timor Leste.  This delegation (a delegation is a small province) is in two countries- Indonesia and Timor Leste.  The experience of Catholic life in these two countries is like the difference between night and day.  In Timor Leste, which was colonized by the Portuguese, the Catholic church is practically the only church, (about 95% of the population.)  The positive side of this is that the people are united not only in their citizenship but also...
A letter to a young missionaryThis past month the Delegation of Indondesia -Timor Leste sent on mission two of its theology students, who were also two of my best English students.  Whereas most missionaries are not sent on mission until after perpetual profession (final vows) or ordination, these young men are being sent on mission while they are still students.  I, too, as a student have been sent on mission, but their assignment is different.  They will become members of the new delegation of Uganda-Tanzania, whereas I will come back to the United States at some point in the...
Marian ReflectionOften many Christians from the Protestant churches criticize Catholics and our relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Many Protestants accept Mary was the mother of Jesus, but they are unable to see that God chose her to be our model and teacher as well.  We can see the importance of her role for all humanity if we look at Mary’s first appearance in the Scriptures in Luke 1:28-38, in an event called throughout Christian history, the Annunciation.  Catholics understand how important the Annunciation is to the salvation history of humanity and have made it...
My Exotic LifeAt the same time that I have been sharing my life in mission through these blogs, I have been sharing some of my daily experiences with my friends and family on Facebook.  One reply that I keep getting when I describe my life is “how exotic!”  When I hear this comment, I aIways smile inside as I have never thought of my life in Asia as “exotic.”  I have lived in many other places in my life and even in other countries, but my life has never been described as “exotic” as much as it is now.  I do think of my life as new and different here and some days, it is...
 

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