|Fr. Manoj, SVD|
I waited 15 years to reach to the altar of the Lord and having reached to my goal, I was sent to a distant land which half of the world population do not know where it is because on the global map it is just but a dot: Timor Leste as it is known in Potuguese, one of the newest countries in the world. There have been many wonderful experinces which I could enumerte here but the one which is the best so far that I would like to share here is that: my first Easter celebration as priest.
During the Holy Week, I had an opportunity to give my priestly assitence in Hatolia, a parish of Dili diocese in Ermera district. From the passion Sunday until Easter I was there. I could never forget the love and care showed to me by the parish priest, and especially by the faithfuls in two stations Sare and Manusae. The parish priest Father Natalino de Jesus asked me to celebrate Easter with the people in Manusae. I was accompanied by one religious sister and three Seminarians. Many people participated in the mass. I will ever cherish the memories of my presence in Manusae. I remember everyday walking on foot through the woods, climbing up the mountains crossing the rivers fooded with heavy flow of water and walking across through the ponti (bamboo bridge). But what was even more amazing that I never heard any complaining word from them. Moreover once the mass would be over they accompanied me down the mountains until I reached the residence of the parish.
|Fr Manoj with the youth in Ermera|
Just a few months since I arrived in Timor Leste but I have already discovered the love of the people towards the religious missionaries and priests. Another thing that I enjoyed was simple food which they offered me. Though food was not very spicy like I used to eat in my home country but tasty indeed because blended with love. I ate whatever they provided though certain dishes I never ate in India but here I have basically tasted everything which is otherwise considered taboo, holy or dirty else where.
The memories of Easter 2014 will ever remain alive with me.
I thank God for choosing me to be a missionary in Timor Leste.
Though my new country has various problems but I am positive that with the time everything will be in place. (Fr. Manoj, SVD)