calling

The greatest calling on earth

Weekender

I AM Sr Basilia Logasae, a missionary sister of the Immaculate and I have been serving in the Amazonas region of Brazil since 2014.
This is my first holiday back in PNG after spending three years in Brazil.  I am filled with joy, great satisfaction and a sense of contentment.
I believe that my missionary life has taught me many things and has widened my vision of my own culture, being exposed to that of a new culture.
I grew up in a staunch Catholic family and the best part of my conscious growing up in the Catholic faith started on Samarai Island in Milne Bay. Dad and Mum were very devoted and active in church activities; Dad assisted the catechist and helped maintain the devotions and religious practices in the community.
When October came around, he would take the whole family to pray the rosary with other Catholic families.
In our early years, Sunday school was a must for us. In the beginning, it was always a struggle for Dad to get us ready for Sunday school because of our lack of interest. In spite of this, he never gave up.
He would wake us up every Sunday morning and send us to church. He continued with this until one day he realised he didn’t need to anymore. We were already taking the lead and going on our own initiative.
The secret behind this was our Sunday school teacher, Jane Norbert.  She was a dedicated and gentle lady, a woman of deep faith, who loved teaching us.  We loved being in her class.  It was she who introduced us to the lives of saints, apparitions of Our Lady and the eucharistic miracles.
I am grateful for the example of the missionaries. The missionary zeal of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) Missionaries has inspired me.   When I was 15 years old, I casually picked up PIME World (A PIME Missionaries publication) to read.  I was indeed inspired and that led me to interact more with the missionaries.
The Lord used His Word to open my heart to choose and embrace the religious and missionary life.
I am grateful to God for this choice.  It brings joy and pride to me, my family and friends.
Although it was a simple reading, God used the reading to call me to be a missionary. While in the missions, I realised that the missionary zeal of the PIME fathers kept them steadfast in their faith in spite of all the hardships and sacrifices.  Often they adjusted painfully to the unexpected, never giving up.
In my mission, the many cultural shocks – the language, the food, the culture, the customs, different types of dressing, ethics – were issues I had to come to terms with.  At times I was discouraged and frustrated.  I then recalled how many joyful and zealous missionaries I knew in my growing-up years, who underwent these same struggles.  The Easter ‘dying and rising’ process is painful, but necessary and valuable.
In August 2015, we, the newly arrived sisters, were taken to a brand new settlement called the City of Lights.  It is a new settlement on the outskirts of Manaus city, the capital of Amazonas, which lies northwest of Brazil.
Since the land and the project were not approved by the government authorities, the whole settlement was destroyed.  All the buildings that one saw were destroyed.
This sight is also common in PNG, where people move to the big city in search of a better life.  Our task is to give these displaced people hope and try to help them open up avenues for a brighter future.
Although missionary life can be challenging, it also is one of those most rewarding as I acquire a new family, learn a new language, form a new family and live in a new community.
Perhaps the Lord is inviting you.  Know that when he calls, he will also sustain you.
Pray that I will live a good and inspiring life, as I reach out in love and service.  Above all we are brothers and sisters because of the same heavenly father who cares for each of us.

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