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(ANS – Rome) – Today we give the first interview of the missionaries attending the preparation course using the questions forwarded by readers of ANS. Through four questions we can come to know better Fr Enri Clemente Leigman, a Brazilian priest heading for the West United States Province to minister to Hispanic immigrants.
What will be the Good News you will be taking this year to your mission?
The good and the always new news is that God in His generosity as Father never forgets any people. It is always God who sends missionaries around the world. We have to let Him do His work. We have to trust ourselves to Him!
What does the word “home” mean to you”?
It’s the place where we are made welcome. Feeling at home means feeling part of the family, sharing the joys, the sorrows, the hopes, the uncertainties, the fears … It is the place where “you feel human warmth.” I am leaving my home, – my Province which has always, welcomed, listened to and protected me, helped me to grow, and I am leaving for another that i only know through news items, magazines, internet. A leap in the dark? Oh no! It is with the hope-certainty that “Saint Andrew” Province (of the West Unites States, ed) won’t be any different.
How do you feel about leaving your homeland, your Province, Brazil?
I feel a little bit afraid! When I was told my destination, my transfer from the Saint Pius X Province of Brazil Porto Alegre to the Province of the West United States, directly by the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Adriano Bregolin, in order to work with immigrants, I must confess I shed a tear or two. I am a bit afraid, yes, but I am going with courage and with faith! I also feel grateful. I am grateful to my Province , for the welcome it has given me since 1986 and for the formation it has given me; I thank my Salesian brothers for the friendship we have shared and I thank my present Salesian community of Massaranduba and my dear parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that I shall certainly greatly miss. God gave me the joy of celebrating the centenary of the parish with the people who are very dear to me. I really thank everyone. And I also take this opportunity to ask forgiveness for my mistakes. And now, “Saint Andrews” is waiting for me.
What are you expectations in taking up yor new mission in the United States?
I believe that another home is waiting for me. As in Brazile there are “brothers” awaiting my arrival. I’m going without any great expectations apart from learning the language, the customs, getting to know the people. Is anything more needed? It will take a lifetime. Language is the key to a culture. I have to learn to speak English and Spanish. Time will tell what is necessary.
Those who are interested in interviewing the missionaries, can still send their questions to the ANS Office: email@example.com