Italy – Listening to the voices of missionaries: Fr. Roger Mbayo Mukadi, departing with 153rd Salesian Missionary Expedition

20 September 2022

(ANS - Castelnuovo Don Bosco) – Today, in the second interview with the Salesians departing with the 153rd Salesian Missionary Expedition we meet Roger Mbayo Mukadi, a Salesian priest, Congolese, 35 years old, radically belonging to the "Mary Most Holy Assumption" Province of Central Africa (ACF). With previous missionary service experience behind him at Palabek, the refugee center operating in Uganda, he is now set to work with and for young people in Venezuela.

You had your ‘missionary experience’ in Palabek for some years. What inspired you to apply to the Rector Major to become a missionary?

After my ordination, at that time my Provincial Superior asked me to go and serve in Palabek. There I met Jesus in the poorest and most vulnerable young people. This deeply forged my missionary heart and definitely I decided to open my heart for a permanent mission Ad gentes, Ad exteros and Ad vitam.

How did your family members, friends, and confreres react when you told them about your missionary vocation?

Honestly, it was very difficult, because there was a feeling of a big separation. It was a delicate moment, emotionally and psychologically. But in the end some took it as the will of God and some others still need time to understand it. Hopefully, they will understand one day.

How are you preparing to be a missionary in Venezuela? Are you happy about the place where you are going? Have you any fears and inhibitions about the new place, culture, and people?

I am trying to make my heart ready. To forget the experience I had in Palabek will take some time surely. Because I gave my first years as a priest there. And this means a lot for me and my young priesthood time. I have a kind of opposite feelings, happy and sad. Happy that I will make my desire and dream true. But sad because I am leaving behind people who really love me, a Salesian community of Palabek that gave me a place in their hearts. Concerning my new mission in Venezuela, after getting some news from different people and reading some articles on the social media, I am a little bit nervous inside me to see whether I will make it or not. I hope that with the help of Mary Help of Christians, things will move on.

Have you in mind any model of some great missionaries whose style and life you want to follow?

During my moment of practical training, I met the story of one Korean missionary in my land of mission at the time (Fr John Lee). Seeing what he left in the hearts of young people in a so short time of his life, definitely, was a very strong interpellation for my own donation to God and to the poor.

What is your message for young people about missionary vocation?

No to be afraid. No one is perfect and there is always room for the grace of God in our life. God still wants us the way we are to take His love around the world.

InfoANS

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