How did the three years spent at the international post-novitiate of Moshi in Tanzania prepare you?
I can say with certainty that they've allowed me to grow and be strengthened in various areas: human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral. In the Moshi community we were over 60 Salesians, so we needed great fraternal care and close collaboration in everyday life.
Not everything was as easy as I thought it would be: one day I was happy for some good academic achievement; the next day maybe I was feeling down or disappointed or angry at seeing behavior I could not agree with.
However, I understand that Jesus does not want things I cannot give Him; all He says to me is: "Come with me as you are, regardless of how poor and poorly equipped you are; just bring me what you have. Little as it may be, I shall use it."
One of your novitiate companions, the cleric Abut, will follow an almost opposite path to yours: from Kenya he will go missionary ad gentes in Japan. How do you feel?
I'm excited about the news. In Japan he will be able to meet people who are dedicated to money, profit, career, pleasure and power ... I'd like him to be compassionate with them too, share their suffering. In my view, Japan needs the merciful love of Christ more than ever. Many people feel empty, the gap between the rich and the poor grows, and 20,000 people commit suicide every year. If Abuto will be willing to put himself into the hands of the Lord, he can bring love, peace, and joy to the hearts of people, especially the youngest.
Do you want to send a message to the children of the Salesian Youth Movement or the Salesian aspirants of Japan?
I admire them, first of all. When I was a student in Japan, I did not think about religion or devote myself to others, I felt prone to seeking nothing but success. Instead, they have already perceived the great mystery of the Christian vocation. I hope that, through the intercession of Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco, we can all be closer to Jesus in the midst of the needy we meet every day.