Recently, our community in the Philippines has celebrated two significant events which bring joy to all of us. On 13 June, 2021, Luan Ngo Quang, 27 years old from Vietnam, and Nikko Certeza Añain, 28 years old, from the Philippines, have started their novitiate year. Then, on 30 June, 2021, which, of course, is our Foundation Day, Br. Linh Tran, 30 years old from Vietnam and Br. Rush Nymuel Tinhay, 34 years old from the Philippines, have finished their novitiate and have done their First Profession of Vows. We asked them to share their experience through some questions.
Rush, can you please tell us how you came to know the MSSP?
I came to know the MSSP through Fr Giovann Tabone. I met him in a Men’s Conference of Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon (a charismatic community founded here in the Philippines) in Minadanao, which is the southmost region in the Philippines. After that event, he invited me for a coffee and a dinner in the MSSP house to get to know the community. From that point onwards I started a journey of discernment with the community and a few months later, I resigned from my work and started my aspirancy.
Luan, you also have your own story how you met our community. Can you tell us something about it?
I met our community through a Vocations Group on Facebook. I saw the invitation flyer of our community, after that I communicated with Br Can and Br Anthony Cuong, two Vietnamese brothers that who are already part of the community. I took some time for discernment, and after that, I decided to travel to the Philippines so that I can have an experience of the community.
Nikko, you have just begun your novitiate. How do you see this particular year in your formation journey?
I’m seeing this particular formation year as an invitation to go deeper in my relationship with God and to dedicate more time to prayer and allow myself to be transformed by God’s grace and love. I am also looking forward to be inspired by the spirituality of the Society, especially by our Founder. And I can say also that it is an opportunity for me to mature both psychologically and spiritually.
And you, Linh, you are just finishing your novitiate. How was this year for you?
The year of the novitiate was for me a time to reflect on my personal story and my relationship with God, as well as to strengthen my relationship with Him through prayer and spiritual reading. This year also helped me learn how to listen to the voice of God in different circumstances, and to see Him in the brothers and sisters with whom I encounter.
Rush, what is coming next for you in your formation journey?
Right after my novitiate formation, I will continue my study in philosophy as part of my next stage of formation. It is exciting because I will be finishing it this coming school year, as I have already done another year of Philosophy studies before I started my postulancy. I am looking forward to the formative years in my religious life.
In your case, Luan, there will be no formal studies this year. What will you be doing during the novitiate year?
During this year I will be learning how to encounter God and seek Him in my daily life. I will be also going deeper into myself, as our contacts with the outside world are limited and there is plenty of time for silence and reflection.
Of course, we are inviting all those reading this article to keep you in their prayer. Nikko, what would you like our readers to pray for?
First of all I would like to ask them to continue praying for the healing of the world, and that may this pandemic will end soon in the name of Jesus our Lord, so that we may be together again with our loved ones. I would also like to ask them to pray that the Lord may continue touching the heart of many young people to accept his call and offer their lives in the religious and priestly vocation, especially in our MSSP community.
And maybe they are some people, reading these words, who are still discerning God’s call in their life. What is your advice, Linh?
In few words I would tell them: pray and reflect on how God has been speaking through your experience. Then, share your reflection with a good guide – a priest, a sister, or a lay person – so that you may understand better what God is telling you.