SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom – On the Feast of the Transfiguration, the Montfortian community in the UK welcomed a new missionary, Fr. Richard MAGARARU SMM from the General Delegation of the Philippines. Fr. Richard was received into our St. Joseph's Center with a welcome rite in the chapel and with a tasty dinner preceded by a toast, in an atmosphere of joy and emotion. The next day, Sunday 7 August, he has already left to replace the parish priest of St Edmund Parish with two Masses. The General Administration wishes Fr. Richard and the community to walk together in apostolic poverty, putting all trust and hope in God Alone, and living in joy and zeal for His Kingdoms.
Here are some thoughts of Fr. Richard after being assigned to this mission:
“When I received the call of Fr. Norwyn BAYDO, SMM our Superior, informing me about the proposal of Father General that I joined the UK-Phil collaborative project, it was unexpected. Fr. Norwyn gave me enough time to think about the proposal. Since then, the object of my prayer and reflection was the possibility of working abroad again. It coincided with the Novena prayers in preparation for the feast of our Founders. I drafted different themes and prepared homilies for the nine days and the feast day. It gave me a chance to once more review the life and mission of Saint Louis. Lots of inspirations came from my readings that slowly opened my mind and heart of a new assignment in UK. I perceived that the Lord is asking me to let go of my attachments so I can be free and be available for where I am needed.
At present, I am at peace accepting this new assignment although there are fears due to uncertainties brought about by the crisis. But again, I am emboldened by St. Louis' words “If you don't take risks for God, you cannot do anything great for Him.” My participation in the UK-Phil Collaborative project seems to me another grace and invitation to grow in my Montfortian missionary life. Being one of the capitulants of the 2017 General Chapter that has “Montfortians on journey: pilgrims without borders” as its theme, I personally feel that I should be imbued by the aspirations of the congregation. This means that my vision should not be confined only within our own entity but also beyond. My desire to be actively involved in the efforts of the present General Administration to give more dynamism to the mission of the congregation urges me to accept the assignment.
The initial collaborative work with UK already began when Fr. Nelson CABAÑERO SMM was sent during my term as Superior of the Delegation. This happened when Fr. Santino BREMBILLA SMM in one of his visits to Manila had invited the conferences to work in UK. It was Fr. Nelson who volunteered to go. It is my turn now to be sent and I am feeling excited to take another missionary adventure. This was the same feeling when I was sent to the United States, my first assignment outside the country.
The historical background of the SMM in UK and Europe as a whole was shared to us by Fr. Marco PASINATO SMM, who came in 2018 for the announcement and installation of the new Superior of the Delegation. With his explanation of the reality, I am convinced and willing to take part in this collaborative project to continue the presence of the SMM in UK. The Philippine Delegation has been helped by UK in the beginning of its foundation. I still remember Fr. Donald MACDONALD SMM who came to be a part of the Formators team and stayed with us for a number of years. Our presence in UK will perhaps be our little way of showing our gratitude for the help when we needed it”.
Fr. Marco Pasinato, SMM