RP Jean de Brito

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Testimony of Father Jean de Britto, Benedictine monk of Saint Joseph Abbey. 


I had twice the chance in 2018 and 2019 to go to Gabon to the mission of Mouila on the invitation of Canon Fragelli, one of my dear former students of Gricigliano. 

If I was not disoriented by the climate, the vegetation and the tropical environment, which are part of the charm for any newcomer, I owe it to my recurring trips to India accomplished within the framework of a particular ministry teaching and preaching. But here in Mouila the context was vastly different. I found myself immersed in a particularly good-natured atmosphere where all those who frequent the mission are inhabited with great respect for the sacred and for God, Lord of these places, with a thirst for living in simple and fraternal joy that they discover a great deal in this educational and pastoral framework set up by the good canon and his collaborators. I have had the privilege of being in contact with extremely different people or groups, young and old, teachers, seminarians and Oblates. All of them gained my admiration by their kindness and their joy which shines on their faces. This is how I was able to meet the children of the school several times, well-disciplined and at the same time jubilant with enthusiasm under the leadership of their chaperones, their teachers and of Papa Major, the general supervisor; the little girls of the boarding school Maria Bambina, motherly guided by Maman Ngningone. I was also able to get to know the group of gentlemen Companions of Saint Joseph, the group Notre Dame de Fatima for ladies, the group of the children of Mary or the choirboys who meet regularly as part of the mission. The Oblates and the young African candidates who are in the process of discerning their vocation have particularly retained my efforts and I have sympathized with them during meetings and retreats. 

The recollection for priests that I had the pleasure of preching at the mission was also for me the occasion of a pleasant meeting with the clergy of the diocese under the leadership of their valiant pastor Msgr. MADEGA. 

In short, I express my general impression of my two stays in the words which make the motto of St. Dominique Savio: "Serve the Lord in joy". And this joy is evidently communicated in the dynamics of the very message of the Gospel, as the Canons well to do.

RP Jean de BRITO