Fr. FRATERN MASAWE, SJ
I grew up in the Rombo district of Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania. On my eleventh birthday in 1967, I saw our parish priest, who later became bishop of Zanzibar, distributing food supplies to some parishioners, indeed to all families who came from the drought stricken part of our district,were served without discrimination. He seemed to be a decent human being like Jesus who felt sorry for the hungry. I suppose for an eleven year old food is a necessity and basic instinct is still sharp; any one hungry should be given food. It is then that I developed an attraction to the priesthood. I felt the desire to serve without prejudice those who are in greater need as they say today, those on the margins of society.
I have been an IMCS Pan African Chaplain since 2006. And International Chaplain since 2015. One thing that stands out about IMCS is its leadership potential. Since 2006, I have come across an incredible number of IMCSers who are extremely talented – doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers, priests, sisters, teachers – who are distributed thinly in the villages and concentrated more in cities across the continents.
I continually thank God for these incredible blessings to our dear movement. Because of these, my life in IMCS is grace-filled and I believe our task as IMCSers is to fill especially the challenged continent of Africa and indeed the whole world with these blessings. What hope can we bring to the student world? What difference can we make in our communities? Each according to the number of talents one has received that is all, according to Matthew (Mt.25: 19 – 23). Freely received, freely given back in full measure, is the minimum expected.
And this is how I think an IMCSer does it, since we are never satisfied with the status quo, one needs to go beyond the popular leadership trends in society. S/he is expected to exercise justice, truthfulness, honesty, transparency, discipline, compassion, love and total dedication in whatever is to be done. These virtues should be the guiding force of an IMCSer. Our life is salted with these divine tastes. Since we have tasted the goodness of the Lord, our good taste palate is full with the goodness of the Lord.
Our life therefore has been fired. Our hearts are on fire; wherever we go we kindle people’s lives with goodness. We are special in this sense, our hearts are burning up like those of the disciples of Emmaus (Luke 24: 32) the eyes of our mind are enlightened and those who come to our path see light (Jn 9:5).
These are transformative experiences we go through each day we live our life as IMCSers in mission. If we all unlock this potential, the world will effectively be corruption free, and the planetis technically filled with the goodness of the Lord.
FRATERN MASAWE, SJ.
31 May 2016