Society Matters | Volume 33 No. 3 | Spring 2023

7 Volume 33 No. 3 | Spring 2023 Society Matters during the postulancy and novitiate with Bishop Tim Norton who was then the novice master and formator. “I was involved throughout all my formation years with the poor on the streets of Sydney and Melbourne and loved every moment of it,” he says. “I believe that is where I discovered my real calling to serve wherever I am ask to go.” In 2009 after completing studies in Information Technology (IT), the formation team decided that Br Vincent would move to Alice Springs to work in the field of IT in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College. “Once again, I thank again the Marist Brothers there who accepted me to work in the school for three years, which I took seriously as an experience to acquire for future mission,” he says. “Now looking back, I’m happy for the experiences gained there. Over in Alice Springs I was also involved in the Indigenous mission on my days off and during holidays. I was also involved with the youth of the Parish and music and prayer ministry in Alice Springs prison every Tuesday and on the last Sunday of the Month. Every Sunday we played and sang for the Indigenous Mass. Those memorable and inspiring moments formed and moulded me to be a missionary I am today in the Philippines.” Br Vincent’s first mission abroad, was to the Philippines Central Province, where he arrived in January 2013 and remains in ministry today. When he first arrived, he studied Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines, and in 2014 to 2015 he worked in the Provincialate office in Manila, as Assistant Archivist and website administrator. Then, the Provincial, Fr Nielo Cantilado SVD, asked him in July 2015 to be assigned to Occidental Mindoro, an island on the south east of Manila. “Here, I work in a school built and run by the SVD, as IT director and Community Extension Service (CES) which links the school to the Indigenous people of the island of Mindoro,” he says. “From 2018 to 2023, I was nominated as the District Superior and am currently serving still as a council member of the District Council.” During the last Provincial Assembly in January, Br Vincent was voted in as a Provincial Council member, giving him more responsibilities and challenges to undertake across the Province. “However, the mission in the Philippines is fulfilling and challenging,” he says. “People in general have high respect for the missionaries and clergy. The SVDs are well known here for their pioneering mission in difficult and challenging area of the Philippines. “As I always say when people ask: ‘Wherever I am assigned, despite the challenges, I will create my own happiness’. “I have found joy and happiness with the people in the Philippines, especially the Mangyan people, the Indigenous People of Mindoro. “I ask all of you to pray for me to persevere in my mission.” PHOTOS: Brother Vincent is pictured overseeing the livelihood project, cultivating onions, which supports the Mangyan Indigenous scholars apostolate. Also pictured is Fr Asaeli Rass SVD of the Australia Province, visiting Br Vincent’s ministries.