On Saturday, six young men professed vows with the Society of the Divine Word. This week, we invite you to get to know them. Today, we present Joubert Felix.
Hometown: Les Cayes, Haiti
Languages: Creole, English and French
Ministry: Helping SVDs in retirement
Favorite book: “Ethics in Ministry”
When did you first feel the call to be a missionary?
The call to missionary life has been a process for me. I first felt the call to become a religious minister while being shaped by religious sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi in high school. Later, by observing missionaries from other countries working in Haiti, I felt the desire to go out of my country to get to know other people and cultures while I was fixing computers where I was working. I realize that these desires have been nourished throughout my development when I was involved in different activities of my parish, such as being an altar server, a member of different choirs and so on. The idea of becoming a missionary was reinforced when I learned more about the SVDs throughout the world from Mr. Len Uhal, a member of the vocation team.
How has living with the SVD brothers and priests at Techny inspired you?
Living at Techny helps me to know more about different missionary work that SVDs have been doing in the United States and elsewhere. I really enjoyed being part of that community, and it was a pleasure for me to listen and learn from them. From their sharing, I have learned some basic things in the countries where they were assigned, such as types of missionary work, food and celebrations. As I like asking question, I am inspired by their works. Of course, challenge is part of life, so with prayers, God will help me overcome any kind of difficulty.
What was the biggest challenge during this past year?
The biggest challenge in the past of year was the inability to do ministry due to the pandemic. This situation brought a lot of changes compared to previous years of the novitiate. In my formation, I really enjoy going to ministry in which I usually feel happy to help and to discover God’s presence through those who are most vulnerable. Because of the pandemic, the novitiate group was under different restrictions, such as being unable to do our own shopping for cooking. Eating as a novitiate community was limited by having it every two weeks instead of every Friday. In short, the novitiate was special time in which I successfully adapted myself.
How did the early experience of novitiate change after the COVID-19 pandemic?
In every difficulty, God is always there to help us. After being vaccinated, I felt more secure while interacting with others. It has been a tremendous blessing to be free from certain restrictions while visiting the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters communities, participating in ordination, and being able to go out for shopping and eat. It has been a joyful time for me as life gets back to normal.
What are your hopes for the coming year?
I hope next year that I will be able to go out for ministry because it was not possible with the pandemic this year. I hope to get to know everyone at the Theologate to build the fraternal community. I also will put into practice what I have learned from the novitiate. As a student, I will organize my schedule so that I can have time for personal prayers. I hope to adapt myself very well by walking from the Theologate to Catholic Theological Union.