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PENAMPANG – In this issue, Catholic Sabah (CS) focuses on the Monfortian charism.
Religious life in the Church is indeed a gift from God to the Church. It is a sign and symbol of the Kingdom. The Religious life of the Brothers is first and foremost a call to live radically the Gospel in the community, in practicing the evangelical counsels. It is the life based on the words and examples of Jesus Christ.
The Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel, had our origins nearly 300 years ago, when Louis Marie de Montfort gathered disciples around him and formed them into the “Community of the Holy Spirit” in 1715 A.D.
The call of Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel is a call to a prophetic witness, bearing the Spirit who is attentive to the signs of the times and sensitive to the task of human liberation. Through its specific Charism the Brothers share the mission of the Church, exercised primarily in the education of the young, particularly of the marginalized.
Our identity of Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel is rooted in the spiritual and apostolic experience of Saint Louise Marie de Montfort, of Gabriel Deshayes and the generations of Brothers who lived before us. Our Rule of Life, our Constitutions are expressions of our specific way of living the Montfortian spirituality and charism following Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, with Mary.
The Brothers of St Gabriel arrived in Singapore at the end of 1936. They took over the running of Holy Innocent English School (later on known as Montfort School) in 1937 at the invitation of the late Bishop Deval. The mission in Singapore grew and flourished and today we have the Montfort Junior and Secondary Schools; the Boys’ Town, which include the Boys’ Town Home, the Assumption Pathway School and the Assumption English School; and the St Gabriel’s Primary and Secondary Schools. Today there are no longer any Brothers directly teaching in the school but the spirit of the founder continues among the many lay personnel of the schools and institution. The St Gabriel’s Foundation, established in 2001 constituting of lay members and Brothers, now governs the schools and institutions in the spirit of the founder St Louis Marie de Montfort as emulated by the early founding Brothers.
The Brothers of St Gabriel arrived in Johor Bahru in 1955 and took over the St Joseph’s Schools. In 1957 they took over the Serendah Boys Home for some two years and thereafter started the Montfort Boys’ Town in 1959 in Shah Alam. Today the Brothers in Malaysia are mainly engaged in running institutions for the needy youths. They run the Montfort Boys Town in Shah Alam (www.montfort.org.my), the Montfort Youth Training Centre (www.montfortsabah.org) in Sabah and the Montfort Youth Centre (www.mycmelaka.org) in Melaka. These institutions cater to those youths who have dropped out of school, and provide them with vocational skills training and character formation. In Sabah, the Brothers also embarked into Montfort Hostel Programme, namely in Kiulu – San Damiano (Boys) Hostel, and Sandakan – St Mary’s Youth Hostel. Lately, the Brothers had embarked into Twantay, Myanmar to establish a new mission in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Yangon.
To those young men, who wish to know more about the Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel, we will be having our ‘VOCATION AWARENESS WEEKEND’ at these dates and venues:
Montfort Youth Centre, Melaka
– 29-31 May 2015
Montfort Boys Town, Shah Alam, Selangor
– 5-7 June 2015
Montfort Youth Training Centre, Kinarut, Sabah
– 31 July – 2 Aug 2015
Brother Robin Devasagayam sg, +6-012-2822966, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brother Stephen Tee sg, +6-016-6337130, email@example.com
Brother Dominic Yeo-Koh sg, +65-91914607, firstname.lastname@example.org