Interview with Deacon Anton Werun SDB before his ordination in Mongolia

On Saturday 23 of September 2017 will be ordained Salesian deacon Antonius Werun. He shares in this short interview his vocation story…

1.    Can you introduce yourself and say something about your family?

My name is ANTONIUS WERUN. People call me ANTON. I was born on 25 July 1979. I have one sister and two brothers. I am the youngest in the family. My Father passed away on January 6, 2010. The main occupation of my family is agriculture.

2.    Why did you choose to be a Salesian a priest?

I came to know the Salesians of Don Bosco from the book of religious compendium. I was going to enter into one of the dioceses in Indonesia. One day, unintentionally I opened the book of Religious Compendium of Indonesia and the first congregation that I noticed was the Salesians of Don Bosco. Since my childhood, I had a dream to be a priest. But because of financial problems in the family my dream could not be realized until I finished my Senior High School. After graduation from senior high school I told my parents that I wanted to enter a Seminary. But again due to financial problem I could not enter the Seminary. They asked me to go to Malaysia to work in order to earn money to support myself and the family. But I refuse to go to Malaysia. I preferred to go to Jakarta.  I worked as the supervisor in Jakarta for two years.  When i came back to my village I met an Augustinian sister.  She introduced and encouraged me to join the Servant of God congregation.  From this congregation I got some knowledge about the religious life. By this congregation I also came to know the Salesians of Don Bosco.

I joined the Salesians of Don Bosco in 2003. I had my postulant and novitiate in Tigaraksa, Tangerang.    I made my first profession on August 1, 2005. After my first profession I went to Jakarta to study Philosophy. On the second year of my philosophy I applied to be a missionary. My application was accepted by rector Major and I was destined for Pakistan. However, God had another plan for me, I had to wait and do my practical training in Tigaraksa for one year. After one year of practical training in Tigaraksa I received the Letter from Rector Major to be sent to Mongolia. Then, I went to Italy for my missionary course on August 2010.

3.    When did you come to Mongolia?  How was your feeling in the beginning?

I arrived in Mongolia on October 17, 2010. When I came here, it was very difficult for me, because the weather was very cold and Mongolian national food didn’t suit me. I was surprised to see the Mongolian people, with their white skin not like me black skin and curly hair.  I also participated in the Mongolian New Year (lunar New Year) festival.  Mongolian people invited me to their homes and gave me fermented milk of mare (Airagh). It was my first time to drink airagh and vodka.  I had the feeling of great amazement and wonder after encountering new culture, language and people. 

4.    What do you do in UB now?

I arrived in UB on May 4, 2017 after finishing my theological studies in the Philippines. And now I am assigned in Don Bosco Care Center.  In the caring center there are nine children and six staff.  I am trying to help these children to fulfill their future dreams by applying Don Bosco’s educative system. 

5.    Can you say something about your ordination?

After finishing my theological studies and after spending much time for discernment I applied for the priestly ordination.  I am grateful to my formators and superior for their constant guidance and support, and for having admitted me for the sacrament of ordination.  I believe there is a great intervention of God in my journey as a religious.  In order to prepare myself spiritually, I had three days of guided retreat.

 I ask your intense prayer and accompaniment at this time as I prepare myself for the great event of my life.  I believe, God has called me by name and I am trying to respond to that call. “Do you Love me?’ Feed my Sheep”! (John 21:17) This is the theme of my ordination. I ask your prayers so that I may be able to be faithful in my vocation and be a true sign and bearer of God’s Love. Thank and God bless you!

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