Part of the letter reads:
This year the ceremony of giving crucifixes to missionaries will be held on 28 September in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians at Valdocco--Torino.
I'm working on this entry as he reads the content of the letter to other confreres who are with us in this room. He is jubilant. I can see it in his eyes. He's been waiting for the letter for the longest time. I recall that when I was a pre-novice, I would pester him with remarks to extinguish his burning desire to become a missionary. After all, he's no longer young enough, and besides, we in the formation house value his presence in our midst, despite his capacity to talk in kilometers and the ocassional scolding we would get from him from time to time.
In as much as I wish to be happy for him, I cannot help it. I'm sad. Fr. Roel is one asset in the province. His going to the missions is definitely a big loss in the province, something I personally articulated to our then FIN Provincial Fr. Andy Wong (now the regional superior) when we had the chance to talk in Cebu. He simply replied back "when we send confreres for the missions, God will gift us with more."