By Julia St. Clair, Province Communications Coordinator
Last month, Br. Robert “Rob” Malusa, SDB, returned to visit the SUE Province. He arrived on Thursday, June 16, and stayed at the Salesian Provincial Center in New Rochelle through Saturday, June 25.
Originally from Locust Valley on Long Island, Br. Rob had been formed in the province before having been sent to the ZMB Vice-Province. For nearly ten years, Br. Rob has served in the vice-province, which is made up of four counties—Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.
Br. Rob began his time in Zambia as the assistant principal of a big technical school. “The government loves the place since it creates lots of work,” he exclaimed, having beamed that the school had 1,000 students learning 12 different subjects.
After three years, Br. Rob was called to another work due to an emergency. Located in an extremely rural part of the country, Lufubu sat 800 miles from the capital of Lusaka and 180 miles from the nearest store. “Although I had been hesitant, I went to Lufubu out of obedience,” Br. Rob reflected.
Br. Rob arrived in Lufubu to oversee formation at the agricultural school. The school had a farm attached to it, which helped make the community self-sustainable. He tried to concentrate more on how the farm and school could work closer together.
After three years at the farm, he went to the novitiate in Lusaka, where he served as the house economer for one year. Eventually, the house transitioned into becoming the post-novitiate.
“Our dream is to have the post-novitiate there in the vice-province,” Br. Rob beamed as he recalled his work over the past two years to bring this dream to fruition. “We will have the first group of people this coming year. Before then, we had to send brothers to a different place of philosophy. Our plan is to transition to have everyone in the building over three years.”
Br. Rob happily looked back on his time in the ZMB Vice-Province and expressed his appreciation for all who he has encountered. “I love the people in Malawi and Zambia,” he shared. “They are very caring and sharing people. If they have even one grape, they’ll give you half.”
Br. Rob also noted how the youth are open to faith and spirituality. Despite the language barrier at first, they love to sit and talk, and, eventually, everyone understands one another. “They are open in terms of their life, their faith, and their love of God,” Br. Rob proclaimed. “That’s what brings me the most joy.”
After his visit to New Rochelle, Br. Rob returned to his hometown, where he will stay for three months. He will return to Zambia in September, where he begins his new assignment. Please pray for Br. Rob and all our confreres who serve overseas in other provinces and vice-provinces.