Ietawa Naaiti was born in Fiji and is in his first year in the formation in the Philippines. - Photo: Ietawa Naaiti
My name is Ietawa Naaiti, and my parents are Naaiti and Raakai. I'm a 25-year-old. I was born on the island of Aranuka, which is in the Republic of Kiribati, an island chain (Gilbert Island). Thirty-three islands make up Kiribati, which is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Because of its small size and inability to afford a modern lifestyle, as in Asia or Europe, the country where I was raised was a terrible quality of life. But despite its poverty, the people there always seem to be happy.
Calling to be a Columban seminarian makes me surprise in my daily life.
I had no idea how I came to be a Columban seminarian, and I always believed that God’s constantly loves me. Back home, only the diocese and MSC (Missionary of the Sacred Heart), and there is no Columban Missionary. My desire to become a priest was strong right after I finished my secondary studies. I had considered joining the diocese, but for some reason, I had not been successful until I met Fr. William Lee (Columban priest) and learned about the Columban Missionaries. I joined the formation in 2019, studied for two years at the Pacific Regional Seminary, and then relocated to the formation in Manila, the Philippines, in August of this year. Living in Manila, where I can observe and experience a variety of lifestyles, is a blessing for me. Therefore, I’ve always thought it would be beyond my capabilities to leave my small country and go on a new life, but I think this is the opportunity that God has given me to experience, and I hope God does the rest for me in my future discernment.
Columban Students in the Philippines - Ietawa Naaiti
Scripture is one of my favourite study topics because I am curious about the Bible and how it relates to my life today. I am currently in my first year in the formation here in Manila. I appreciate being a part of the formation and am eager to learn more. God is consistently good.
Ietawa Naaiti is in his first year in the formation in the Philippines.