A Little Piece Of Peace

Sister Clare Garcillano SPC

On Saturday, 19 May, I arrived in Dili, East Timor, with so much anxiety. I had finally arrived in my new mission, after waiting for three months. Thinking of what awaited me in this war-torn area and not knowing the main languages made me a little worried. However, I felt some confidence coming to this former colony of Portugal knowing Portuguese. Truly, I did not feel lost at Dili Airport upon arrival. The people there spoke Portuguese, if not that fluently, at least well enough to carry on a conversation. Later I discovered that only those Timorese educated during the colonization by Portugal, which ended in 1975, spoke Portuguese. It is used in government offices and in the business sector and is one of two official languages, the other being Tetum, the national language. Most people can speak Bahasa Indonesia, the result of 27 years of Indonesian occupation. A few speak English, especially UN personnel and the staff of NGOs, many of whom are from Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

A Tale Of Two Christmases

By Christopher Ong

The author contrasts Christmas in Australia, where he spent his early childhood, and in the Philippines, where he grew up, before moving back 'Down Under' with his family last year.

Nothing captures the beauty of the human heart more than the season of Christmas. Its days are imbued with love, unlike ordinary days. Its theme is the joie de vivre of being part of a family. As we remember the Holy Family, which shaped us and the rest of the world, we become brothers and sisters in faith.

The author has recently migrated to Sydney, Australia. He has contributed an article featured in Misyon’s January-February 2007 issue, Our Hideaway section.

Dear Father Seán,

Salaam Aleikum! It was in my senior year in high school that I found Misyon. My great religion teacher, Mr Eduardo Verdadero, introduced it to our class. He encouraged the writers in our class, especially me, to get published. About three years later, with both of us gone from the school, I finally did it. Idle Thoughts Past an Ash-heaven Morning was my first article to be published and what a feeling I had! My breakthrough after numerous rejections truly saved me from oblivion and furthered my understanding of that great word, ‘hope’. Now, every time I read your magazine, I remember Sir Ed because aside from pointing me towards pretty good food for my soul, in more ways than one, as my best mentor, he influenced me profoundly in the way I look at myself today.

Ethics And Climate Change

By Fr Seán McDonagh

The author, a Columban, came to the Philippines in 1969 and spent many years in Mindanao, including a long period with the T’bolis. He is now based in Ireland and has written a number of acclaimed books on environmental issues. The Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC), the qualifications awarding body for third-level educational and training institutions outside the university sector in Ireland, awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy to Father McDonagh on the basis of his published work. His latest book, Climate Change: the Challenge to All of Us, was published by The Columba Press, <>, Ireland, last year.

Captain Alcantara

Having learned of the amazing story involving Captain Alcantara, Steve Georganas, a Member of Parliament, delivered a commendation at the House of Congress in Canberra on 3 November 2005

Captain Roman Alcantara

The Triumph Of Captain Roman Alcantara


By Norma Hennessy

We thank Attorney Peter B. Payoyo for permission to use this article, which first appeared in the January – May 2006 issue of Parola (the Tagalog word for ‘lighthouse’), the newsletter/magazine published by the Philippine Seafarers Assistance Programme (PSAP), a 25-year-old non-profit foundation based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Flight 387

By Mrs Rosie C. Cabillas as told to Mrs Roberta M. Luza

‘I’ll put down the phone now, Ma. I have to prepare yet to catch the nine o’clock flight for Cagayan de Oro. See you in March. I’ll meet you at the airport then so that you can attend my graduation. OK, Ma, bye.’ These were the parting words of my son, Artnee.

Archie and Artnee with their 
mom during happier times 

Address Of John Paul II


 Alice Springs,   29 November 1986

9 October is Indigenous Peoples’ Sunday in the Philippine Church. 23 October is World Mission Sunday. The late Pope John Paul’s talk to the Aboriginal Peoples of Australia calls us to respect all cultures and languages, including our own. He reminds missionaries that the Gospel speaks all languages, esteems and embraces all cultures. He challenges our lack of respect for God’s creation and how we can learn from those who have lived in harmony with it for millennia, including the Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is a great joy for me to be here today in Alice Springs and to meet so many of you, the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia. I want to tell you right away how much the Church esteems and loves you, and how much she wishes to assist you in your spiritual and material needs.

From Farmhand To Parish Priest

By Father John Walsh SSC

Columban Father John Walsh tells us of his journey from milking cows on the family farm in New Zealand to being a parish priest in Zambales. He also gives us a glimpse of the pain for himself and his family in this.

The Columbans first came to Wellington, New Zealand, in 1943 and the following year opened a house of studies for first-year seminarians. The publicity given to this event was the first news our family received that this mission-sending group now had a house in our country. We always knew that they had a seminary over in Melbourne, Australia, because a cousin of ours had been the very first New Zealander ever to go there back in the 1920s.