Pedaling To Live

by Fr Oliver McCrossan

More than 3,000 pedicab drivers in Ozamiz City endure grueling work and long hours to support their families. Here are two of their stories. Columban Father Oliver McCrossan came to thePhilippines from Ireland in 1976.

Josefina pedals passengers like these through Ozamiz streets on his three-wheeled pedicap called a sika-sikad

Festival Of Peoples

Homily of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Primate of Ireland

Archbishop Martin was speaking at a special Mass on 5 January, the Eve of the Epiphany, in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral. The congregation included Filipinos, Poles, Nigerians, Romanians, Indians, Latvians and Brazilians, some wearing traditional dress. Readings and prayers were in different languages and there was a multi-cultural choir for the occasion. Archbishop Martin hopes that next year individual parishes will have a similar celebration. Because of emigration,Ireland’s population in 1980 was about half what it had been in 1845. But since 2000 huge numbers have been migrating into the country. The Church in the Philippines observes the First Sunday of Lent as Migrants’ Sunday.

WYD Diary

By Maricel Bedra

‘VENIMUS ADORE EUM!’ ‘We have come to worship Him!’ The World Youth Day (WYD) gathering of young (and old) inCologne, focused on faith that is centered on Jesus and the Eucharist, wasn’t for my group just a day event but twelve days of prayer, worship and friendship.

The author, from Victorias City, Negros Occidental, takes care of an elderly couple in Dublin, Ireland, where she is also actively involved with the Legion of Mary.

A Contemplative In Ireland

By Sister Mary Cynthia OCD

L-R Srs Concepcion, Rose Alice and Mary Cynthia

Years ago ‘mission’ was foreign to Filipina Discalced Carmelite nuns, since we’re contemplatives and normally stay for life in the community we join. Many Carmelite communities in Europe and the USA, because of the lack of vocations, are faced with the possibility of either closing down or joining together. To avoid that possibility, some European Carmels asked the Association of Monasteries of Discalced Carmelites in the Philippines for help. As a result of this, there are now Filipina Carmelite missionaries in France, Africa, Belgium and, most recently, in Ireland, where we are now. There are still requests from other countries.

From Baguio To Loughrea

By Sister Mary Concepcion OCD

White Christmas for Sr Rose Alice and Sr Concepcion

In His time, God fulfilled my desire to go on mission, although not to Africa. But His will be done.

When I was still newly professed in Baguio Carmel, our first Father Provincial, an Irish Carmelite, told the Association of Monasteries of Discalced Carmelites in the Philippines that a bishop in Ghana was asking for a Filipino Carmelite foundation of nuns. When this materialized after almost fifteen years I wasn’t permitted to go since we were only a few in our community.

A Little Story

By Sister Mary Rose-Alice Escote OCD

Ireland has sent many missionaries, including Carmelite friars, to the Philippines in the last 100 years. Here is one of three ‘little stories’ of Carmelite contemplative missionaries from the Philippines in Ireland.

At the baccalaureate graduation Mass at UST, Manila, after I finished a two-year course in Religious Education, I signed the profession of faith in red ink to signify by the color of blood that I wouldn’t refuse any offer when asked to go on mission.

When I entered Davao Carmel, I thought that was the end. It was unheard of for contemplatives to go on mission. Besides, my health remained delicate although I wasn’t sickly.

Getting To Know Some Travelers In Ireland

By Annie Budiongan

My three year term here in the only Columban parish in Ireland, St Joseph’s, Ballymun, Dublin, gave me a great opportunity to get a glimpse of the life and culture of Travelers, an ethnic minority with their own history, value system, customs and a nomadic tradition, part of Irish society for centuries. Their distinct culture can be seen in their dress, language, accent, family structures and use of symbols. According to the Department of the Environment there were about 28,000 Travelers inIreland in 1999, nearly a quarter in or near Dublin, the capital.

Remember Me…

…when I’m gone, gone farther away,
To the land where you can no longer hold my hand

By Angelica Escarsa

Angie has been living in Ireland for more than four years now as a Columban lay missionary. Last year she lost two of her loved ones and here she shares with us how she and her family grieved and let go.

2002 was a traumatic year for our family. In August 2001 I was on retreat in Cork, Ireland, where I had gone with the Columban Lay Missionary Program (CLMP) in 1999. I was discerning about the future, as my three-year term was coming to an end. I was about to sleep when my sister Mercy phoned from home in Zambales. She cried as she told me that our sister, Deborah, had lupus. This rare disease is incurable and even led to the death of Ferdinand Marcos, former president of our country.