Travails Of Being A Woman

By Auring Luceno

A young Columban lay missionary from the Philippines tells of the difficulties of being a woman in Muslim Pakistan.

Wherever I have new experiences here in Pakistan I always think of home, and that gives me a lot of strength and encouragement. At the same time, the people in the barrios have become a source of life for me and the visits to the families are the things I always look forward to. As ever, I thank God for my own family at home in the Philippines – from whom I first came to know what trusting and real loving means: the same love and trust brought me here and keeps me going.

The Lord was asking me to Forgive

By Fr. Cresencio Suarin

Associate Missionary

I’m Fr. Cresencio L. Suarin, known as Dodo, a diocesan priest from Pitogo, Pagadian Diocese, Mindanao. I volunteered to work with the Columban Fathers in Pakistan. I arrived in Pakistan, April 1993. I’m the first Filipino priest to work in Pakistan. There are five Filipino Columban lay missionaries, 15 Filipina sisters of different congregations, one Filipino Brothers of Charity and over a thousand Filipino workers all over Pakistan.

Rose Petals in our Hearts

By Sr. Perlita Ponge

Our first Holy Week celebration in Pakistan started in Holy Thursday when Sister Maureen Donohoe and I arrived loasa Nagra, a Parkari Kohli village. We were greeted by the village elders and, after drinking a welcome glass of cold water, we went house to house to meet the villagers. The men were busy preparing a meal in huge pots while the women tidied up their homes.

The Bent Women

By Gloria Canama

Gloria Canama, a Columban Filipina lay missionary working in Pakistan, shares her story of journeying with the women of Pakistan.

A Great Privilege to Journeying with the Women

Recently I had a privilege of accompanying six Punjabi women to the Columban parish of Matli, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. This was part of a week long women’s Mission Exchange Programme organized by the Columban Fathers in Pakistan. Not so long ago, it would have been impossible to organize such a programme for women. You would hear the following remarks: How could a woman spend a week away from home? Who would do the washing and ironing of clothes? Who would be there to serve the men? This year six women form the Columban parish of Shadbagh and Skeikhupura went to Matli and six Parkari Kolhi women from Matli went to the Punjab. On the journey the women were excited and some were apprehensive. For some it was their first time being away from home. It was a long and tiring 18 hours journey by train. As the train moved on and on, we got to know each other through telling a little of our life stories and sharing jokes. “Where is Matli?” “What time do we arrive there?” asked those who got restless. It was Teresa’s first train trip, it was a big relief when we eventually arrived safely in Matli.

The Roof Sleepers

By Bro. Raul, FC

Pakistan is a country of extreme temperatures from fabulous snow up to a scorching 50 degree centigrade. Bro. Raul, FC tells us how he had and his companions manage to survive away from the Philippines.

On the Roof

Its summers time again in Pakistan. Since the heat and humidity make our room like and oven, we sleep on the rooftop. Nowadays we (brothers and novices) call ourselves “Sleepers on the Roof”. I enjoy being with my brothers and novices on the roof. When we are all on the rooftop we support one another and laugh together at this terrible summer. Its’ not easy though, but life must go on. We have to wake up early, so our prayers, studies and apostolate. We take a long rest after lunch. Nobody can go out at noontime when the temperature is almost fifty degrees centigrade!

Pinoys in Pakistan

By: Daphne Culanag

Snow Covered Peaks
Last mid-term break thirteen of us (3 priests. 3 nuns, 4 OTPs & 3 Lay Missionaries) went in a week long trip across the Northern Provinces of Pakistan to the Chinese border. We really had much fun though we spent most of it traveling (by wagons or on foot. On June 29 we left Hunea (where we had been sleeping in tents) for a seven hours wagon trip to the Chinese border and there celebrated Mass in a snow covered field, more than 16,000 feet above the sea level.

Confident Christian Women

By: Fr. Neil Collins

A couple of years ago, I spent a week in Pakistan, visiting our three Filipina Lay missionaries: Pilar Tilos, Emma Pabera, and Gloria Canama. As the Columban lay mission co-coordinator for the Mindanao in the Philippines, the experience was invaluable for me. It has coloured all I’ve said and done since.

Free in Pakistan

By: Neil Collins

On Visit to Pakistan
The feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, I was appointed as Lay Mission Coordinator for the Columbans in Mindanao. After ten good years in various parishes in Zamboanga del Sur I found it difficult to move into a new, unknown assignment. Then, in September, I was able to spent A week in Pakistan and to witness the work of three Filipina lay missionaries Pilar Tilos and Emma Pabera from Negros Occidental, and Gloria Canama from Misamis Occidental. The experience has colored all I’ve said and done since.

Breaking the Language Barrier

By: Pilar Tilos

Pilar Tilos, a Columban lay missionary in Pakistan spent many years in every type of parish ministry in her home town in Hinobaan, Negros Occidental. Here she tells us of the struggle she had to break the language barrier before she could begin her new mission ministry in Pakistan.

Starting Straight Away
October, 25th, 1990, four days after we arrived in Lahore, Fr. Pat Raleigh, in-charge of the language studies, gave us an orientation for the language program. We were told to study Punjabi (the local language of the people) because we would be working in the rural areas. The language course was to be for a full calendar year and the classes were to be held in the house where we lived in Iqbal town.