By Their Sickbeds

By Louland Escabusa, cicm

The author, from Pilar, Bohol, is a seminarian of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM).   From 2011 until this year he was studying theology at CIFA - Communauté Internationale de Formation en Afrique (International Community for Formation in Africa). In September he is going to Hong Kong for a two- to three-year internship program.


Marina became a familiar scene. Every week there she was, seated on the bench just outside her room, often with her mother, a checkered shawl wrapped around her shoulders, her petite frame crowned with a contagious smile. The light in her eyes spoke of an enigmatic glee but couldn’t hide the pain and sorrow that almost gnawed away at her hope, her joy, and the very purpose of her being. Among the faces of patients that I encountered during my apostolate in the hospital hers was one of the few that left an indelible mark on me, making my apostolate meaningful and my integration in Cameroon enriching.

My Art Contribution for the Lay Mission Auction

By Cynthia Empleo

The author, from Bicol, worked as a Columban Lay Missionary in Fiji from 2000 until 2003. She is now the Administrative Assistant in the Mission Office at St Columban’s, Singalong Street, Manila.

It all started during the Advent retreat in 2015 for returned Columban Lay Missionaries (CLMs) living in Luzon. It was held at Little Flower Retreat House in Baguio. Columban Fr Finbar Maxwell, our retreat director, asked us to draw or just do any art thing to represent the reflections and emotions we were having during the retreat. I scribbled with the provided drawing paper and pastel colors. Over the course of two days I finished seven drawings.

A Man with a Heart of Flesh

Testimonies about Archbishop Patrick Cronin

Paulines RTV Davao Productions
Narrator: Brother Karl Gaspar CSsR

He would always speak well of people. ‘Don’t talk about their negative aspects or their weaknesses, but affirm people,’ he would say to us. I am very much reminded of Archbishop Patrick Cronin’s dedication to the Church as a good shepherd in the large Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.

– Sr Mari Murillo FMM –

CDO Archdiocese Celebrates Archbishop Cronin’s 25th Death Anniversary

By Maria Monica L. Borja

This article was first published in Bag-ong Lamdag, the monthly newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, Vol. 4 No. 7, March 11- April 12, 2016. It has been slightly edited here.

February 19, 2016 marked the 25th death anniversary of Archbishop Patrick Henry Cronin SSC. The clergy, members of religious communities and the lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro gathered for a tribute dedicated to his life and mission at Lourdes College auditorium on February 20.

Rising from the Ashes

By Fr John Keenan

The author is a Columban priest who celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood last December and is from Ireland. Apart from some years working in Britain he has been in the Philippines since 1966.

Parola Compound, Tondo, Manila, is one of the largest shantytowns in the Philippines.  It is in the capital, Manila, on a long stretch of low-lying land between the Pasig River and the busy North Harbor Shipping Terminal.  It is the home to some 4,000 families.  On 2 March 2015 a fire, which started from an unattended flame, swept swiftly through the whole area devouring everything in its path.

Because He Loved the Eucharist

By Fr Dominic Derramas

The author is a priest of the Diocese of Bacolod, which includes Bacolod City and the central part of Negros Occidental from Victorias City in the north to Hinigaran in the south. He is from Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish, Airport Subdivision, Bacolod City.

Antonio Derramas Sr and his son Fr Dominic.
Antonio Sr died on 26 August 2015

I can compare the life of my father to the Eucharist, a testimony of love and sacrifice. ‘If the Lord wants to take me, I am ready to go.’  This was the answer he would give every time we would ask him to take care of his health. I remember the first time he said this to me directly. I had been a priest for one year and assigned as parochial vicar in St Mary Magdalene Parish, Hinigaran.  My father was president of the Adoracion Nocturna Filipina (ANF), a church-based lay organization of men who devote themselves to prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  As president, Tatay asked that the ANF’s annual diocesan-wide vigil in honor of the Blessed Mother be held in the parish where I was assigned.

Learning Languages, Bridging Cultures


By Lanieta Tamatawale

Lanieta Tamatawale is a Columban Lay Missionary (CLM) from Fiji who came to the Philippines in 2003 as a member of a team from Fiji and Tonga. After six years here Lani was assigned back to Fiji for four years as CLM Coordinator. Since 1 Jan 2015 she has been working in Hong Kong as a member of the Lay Missionary Central Leadership Team.

The author in Hong Kong

I first came to the Philippines in 2003. I was shocked by the many people I saw in Manila and by the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Jeepneys and tricycles were new to my two companions and me.  They amused us and it took time for us to get use to riding them.

The Cricket in the Box

By Fr Warren Kinne

The author is an Australian Columban who worked in Mindanao in the 1970s. He is now based in Shanghai. He has some Chinese ancestry and during his years in China has come to know relatives there. He wrote this article shortly after the Chinese/Lunar New Year celebration on 8 February 2016.

Chinese Cricket Boxes  

There is a Chinese saying: ‘Huo dao lao, xue dao lao’ which loosely translated is ‘You are never too old to learn’.

A couple of nights ago a dentist friend here in China was driving me home on a cold winter’s night when I heard a chirping noise inside the car. It sounded like crickets but I presumed it was an electronic beep somewhere from the dashboard. At the intersection red light, Doctor Dong reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box, opened it, and there were two chirping crickets in two separate wee compartments.

By Ramil Caporas

The author has been a member of the Philippine Army for 18 years now. He is married with four children. The article is based on an interview made in Hiligaynon through Facebook with Assistant Editor Anne Gubuan.

I was recently tasked to help in the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) held last 20-31 January in Cebu, Philippines.  IEC is basically a gathering of Catholics from around the world but doesn’t limit participation to Catholics only. Though I am a Baptist I didn’t feel hampered in any way in the name of religion. I was privileged to be there and to experience the event.  It made me understand more that faith doesn’t depend on labels and classifications; it is all about what our hearts contain.