January-February 1999

I Have Become The Friend Of Pain

By Sr. Mercedes Castellano, CM

Life in the mission is indeed a continues self-emptying, a suspension of our own ideas and knowledge. It is here I have experienced my own handicaps, my own paralysis in so many ways. I am working a Hua Kuang Center for Development of Mentally Retarded Children and Adults in Taiwan. I have been in this Catholic-run Institution from its beginnings; I have journeyed with this Center in all of its hardships and difficulties beginning from zero up to now. At present we have 177 student-individuals. I can them individuals rather than handicaps, lest we forget they are persons.

It Is The Little Communities Which Create Hope

By Fr. Melanio R. Viuya, Jr. CICM

Malaria Strikes

From December till April I was supposed to visit the 69 villages of the parish in order to animate their Basic Christian Communities. Looking at my list, there were still six villages left to be visited. But this present bout of malaria prevents me from going, for the moment. Since a coin always had two sides, this illness gives me much needed rest and opportunity to write some line about my experiences in the villages.

Jordan A Nation Of Many Races

By Sr. Caroline Granil, FMDM

Nearly fifty years ago an organization was set up by Pius XII to help Palestinian refugees. Today its work continues in Jordan as Sr. Caroline Granil, FMDM, tries to look after women of ten different nationalities who flock to the clinic. Here are some photos of her work. The clinic serves up to a hundred people everyday who come form places like India, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon. Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Raising Cain In Negros

By Fr. John Carroll, SJ

With permission we reprint the article of Fr. John Carroll, SJ on the death of Fr. Hector Mauri, which appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Hector’s work went from disaster to disaster. What is surprising is that he never gave up.

THE SUGAR PLANTERS and millers of Negros probably wept no tears on August 6 when Fr. Hector Mauri SJ, breathed his last. Although 87 years old, bedridden and scarcely able to communicate these past four years, the battles which he waged for the rights of the sugar workers have left scars to this day.

Why Can’t We Have A Child?

By Carmela Caringal

Just as the sun gracefully rises every morning to bring sunshine on the faces of wizened folk, my seven-year-old- daughter Mir-Isabel never fails to bring an aching kind of happiness to my heart. She couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. She was like a ray of hope in an utterly miserable and painful situation.

Who Has Time For The Young?

By Sr. Eva N. Calingo, CM

I Miss my Previous Work

Never had I thought of being sent her to Salamanca, Spain. For some months now I sit down day after day learning the Spanish language. I miss the active apostolate that I was involved in before: the soul-searching and far reaching questions and life testimonies of the prisoners where I worked; the joy and laughter, and the simple but difficult-to-answer question in the school; the hopeful but pain-filled look in the eyes of the street children; and the seemingly monotonous but very challenging work in the handicrafts center. But then life here in Spain opened to me the door that leads to yet another world I did not expect to experience –the world of some young people from all over Europe and a few from Japan – that of my classmates in the intensive language courses.

A Missionary Of The Old School

By Katie Donovan

Father Aedan McGrath runs the Incola missionary program in Manila. Here he talks to Katie Donovan about his life of adventure: among other things he protected 1,500 women from rape and slaughter by Japanese soldiers in 1939, and spent three years in solitary confinement in a Chinese jail.

China

“Mao gave us a big compliment, he said the Church was public enemy number one.” Father Aedan McGrath, originally a Dubliner from Drumcondra, recalls being put in prison because of his missionary work as a Columban Father in China: “I was arrested on the 7th of September 1951. I was put in a tiny cell, like a dog box. It was solidarity confinement for three years. There was no table, chair or bed. I could lie on the floor. It wasn’t like Mountjoy, nor one of these prisons that like first-class hotels. I was never allowed to close my eyes, talk or sneeze. All around me people were going mad. They did not have their faith.”

It’s Nice To Be Missed

By Sr. Teresita Benitez, FMM

Mission Canada

I received my first mission appointment to Canada in 1982 after living 31 years as a member of the Congregation of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary involved in the educational apostolate in the Philippines.

The Red Flag Of The Holy Spirit

By Fr. Bart Toledo

One of the many cultural shocks I experienced upon arriving in Brazil was the celebration of the Feast of the Holy Spirit. It is celebrated with unique traditional pomp, lots of noise, a red flag, an “emperador”, a “maestro” and a banquet.

Not One Celebration but Many

The Church has one fixed date for this celebration the Feast of Pentecost. But here in Brazil, any dates suffices according to the needs of a community or of a family-in-charge of the celebration. Usually a community has two days for its annual fiesta, the feast of the patron saint on the first and that of the “Divino Espiritu” on the second. More crowds show up the second day due to the banquet that takes place in the house of the “Emperador”.

Hope Is 9 Novices!

By Sr. Evelyn S. Jose, SSpS

I arrived here in Luanda, almost at midnight. We waited more than three hours to get my suitcase. Finally, at 3:30 a.m. we were on our way to my new house. I noticed that we were the only ones on the road. All of a sudden I heard gun shots and the sister who was driving stopped. Oh dear, I thought, this is it. When I looked back, I say a group of policemen, one was calling back. He seemed to be drunk – the others were giving us a sign to keep going. What now?” I said. My superior who was sitting beside me said, “Keep calm sister, that’s nothing. They just wanted to greet you.”

Present!

By Sr. Nenita Derama, PDDM

Little by little I am learning to understand the people I am present to through my mission and apostolate. I cannot be like them for I am a Filipino through and through but I can be present to them in a meaningful way trying to bring to them the “Menschlichkeit”, a humanity which reminds them of the God-made-man for us.

Define Fun!

By: Bo Sanchez

7:00 AM

One Saturday morning, I kidnap our ANAWIM orphans and kids, all fifteen of them, and squeeze them into my car for a day of fun. Along the way, the kids are singing, dancing, screaming, and vomiting on each other. No wonder my car’s air freshener isn’t working well. And where are we going? Not to those expensive amusement parks where people pay 400 per head. Multiply that by fifteen, and I’ll be poorer than a presidential aspirant that’ll lose in the elections. Instead, I decide to go to a place that suits my personal tastes and cultural preferences and artistic orientation: a place with no entrance fee.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

The Collection

At the Parish Center, we have two collection boxes for Sunday Masses. I gave them to our carpenter to make nice covers but he cut the top too much so that the collection boxes became smaller. The parishioners were complaining and to cover up the mistake, I said gently, “It’s okay, I have been here in Kintampo for eleven years and I have been observing how much you put into the collection boxes. So I made them small for it is wasteful to have big collection boxes if they are never filled up.” They seemed satisfied through I did not notice any smile.