January-February 2000

In The Midst Of Tears I Found Him

By Fr. Peter Grant

The years leading up to the end of apartheid in South Africa were particularly brutal. Sometimes even church people were no help, forgetting the Gospel and embracing the wisdom of the world. Peter Grant lived through these harrowing times. But the pain and the suffering eventually led him back to Christ. He shares his story with us here.

A Touch That Counts

By Gee-Gee O. Torres

Fr. Philomeno Mahusay is from La Castellana, Negros Occidental. He was the first member of the Missionary Society of Philippine Bishops to be sent on mission abroad. He has been on mission inThailand for almost 25 years now. We also have Sr. Mercedes Dagoob, dc from Iloilo who has been there since 1969. Our editorial assistant, Gee-Gee Torres, visited them in Thailand. Here she tells us of this encounter.

In Faraway Burma, They Hear His Call

By Columban Naw Sang

It is no accident that the author of this article is named Columban. For many years before the war the Columban missionaries worked among the Kachins. Today foreign missions are not welcome but their message has flowered. And so this Kachin Catholic seminarian in Burma feels God spared his life so that he could serve others.

I Learn To Love Kimchi

By Fr. Abe Sumalinog mssc

I’m now a missionary in Korea. Some years back before my ordination I did my Overseas Training Program here in Korea. That included going to the language school to learn Korean – the hardest part of the training. The Korean language is based on an alphabet like our own languages in the Philippines but it also uses Chinese ideographs or characters which are whole words in themselves; there are 30, 000 Chinese characters so you can imagine the challenge and the confusion for  foreigners trying to read Korean. One has to learn two different and difficult languages at the one time!

Jesus Declares The Jubilee Open

By Fr. Chris Baker, mssc

Village Carpenter to Prophet

One Sabbath day in the synagogue ofNazareth a village carpenter was invited to read out a passage from the book of Isaiah. He may have been poor, but he was literate. When he sat down and began to explain the prophet’s word to them, that close-knit community was astonished to hear one of the world’s greatest revelations. In this country town, where his mother Mary had conceived and reared him, he now announced that he was anointed by the Spirit of God as a prophet. He fulfilled the description which they had just heard. Yes! He was the one sent to bring good news to the poor, to set free the captives and the crushed, to restore sight to the blind. In short, he was sent by God to “proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.” A Jubilee Year.

For The Sake Of India

By Sr. Maria Ellazar fmm

India is a vast country with over 800 million people. When Sr. Maria Ellazar, fmm went there 30 years ago, she was overwhelmed by the different exotic cultures and the sense of uprooting which she experienced as she was assigned in new places. Her big fear was not being accepted. Now she looks back and sees all this as a gift from God.

Sometimes Loving, Sometimes Brutal

By Emma Pabera

Emma Pabera tells about the dilemma of Pakistani wives.

I was in lay mission in Pakistan when a Columban friend wrote to me, “Life will never be the same again after your mission experience.” That was six years ago. I did not understand what he meant then. Not until my mission term ended and I went back home to the Philippines. That is why I was overjoyed when Fr. McGuire, Columban Lay Mission Coordinator, asked me if I wanted to visit our lay missionaries in Pakistan. Without any hesitation, I said, “Yes!”

Baji, Street Sweeper

One of the special persons, I wanted to see was Baji Hanefa (baji is a Punjabi word for sister). I regard her as a mother, a sister and a friend. A gentle woman, hardworking, loving and kind. She has six children, five girls, and an only boy. She works in a government corporation as a street sweeper. Most of the Christian men in the city work as street sweepers while the women as house cleaners in the Muslim families. They are poor but with hard work, Baji and her husband were able to send their children to school. Their son was in college and could speak English. He was one of the parish leaders before he got married. He helped me with our Bible activity in the community. I used to have meal in their house. Sometimes I stayed for the night. I felt at home with them as they regard me as a member of the family.

He Paints The Gospel

When he looks back now, Fr. Frank Pintac remembers that he was fascinated by the wall charts and shapes of toys when he first went to school. Soon after that his mother died when he was seven, and he went to live with relatives in Aurora in Mindanao in the Southern Philippines. It was there that his associations with the Columbans began and two of his childhood friends and guides were Frs. Joe Murtagh and Martin Noone. He got as far as London on his way to visit the latter when he heard of his death last February.

Lion In Winter

By George Weigel

John Paul II, the philosopher Pope, faces two totalitarianisms. The experience cemented his faith in the transcendence of human reason.

The most Visible Pope

Twenty years ago the College of Cardinals stunned the world by electing the first non-Italian pope in 455 yeas and the first Slavic successor to St. Peter ever. But even the more adventurous cardinal-electors in 1978 could not have imagined the impact that John Paul II -- the most visible pope and,arguably, the most visible human being, in history – would have on his times.

Letting Go, Letting God

By Doris Rayner

I came from a poor family. I am the oldest of five siblings. My father worked as a Factory worker inManila and earned a meager income. He couldn’t afford to bring his family to live with him so my Mother and us children, stayed in Pangasinan. He came home only on long weekends or Holidays. In 1974, I finished High School. I took Medical Secretarial Course at Luzon Colleges,Dagupan City, but was notable to finish it because we had no money.

The Best Time Is Now

By Baby Hofileña

I am Baby, 67 years of age and my husband, Chris, is 72. Our children, seven boys and two girls, are obviously all grown-ups now. Seven are married. I wish I had then the wisdom and experience that come with age and spiritual growth. Fortunate are the couples who start their married life with God participating.