Letting God's Light Shine Through

By Sister Nellie Zarraga ICM

Sr Nellie, 2nd from the left, and Bishop Wens Padilla, far right, with friends outside a ger

Sr Nellie, an ICM Sister in Mongolia, attended the ordination of Fr Wens Padilla as the first bishop in Mongolia which took place in the newly constructed Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul in the western part of Uaanbaatar. The beauty of the stained glass windows caught here attention and reminded her of the work of the missionaries in the country.

As the sun shone through the small stained-glass windows surrounding the dome of the Mongolian ger-like structure, my thoughts went to the meaning of the presence of the Church here.

I looked again at the windows around and found six designs. At the very center, above the altar, was a cross; I thought of how Bishop Wens is the center of unity among the missionaries here, nine of whom are from the Philippines.

Beside the cross was a pair of hands; I thought of the hands of Sister M. Shehenna MC reaching out to the children of poor families in Yarmag, clothing and feeding them so that they can go to the nearby schools and have some kind of education to improve their families' lot, and the hands of Sr M. Milagrosa MC guiding the street children who go to the center of the Missionaries of Charity in Dar Ekh.

Next was the window depicting some bread; I thought of the bread baked by the community development project of ICM Sister Marife Sebial, and the bread of fellowship and dignity I share with persons with mental and learning disabilities.

Another window showed doves in flight; is this not the effect of the CICMs – Father Gilbert Sales caring for 120 street children, the pastoral work of Fr Philip Borla with the newly baptized Mongolian Catholics, and the youth animation of Brother Ronald Magbanua?

The symbol of the fish in another design caught my attention; Salesian Fr Carlo Maria Villegas has cast his net among the poor youth who have dropped out of school but want some vocational and technical education in Don Bosco Technical and Vocational Center.

The last design is that of a flower in bloom. May all of us bloom with the grace of God and the accompaniment of one another as we go the way of Christ together. . . to the greater glory of God.

In the words of our new bishop to the Catholics of Mongolia, ‘Let this faith you have received, not from us, but through us, grow in you. . .’