A Simple Witness
In the Philippines , the state views overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as the country’s new heroes because of their contributions to the economy. They leave their families behind, risk many dangers, and battle loneliness in foreign lands to provide a better life for their families back home.
Women make up many of the hundreds of thousands of OFWs who leave every year. Many of these women migrants work abroad as domestic workers, performing work that frees their employers from the tedious details of everyday life – cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing, minding children, and taking care of the sick or elderly. Because domestic work is not covered by labor laws, many women migrants are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Not surprisingly, many women migrants pray for a ‘good’ employer.
Long working hours, inadequate food, and delayed or nonpayment of wages are among the common problems domestic workers face. In addition, the work entails other hazards that inflict private pain. One migrant said that her employer did not even call her by name but instead addressed her as ‘slave-girl’.
Clara was in her early twenties when she decided to work in Singapore. As the eldest in her family, she wanted to help her parents support her younger siblings. Although she had a degree in education, she could not find a job as a teacher in the Philippines ore elsewhere. She prayed for a good employer in Singapore who would not hinder her faith life. Her prayers were answered, as her employer gave her days off on Sundays to attend Mass.
Clara found the work demanding. In addition to doing the household chores, she was entrusted with the household budget and helped the children with their schoolwork. The parents were out most of the time, so, for all practical purposes, Clara was the children’s mother. When her employer’s marriage broke up, she felt responsible for the children, whom she considered family. She had thoughts of working in Hong Kong where salaries were higher, but because her employer and the children had become her family, she stayed on.
The care and concern Clara showed to her family in the Philippines and her ‘family’ in Singapore speak eloquently of the value of everyday acts of kindness and service.
Maruha M. B. Asis, Scalabrini Migration Center , Manila , Philippines
Source: Once Upon a Time in Asia by James Kroeger, p. 43
Fr Fransiskus Madhu SVD, RIP
By Frater Felmar C. Fiel SVD http://fielsvd.blogspot.com/
Our dear Society of the Divine Word (SVD) congregation mourns the death of our young missionary priest from Indonesia, Fr Fransiskus Madhu, SVD, 31, who was shot dead while preparing to celebrate Mass at around 5:30pm on Palm Sunday, 1 April, in Barrio Mabongtot, Lubuagan, Kalinga, in the northern Philippines. Father Fransiskus arrived in the Philippines on Palm Sunday 2005, not long after his ordination.
Father Fransiskus was co-pastor with Fr Gerardo Gudmalin SVD of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Mission in Lubuagan, part of the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk.
The initial report of our Superior General, Fr Tony Pernia SVD, states, ‘Fransiskus was already vested for the afternoon Mass at 5:30 when a man suddenly appeared before him and fired a pistol at him without any apparent motive. It seems that the attacker had personal problems and was wanted by the police. Our young confrere died immediately’. (Later reports said that the weapon used was an M-16, not a pistol.)
The man who shot him was known to have a criminal record.
We, his SVD confreres in Christ the King Mission Seminary, strongly condemn the killing of Father Francis. We hope that the government will do something to give justice to our dead confrere whose only motive was to serve the people of Kalinga in his mission assignment.
Please include him and his murderer in your prayers.
The remains of Father Fransiskus were buried at the Sementeryo ng mga Relihiyoso, at Christ the King Mission Seminary, QC, on Easter Monday, 9 April.