July-August 2009

Pulong ng Editor


The Negros Nine Live On

In 1983 three priests and six lay workers in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental, were charged with multiple murder. Over the next 14 months of trial and imprisonment they become known worldwide as ‘The Negros Nine’.

These trumped-up charges were meant to stop the work of the Basic Christian Communities (BCC) in which the Nine had been among the forerunners in Negros. The goal of the BCCs or the Kristiyanong Katilingban (KK) was the non-violent transformation of Negros society through total human development...


A ‘Negros Nine Baby’

As I was only two at the time, I have only vague memories of my father being imprisoned together with eight other members of the ‘Negros Nine’ due to false accusations. Ironically however, they are happy ones, maybe because my parents made great efforts to be optimistic and hopeful amidst the situation. So, even if I did not fully understand, I felt everything would be fine...


Faith Of A Woman

On 10 March 1982 news broke about the murder of Mayor Pablo Sola of Kabankalan in an ambush. Many rumors were heard but we didn’t expect that three priests and six lay leaders actively involved in the building of Basic Christian Communities, Kristianong Katilingban, would be accused. 

At first, I didn’t bother, for I knew my husband Conrado and the priests weren’t responsible for such a crime but I was surprised when a group of uniformed military men arrived and surrounded our house...


What Makes Her Life Worthwhile

Way back then, brought up in a traditional Catholic family , she became a teacher in a two Columban parochial primary schools for seven years, and taught at a school run by Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM) for four years. She was a sportswoman and once represented her country in an international netball competition. Her life then was divided between sports and teaching.

Serafina liked sports, going out with friends, had a boyfriend, but found something more meaningful in lay mission...


Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-Hwan RIP

On Monday 16 February at 6.12pm Cardinal Kim died in St Mary’s Hospital, Seoul. Within an hour the crowds were gathering at the Cathedral to receive the body which arrived at 9.30pm. Beginning  that night and during the following three days over 400,000 people filed past the coffin to pay their respects. It was an unprecedented display of affection and respect for the man they called the ‘kun orun’ (literally the ‘great elder’). People of all religious persuasions, young and old alike, came to see him for the last time. The cathedral was full and the church yard was overflowing for the funeral on the Friday the 21st which was broadcast live on all the networks...

In Memory Of Cardinal Kim Suhwan

A poem of remembrance by Fr Kevin O'Rourke...


‘Expectant Faith’ And Sincere Prayer

I boarded air-conditioned OA Travel and Tour bus no AS54392H in Accra, capital of Ghana, bound for Techiman on 29 October 2007. 

Just a few minutes before we left at 9:45 in the evening, a stocky man in a red T-shirt standing in the center aisle, requested in full confidence all passengers to be silent. Then he started praying so fervently in a plethora of words that I could feel everyone was deeply moved. After a lengthy prayer, he finally ended, looking from the back to the front seats and again from the front to the back seats, obviously expecting donations or ‘love offerings’. Seeing no action, he reluctantly turned toward the door with a rather long face...


Dialogue Of His Holiness Benedict XVI With The Children Of The Pontifical Society Of The Holy Childhood

First Question:

My name is Anna Filippone, I am 12 years old, I am an altar girl and come from Calabria, Diocese of Oppido Mamertina-Palmi. Pope Benedict, my friend Giovanni has an Italian father and an Ecuadorian mother and is very happy. Do you think that one day the different cultures will be able to live together without quarrelling in Jesus' name?...


International Meeting On WYD

Being based in Italy I was asked to represent the Teresian Association at the first international meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity (PCL) in preparation for the Madrid World Youth Day (WYD) in 2011, held in Rome from April 3 to 5. Representatives from 70 countries and 30 international Catholic communities, associations and movements, and the organizing committees of Sydney and Madrid came to take part in the meeting to assess the WYD in Sydney and to start planning for Madrid...