Misyon Online - July-August 2013

Pulong ng Editor

WYD Rio 2103 – Trailer

World Youth Day takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 23 to 28 July

Hiking home during the ‘Hunger Season’

By Mercy Gawason

My name is Mercy Gawason. I grew up in the mountainous Zamboanga peninsula of northwest Mindanao in the Philippines which is the homeland of the Subanen people. My parents are farmers. My older sister Marilyn and older brother Rolly, are married and are also farmers. My three younger brothers Arnolfo, Jeyar, and Jomar are still at school.

Recently our Subanen Crafts Project acquired a small point-and-shoot camera. With this I can now take you on a photo journey up the trails and rivers to my mountain home, and then, through my pictures, I can more easily explain how the Subanen Crafts Project has helped my family and our farm.

Read story...

It’s the small things that matter

By Fr G. Chris Saenz

The author is from the USA and was ordained in 2000. Part of his preparation for the priesthood was in the Philippines. He is currently Rector of the Latin America Formation Program of the Columbans in Chile and Peru and lives in Santiago, Chile.

The ‘small things”, as St Thérèse, the Little Flower would say, are an important aspect of spirituality and mission. But don’t get a romantic notion of what that means or how it looks. Often the small things can be a nuisance, an inconvenience and a pain in the neck. That is the moment we have to be alert to whatGodis teaching us through these small things. I learned such some years ago when I worked in southern Chile.

I was living in the rural countryside populated by the Mapuche, who are indigenous to parts of Chile and Argentina. One day, after visitations and meetings, I arrived home late, tired and hungry. With a cup of tea Isat downtowatch the local news. Suddenly there was a knock on my door. What! Who can that be! My mind raced thus, completely upset by the intrusion. I opened the door to see Kata, a Columban lay missionary from Fiji who lived next door. ‘Sorry to disturb you’, she apologized, probably seeingdiscontent on my face. ‘There is a woman here to see you. She’s in our house.’ I told the Kata that I’dbe there. With a huff and a puff I changed my clothes and went over. It was unusual for someone, especially a woman, to be out at this hour. I was surprised to discover that there were two women waiting for me, onebeing Maria who lived quite far away. They greeted me.

We from North America and Europe valuebeing direct,‘getting to the point’,-so as notto ‘waste time’. However, in Chilebeing direct is not a value. It is considered rude. The women began with the usual general questions of how was I doing, my family, my health, etc. Having beenin Chile for several years I was accustomed to this, but that night it was torture. I begrudgingly participated. After about 30 minutes the women finally got to the point. Maria explained that after shopping in the large city, two hours away by bus,they had arrived back herelate and she had missedthe last bus to her area.

Read story...

A Call to Serve through Columban Mission

By Delia Hynson-Jagonia

My life is about serving the people. I worked with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), with the Church through a social action center, with the Columbans in Columban Lay Missionaries - Philippines (CLM-P) and Subanen Crafts. I was trained by the Columban Sisters in Immaculate Conception College (ICC), now La Salle University, Ozamiz City, where I studied. I had a good job, worked abroad and in Manila and visited different countries but later chose to go back to Ozamiz to be with my mother. The impact of the Columbans in my life started in the 1980s with Fr Peter Leonard who conducted a live-in five-week training program on lay leadership.

Fr Vinnie Busch invited me to be part of the staff of CLM-P in Ozamiz. He was the full-time coordinator there but worked part-time in Subanen Crafts as part of the Mission and Art Ministry. I did not see myself as being called to be a Columban Lay Missionary, as I had come home to care for my mother. But I opted to be a CLM-P staff member in 1999. I was to receive the teams assigned to Mindanao and to help prepare lay missionaries for assignment abroad. I accompanied them for exposure in areas in Mindanao. Being with CLM-P, I was to journey with the lay missionaries, to be there at times when they needed a friend, to be a staff memberready to accommodate their concerns.

When I started working with Father Vinnie I became interested in his creation spirituality, the blending of his artistic works in drawing and creating mandalas. I didn’t have an opportunity to express my artistic talents but was in awe when I met Father Vinnie. While I was happy working with CLM-P, half of my body and soul was with Subanen Crafts. So I was inspired to dedicate myself to art and in 2006 resigned from CLM-P to work full-time with Subanen Crafts.

Read story...


PH21 – Team in Orientation 2013-2014

The three members of PH21, the 21st group of Columban Lay Missionaries from the Philippines began their nine-month orientation program on 3 June. They are staying in St Columban’s Lay Mission Center, 34 Rosario Drive, Cubao, 111 Quezon City. Here are profiles of the three.

PH21 (L to R): Jenanydel, Luda and Ivy May

Jenanydel Nola, 24, from the T’Boli Tribe of Maitum,Sarangani Province. Del, second of eight children, is a graduate inEconomics of Notre Dame University of Dadiangas. From June 2010 to March 2012 she worked at StMarcellinDaycareCenter, established in their place for the T’bolis through the generosity of her grandfather, Malico Nola. After two years as a day care worker, she was given a new assignment as a self-help facilitator with the tribal women’s group, under the supervision of the Marist Brothers and Sisters (Notre Dame Business Resource Center). Aside from being a teacher and a community facilitator, Del has also worked as a researcher and was appointed Parent Leader of the PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program in her area.

Read story...


Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

1. We were passing by Osobeng Waterfalls, Asesewa, Ghana, which hurtle hundreds of feet into the depths below. Everyone wanted to stop to view such a majestic and beautiful scene. While with the altar boys now enraptured by the sight I remarked, ‘What a nice place to throw down misbehaving altar boys’. They stared anxiously at each other.

Read story...


‘To say that you kill in the name of God is blasphemy’

‘The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. “But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.” Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this “closing off” that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy. (Pope Francis, homily, 22 May 2013.)

Read story...

The Day I Bargained with God

By Grace Christine Bañez

When I was reviewing for the nursing board examination in 1993 I felt so unprepared that tension started to build up in my system. My friends and I went to church almost every day. We prayed the rosary and all the novenas which we believed would help us to pass and overcome all the challenges that would come our way.

Mind you, my scores in our practice tests barely reached 70 per cent, so how could I expect to pass the board with its passing rate of 75 per cent? I’d heard some of my friends phoning their parents, expressing their anxiety. Some of the parents told their children to just do their best and that they would support them no matter what the result might be. That made my friends feel less tense but for me it was a different picture. When I called my Mom to tell her about my scores, she pleadingly told me that I had to pass the board exam since, if I failed, we didn’t have much money to spend. She was building a house at the time.

Read story...