March-April 1997

From Fiji to Philippines

By Fr. Francisco Hoare, SSC

Sr. Pushpa is a 30 year old Missionary Sister of the Society of Mary. She is the first Indian Sister from Naleba, Labasa. Her father, Arjun, presented Pushpa, her three brothers and younger sister Shakuntula to Fr. McCaffey for instruction and baptism when Pushpa was about 7 years old. She joined the SMSM order in 1985. She has been appointed to work as a missionary in the Philippines. Fr. Frank Hoare interviews her here.

Gutbai PNG, Gude Hong Kong

By Fr. Tom Gonzales, MSP

Msgr. Tomas Gonzales is from Baliuag Bulacan and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Manila. Having served in Tondo and Pasay and later as Pastor in Alabang and Sta. Cruz, he then volunteered as a missionary to Papua New Guinea and then at present in Hong Kong as an associate member of the Mission Society of the Philippines (MSP- is the official missionary arm of our Philippine Catholic Church). Here he tells of the two different worlds he has come to encounter. GUTBAI is the Pidgin word for 'Goodbye’, the GUDE for ‘Hello’ and ‘Good Day,’

Island in the Sun

By Sr. Andrea Cabunilas, AR

Bonthe, Sherbo Island was where the first Filipino Recollect Sisters went to Work. This place could be mistaken for a Filipino Town since the climate is the same as ours. The houses are not big and most of the rooves are of galvanized iron. The town is just beside the river with breakwaters or cement walls. Mangroves, coconut, palm and cotton trees grow around the town. Our means of transportation is wooden launch or speed boat.

It is wonderful to belong to the Church

By Hector Pascua

Last Pentecost Sunday, 40 youth in our parish received the Sacrament of Confirmation. The preparation for this big event lasted for six months. Every week the youth gathered in the parish hall in four groups to discuss topics related to the Catholic faith. Every group had its own leader who was responsible for the group and acted as teacher. This year, three lay leasers m who took a religion course offered by the Diocese of Vienna, volunteered to lead each group. I myself took the fourth group composed of ten youths. .I designed a catechism booklet for the preparation with 10 chapters covering themes such as: Confirmation, church, Jesus, Faith, Eucharist, Mission, Christian Living, Reconciliation, Celebration pf the Sacrament.

Let me tell You a Story

By Bo Sanchez

Perfect

There was a man who was looking for a perfect woman. So he searched for her far and wide, someone who was intelligence, beautiful, and charming..., (Note: This is not my personal story, no matter the man similarities, okay?) And after many years of exploring and waiting, he finally found her. So he courted her to ask for her hand in marriage. But sadly, she rejected him. (Sob) In his misery, he realized why; she was searching for the perfect man.

Memories of Serge

By Fr. Edgar S. Saguinsin

Could I be one of them? As I watched Serge laid in his grace, I have to say, I felt a level of pride. It was I who recruited him to join the labor union! Serge stood head the shoulder over the crowd of union members and officers as the most inspiring of them all! His story hints that this man might be a saint even though a controversial one.

Looking back I recall my conversation with Serge in 1973 at the Catholic Church rectory of La Carlota City where I was the parish priest. We talked about the plight of the sugar workers. It was not hard to convince Serge that one of the most effective ways of helping to improve the economic and social conditions of the sugar workers in Negros was to organize even under Martial Law. But we needed qualified labor union organizers, I told him, “I wonder if I could be one” Serge said. That remark started the history of Serge’s involvement with the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW). We agreed that he would apply as an organizers and I would sponsor him.

No greater Love

By Ma. Ceres Doyo

“True to form, true to form,” a young Jesuit sobbed when he learned of the death of his friend and fellow Jesuit Brother Richard “Richie” Michael Fernando, 26. As Richie lived, so did he die. He live working among the victims of violence, he died in the midst of them.

The Pruning

By Rene Tumang

A bare hut. Five hungry children. A simple carpenter for a father. A compulsive gambler for a mother. These were my memories of childhood. I did not know if the pain could be erased.

When I was 9 years old, my father, our sole breadwinner, boarded a bus to Manila from our hometown in Pampanga. He never came back. He met an accident and he died on the spot. Our eldest had to stop studying to work. We found out that we could not count any of our relatives for help and we had to learn to fend for ourselves because they have families of their own. One of my sister got married at the age 14 and she took me to live with her mother-in-law in Dagupan City. She said that I could continue studying high school there. What I did not know was I would also serve as a house boy there.

What is the Color of God?

By Ariel Presbitero

On morning during one of my house visitations I encountered a very interesting question that went like this: “What is the color of God?” I paused and thought a while wondering where was this coming from? I never heard that God has color. As far as I know, I learned from my childhood catechism that man and woman were created by God according to His own likeness and image. It didn’t say what is the color of God. Does God really have a color? Is He white? Black, Brown, Yellow? Is He a mixture of all these colors?

Rose Petals in our Hearts

By Sr. Perlita Ponge

Our first Holy Week celebration in Pakistan started in Holy Thursday when Sister Maureen Donohoe and I arrived loasa Nagra, a Parkari Kohli village. We were greeted by the village elders and, after drinking a welcome glass of cold water, we went house to house to meet the villagers. The men were busy preparing a meal in huge pots while the women tidied up their homes.

Angola Diary

By Efren de Guzman, SVD

Dearest MISYON Friends,

May the Love be the real joy of our life. What a privilege to have time to write you through my stories are sometimes sad. Will I write what’s really happening to me or things that will not worry you? Some friends were saying: “We all have problems. But sometimes it’s good not to tell them to our loved ones and make them unhappy. “But how will they know what to pray for it if I don’t tell them our latest news. I told you already what happened last December when we got involved in a shooting incident. Thank God we survived!

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Mistaken Identity

Mr. William Opare, in-charge of Entertainment Club of Kintampo Rural Health Training School, came to invite me for a talk. “Where is Fr. Joe?” he asked. “Oh, do you have any message for him? I can give it to him.” Innocently, he gave me the message after which we continued talking about Fr. Joe. He assured me he would follow-up the invitation the following day. When he came back, he asked again, “Is Fr. Joe in?” “Yes.” “Where is he?” “Infront of you. Lucky you did not say anything bad about him the last time.” I said laughing.