March-April 2002

Age Doesn’t Really Matter

By Gee-Gee O. Torres

It’s been two years since I visited our Filipino missionaries in Korea.  But how could I forget Fr. Willy Jesena, CSsR and the long walk we had going to their Formation House?  After he said Mass for the Filipino Community, he invited Rheena, one of our Filipino Columban lay missionaries, and me to go and see their house.  We were delighted with the invitation.  We took the subway and then the bus.  When we got off the bus, we began walking.  While walking along the narrow streets, I kept asking Fr. Willy what’s this and that.  And unfortunately the colorful rice cakes caught my attention.  Fr. Willy didn’t have any choice but to buy me some to satisfy my curiosity.

Fr Willy and brothers

I Have Come To Stay

By Fr Donal Halliden MSSC

On a late summer day in August 1940, while driving my mother to town, my eldest brother, William, already an ordained Columban, suddenly said, “If Donal wants to go to Dalgan he might as well go this year.”  Dalgan was the major seminary of the Columbans in Ireland.  I was still in high school but I had passed the matriculation examination of the National University of Ireland and on this basis I would be accepted in Dalgan.

Five Vocations in a Family

If my mother was surprised, she did not show it but I do remember her saying, “Anyone who wants to serve the Church cannot be selfish.”  My father still had to be consulted and he readily gave his consent even though I was the fourth of his five sons wishing to enter the priesthood, three of us as Columbans and the fourth as a secular for our diocese.  A fifth vocation was to come to the family later when our younger sister, Maureen, entered the local convent of the Sisters of Mercy.

Hands Of Shame

By Fr Frank Pidgeon CSsR

Warly comes from Bukidnon, from a remote barrio on the island of Mindanao in Southern Philippines.  She is barely thirty, the mother of four.  Her husband is a farmer.  Warly completed her high school education, but she didn’t manage to go to college.

However any lack in her education is more than compensated for by a sturdy but gentle character.  Warly is a woman of surprising maturity, one who thinks and expresses herself clearly and rationally.  Thirty years on the rice fields of Bukidnon, of untiring devotion to her husband and children have taught her to eliminate all show from her life.  Warly is not given to exaggeration.

If I Walk Through The Valley Of Darkness…

By Susan Severino

Susan “Yet” Severino is a close friend of the editor. She comes from Silay, Negros Occidental but at present works in Canada.  In the recent past she has had a difficult encounter with cancer.  She shared her thoughts privately with Fr. Niall O’Brien who asked her permission to share them with our readers.  These will bring light to many who are also traveling through this dark valley.