March-April 2006

Filipina Mother Gives Life For Her Child

By Father Seán Coyle

Bernadette Mimura, known as ‘Milai,’ a Filipina living in Ingleby Barwick in the north of England, was faced with a stark choice last year. Aged 37, she discovered she had breast cancer. At the time she was one month pregnant. The doctors told her that they could cure her – but that the drugs they wanted to use would be very strong and affect the baby.

TRIBUTE TO A TEACHER

By Cherry Mee T. Degoro

One of the best features of Misyon is the youth page. I wish, one day, through this best feature I could pay tribute to my best teacher.

First Five Months As A Missionary

by Monsignor Allen A. Aganon

Monsignor Aganon, ordained 18 September 1982, has been rector of San Carlos Major Seminary, Makati City, and was the first Filipino parish priest of St Joseph Parish, Las Piñas City, home of the Bamboo Organ, Diocese of Parañaque, before leaving for South America. He is now studying Quechua, in preparation for working in a small town in the southern Andes.

Festival Of Peoples

Homily of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Primate of Ireland

Archbishop Martin was speaking at a special Mass on 5 January, the Eve of the Epiphany, in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral. The congregation included Filipinos, Poles, Nigerians, Romanians, Indians, Latvians and Brazilians, some wearing traditional dress. Readings and prayers were in different languages and there was a multi-cultural choir for the occasion. Archbishop Martin hopes that next year individual parishes will have a similar celebration. Because of emigration,Ireland’s population in 1980 was about half what it had been in 1845. But since 2000 huge numbers have been migrating into the country. The Church in the Philippines observes the First Sunday of Lent as Migrants’ Sunday.

Inspired By St Bernadette

By Father Chris Saenz SSC

Father Saenz, who spent part of his formation in the Philippines and has written for Misyon before, is Vice Director of the Columbans in Chile and Rector of student formation there.


Father Chris on his ordination day

Q. How and when did you experience God calling you to the priesthood?

A. I first received my call to the priesthood when I was about 20 or 21. I was working for UPS and going to college part-time, studying engineering and computers. I had attended the US Merchant Marine Academy, but was expelled because of low grades. I hadn’t attended Mass since I was 14. I was living from one weekend to the next, looking for the next party and taking nothing seriously. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

Preaching Hope From Prison

By François-Xavier Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuán

The extraordinary story, in his own words, of Vietnamese Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuan, Coadjutor Archbishop of Thành-Phô Hô Chí Minh (formerly Saigon) from 1975 till 1994. Just three months after his appointment he was imprisoned by the communist government. He spent thirteen years in jail, nine of them in solitary confinement. In 1998 he was appointed President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the Vatican. He gave the Lenten retreat to Pope John Paul and his staff in 1999 and died inRome on 16 September 2002. Here are some edited extracts from the cardinal’s story.


Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh City

WYD Diary

By Maricel Bedra

‘VENIMUS ADORE EUM!’ ‘We have come to worship Him!’ The World Youth Day (WYD) gathering of young (and old) inCologne, focused on faith that is centered on Jesus and the Eucharist, wasn’t for my group just a day event but twelve days of prayer, worship and friendship.


The author, from Victorias City, Negros Occidental, takes care of an elderly couple in Dublin, Ireland, where she is also actively involved with the Legion of Mary.

WYD – Tripoli Style

By Veronica C. Ugates


The 'Kabayan Kids' presented the 'Visit of the Mag' with great gusto.

The author is Senior Nurse at Veba Oil Operations in Tripoli. She was one of twelve Bagong BayaniAwardees in 2005. These are given each year by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to outstanding Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). As she couldn’t be present at at Malacañang on 2 December, Father Arturo Cunca OFM accepted the award from President Arroyo on her behalf.

Patricio: My Father’s Name

by Father Patricio de los Reyes SVD

Father de los Reyes is Provincial of the Botswana-Zambia-Zimbabwe of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), www.svdbotswana.com . He has been recovering well from a brutal attack in December at his residence that left him gravely injured.

When I was born on 14 July 1956, everyone in the family thought I had inherited my father’s physical features, and so I inherited his name as Patricio de los Reyes Jr. But I was never meant to be just like my father. After high school graduation, my father suggested I should become a lawyer like him. But I said I wanted to become a missionary priest. So I did. I joined the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) inCebu City and started my training as a Divine Word missionary.

World Youth Day

By Samuel Goyvaerts

Samuel Goyvaerts is a Belgian university student. He wrote in the September-October issue about playing the part of Magellan in a Filipino celebration in his town.

I won’t forget quickly the experience of going to Cologne last August with 1,300 other young people from Flanders, the Dutch(Flemish)-speaking part of Belgium, for World Youth Day. One, for example, welcomed 100 young people from the Canadian diocese that had hosted its young participants in WYD 2002 in Toronto.

In the September-October 2005 issue we published a letter from a student to Sister Grace Dorothy Lim about her article Strange Encounter. Here below is another letter to Sister Dorothy by a high school student from St Scholastica’s College, Manila.

Dear Sr Grace Dorothy Lim,

I am Bernadette Cortes, a third year high school student in Scholastica’s College Manila. My professor in Christian Living Education as

In the September-October 2005 issue we published a letter from a student to Sister Grace Dorothy Lim about her article Strange Encounter. Here below is another letter to Sister Dorothy by a high school student from St Scholastica’s College, Manila.

Dear Sr Grace Dorothy Lim,

I am Bernadette Cortes, a third year high school student in Scholastica’s College Manila. My professor in Christian Living Education asked us to comment on any article we read in Misyon. The minute after I have read your article I knew I had to write to you. I really am not sure what the main reason was but I guess because of the title of your article. It attracted me in a way that I really wanted to read it, maybe because like you I myself had a strange encounter that changed my life. Although my experience will be nothing compared to yours I still would like to share it to you.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

MALARIA CHILLS

At the height of my malaria, I was chilled and shaking violently.  Mr Charles Kudawe, our cook, spread two more blankets over me and held me tightly to stop me from shaking. I mumbled, ‘Charles, what are you doing to me?!’ He must have thought he could stop malaria this way.