Misyon Online - March-April 2012
Minister Bhatti, you forgot one question in the interview. Your life is threatened by who and what sort of threats are you receiving?
The forces of violence, militant banned organizations, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda, they want to impose their radical philosophy on Pakistan. And whoever stands against their radical philosophy that threatens them, when I’m leading this campaign against the Sharia Law, for the abolishment of (the) Blasphemy Law, and speaking for the oppressed, marginalized and persecuted Christian and other minorities, these Taliban threaten me.
By Fr Peter Woodruff
Fr Noel O’Neill was ordained in Ireland in December 1956 and has been working in Korea since 1957. Fr Peter Woodruff is an Australia Columban who worked in Peru for many years. Ordained in 1967, he is now based in Essendon, a suburb of Melbourne, at the headquarters of the Columbans in Australia and New Zealand.
Columban Fr Noel O’Neill, spoke to the staff of our mission office in Essendon, Melbourne, Australia, about his experience with intellectually disabled people in Korea. Father Noel arrived in Korea in 1957, not long after the Korean War ended in 1953. The whole country had been devastated by war and was still in the throes of reconstruction. Like most Columbans at that time in Korea, Father Noel began his mission work building up and running parishes; this was his mission for 24 years.
By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD
Decision on Complexion
Out of idle curiosity, one village teacher wanted to know why I had chosen Ghana as my mission. I replied, ‘When I was asked to choose, I looked first at my skin, thought of Ghana, and told myself that I must go to a place where I will be easily inculturated by color’.
By John Din, Columban Lay Missionary
John Din, from San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur, is the Coordinator of Columban Lay Missionares – Philippines, a position he took last year after spending almost 18 years as a Columban Lay Missionary in Brazil and Peru.
By Tavite Tukutukubau
The first journey in one’s missionary life is exciting and wonderful.
As a young boy growing up in a Fijian village I used to admire big planes flying over us especially at night. Every night I used to look forward to admiring the level of technology we’ve reached.
By Pat Visanti
On 7 October we had an anticipated celebration for Fiji Day at our formation house in Cubao. For me, celebrating Fiji Day away from home for the first time in my life was a touching and memorable experience.
We began with a Mass celebrated by Fr Arthur Ledger SJ, Fiji’s only Jesuit priest, who is the current director of the East Asia Pacific Institute at Ateneo de Manila. Then followed the Fijian kava ceremony. We also had a brief slide-show of the history of Fiji. The spiritual year students performed the meke, a traditional Fijian dance, and this was followed by the meal. The night was simply the Pacific at its best here in Manila, and there was more than enough for everyone who came to join us in our celebration.
By Fr Brian Gore
Fr Brian Gore, from Western Australia, was ordained in 1968 and then came to the Philippines, where he was assigned to the southern part of Negros Occidental, at that time in the Diocese of Bacolod but since 1987 the Diocese of Kabankalan, an area where the Columbans have worked since 1950.
We are promoting a programme of subsistence farming in the parish of Oringao, in the mountainous hinterlands of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, where I worked from 1975 to 1984. I no longer work as parish priest but coordinate any parish related matters with the present parish council. In the old days we were able to organize rallies of up to 10,000 community members determined to protest against abuses by the military, government officials and landlords. We were seen by the Marcos regime as a threat to established power. Seldom before on Negros Island had the poor found a way to stand up to the wealthy and powerful.
By Fr John A. Keenan
Fr Keenan, from Ireland, is chaplain at Centro Escolar University Manila.
Maria dela Cruz, 15, and Lourdes Garcia, 16, (not their real names) were abducted one night near their homes and taken to a detention center near Manila City Hall because of ‘bagansa’, vagrancy, ie, being out during curfew. Instead of being taken home to their parents they were dumped into an already overcrowded, poorly ventilated detention center called ‘Reception and Action Center’ (RAC). Most children do not know what curfew is and anyhow they do not have watches or know how to observe the curfew hours. The plight of such children abducted from the streets was highlighted a couple of years ago in the local and international media. It is estimated that there are up to 20,000 children behind bars in the Philippines.
What is the meaning of Lent?
Here Fr Tom O’Reilly, the Regional Director of the Columbans in Britain, offers some answers arising from an experience in Pakistan.
There's a crack in everything and the light gets in
When I arrived at a small chapel on the outskirts of Gujranwala, Pakistan, to celebrate Mass on the first Sunday of Lent I was surprised to see the place was practically empty. Eventually, I was told that the people were assembled in the house of Rashid, a parishioner, to support him in the rigorous fast he had begun on Ash Wednesday.
By Maricar Garces
Misyon really inspires me.
I’m very sad to hear that you are no longer printing the magazine! I've been searching for you all over the internet and am very interested in being a member! I love reading stories from your Columban missionaries because they inspire me a lot! I feel that our Lord is beside me when I read these articles! I’ve kept a copy of the March-April 2002 issue of Misyon,. Even though it’s not the latest, the stories refresh me each time I read them. It’s very inspiring.
Right now, I’m a happy mom . . . no, no let me correct that . . . I’m a super happy mom! My son is such a wonderful blessing even though he sometimes likes to bite on the magazine that I’ve been keeping for a long time now.
By Mercy B. Gawason
The author is a young Subanen who works with Subanen Craft.. She and her companions at Subanen Crafts recently visited Negros Occidental and dropped by the Misyon editorial office in Bacolod City.
There’s no easy way for the poor to reach their dreams. They have to work and sacrifice for it. There are lots of thorns and obstacles that you can encounter but if you really want to achieve your dreams in life, then you'll find your own strategy. No matter how difficult it is you must go on. As they say, poverty is not a hindrance to success. Never forget where you have come from and always remember decisions you've made because you’ve put God first in all things and believe that with God nothing is impossible.