Misyon Online - March-April 2015

Pulong ng Editor

 ‘This cathedral has been razed to the ground many times, but it refuses to disappear. It boldly rises from the ruins - just like the Filipino people.’

On 16 January Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, gave a welcoming speech to Pope Francis before the final blessing at the Mass in the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in which bishops, priests, seminarians and religious participated. He spoke of the Cathedral as a symbol of the people, the church building as a symbol of the Church, the faithful. May his words lead us into a profound sense of gratitude for the gift of the faith that God has given each of us as individuals and all of us as his Church, especially here in the Philippines. Here is the text of the Cardinal’s talk.


‘What have I gotten myself into?’

By Anne Gubuan

There is something about witnessing an ordination ceremony that makes me cry. Maybe it’s the sentimentality of a son leaving his parents to serve the Lord. Maybe it’s the courage I see in these priest warriors, leaving everything and sacrificing so many things. Maybe it’s the feeling of being taken care of by God by sending us these brave and loving shepherds.

On 7 January this year I was privileged to attend yet another one of these very meaningful Catholic celebrations.  San Isidro Labrador Parish of Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, rejoiced and thanked the heavens for their new priest, Fr Jason Atiquera.

Cardinal Tagle meets Deaf students in Bacolod City

Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, flew down to Bacolod City on 26 January to receive the Fides Award ffor his contribution to Quality Christian Education.


An Interview with Naya

By Fr Chris Saenz

This article was written when Fr Saenz, a frequent contributor to MISYONonline.com, was still parish priest in La Pintana. The interview took place on 5 February 2014.

Nayade Constanza Rocha Canales, known to family and friends as ‘Naya’, is a 16-year-old adolescent who suffers from Spina Bifida.  Spina Bifida, the Latin for ‘split spine’, is characterized by the incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord, and/or meninges - the protective covering around the brain and spinal cord. Naya’s condition has confined her to a wheelchair. She is an intelligent adolescent who dreams of being a teacher; or a doctor who treats children and adolescents.  She enjoys being with her family and going to school.  She lives with her maternal grandparents Rosa and Alejo whom she affectionately calls ‘Mama and Papa’.  They have taken care of Naya, who has a distant relationship with her mother, since she was born.


From Fear to Friendship

By Beth Sabado

Beth Sabado, hiking in Hong Kong

The author recently finished a three-year term in Hong Kong as Coordinator of the Lay Missionary Central Leadership Team and is currently awaiting a new assignment.

My pilgrimage in, indeed my conversion to, interreligious dialogue started even before I learned the meaning of the word dialogue. Both my parents were from Luzon in the northern Philippines, but in 1946, soon after World War II, my father decided to migrate south to Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur. At the time the town, which became a city in 1969, was predominantly Muslim, according to my father. My mother had a similar migration story and so my parents, even though neither was born there, met and married in Mindanao.


St Columban's Day – With Kachin Trimmings…

By Fr Patrick Colgan

Fr Pat Colgan, from Northern Ireland, was based in Fiji before being elected to the General Council of the Missionary Society of St Columban. The Council members live in Hong Kong.

Offertory Procession

A Kachin Dance

St Columban’s Day 2014 came early in the hills of Kachin State. Over 2,000 people had already started boarding trains for the three-day journey to Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, for the upcoming national  500th anniversary celebrations of the arrival of the  Catholic faith (initially through Portuguese traders) due to be the held the following weekend. So it was decided to have the local diocesan Jubilee celebration, an ordination to the diaconate, and St Columban’s Day – the saint is patron of Myitkyina Diocese -  all on 15 November.

About 3,000 representatives from many parishes gathered in the early morning at Edin, the large piece of land containing St Luke’s Catechists’ School, founded by Australian Columban Fr Bernard Way, for Mass at 730am. We were led by a loud Kachin marching band to the grotto prepared for the outdoor celebration.


What Missing the Harvest Meant on His Journey

by Richelle H. Verdeprado

They say that our circle of friends can influence who we become. This is particularly true of Fr. Liam O’Keeffe who became a missionary priest after deciding to follow in the footsteps of a school friend who went to the Columban seminary, Dalgan Park, near Navan, Ireland. Since then it has become a decision that is being continually affirmed as he goes on meeting people and going to places where the love of Jesus is shown through the presence of Columbans.

Gandhi, with a French interpreter

‘Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.’ 
― Mahatma Gandhi

Psalm 16 Good News Translation (GNT)