May-June 1998

Mining: Threat to our Tribes

By Sr. Kathleen Melia

The people of Midsalip, Mindanao, in the Southern Philippines feel threatened by the authorization given to the British and Australian mining giants RTZ-CRA to begin explanatory work on half a million hectares of their land. The bishops and Columban missionaries who work in Mindanao share the concern that the transnational’s quest for profits will destroy ancient people. Their land and their culture.

Truly Mayan, Truly Christian

By Fr. Rey Tejico, CICM

Like tribal people everywhere, the Mayan Indians of Guatemala are under siege from the Government, the military and intrusive lowlanders. Fr. Rey Tejico, a young Filipino missionary, tells us how the Church is trying, albeit belatedly, to respect and integrate the Mayan culture into the liturgy and to ensure that it enriches our Christian life.

The Chaos of Ignorance

When in 1992 our Province evaluated its missionary presence in Guatemala the decision was made to make a more radical commitment to pastoral missionary presence among the Indians. As a result of this decision a team of CICMers took up the task. We were convinced that we had given the right answer to the question: where is our presence as a missionary Congregation most needed in Guatemala today? The two places we chose were Aldea Lo de Fuentes and Tierra Nueva II.

Shine On, Farmer Boy

One of the great missionaries of the century was James Walsh, the Maryknoll Bishop who spent many long years in prison in China. His great love for the poor and the marginalized of the world came to the surface in a moment of illumination which he describes here. Though these words were written long before the Vatican Council, they anticipated its spirit and have a power that we can feel even today.

I saw him in the ricefield. He stopped working as I approached and leaned on his hoe. The sweat of a hot day under the South China sun glistened on his brow. His coolie suit of blue denim was covered with dust, and the end of his frayed trousers disclosed a clumsy pair of stub-toed bare feet. He was a big boy for his age, but there was no comeliness in him twice. He was a clodhopper.

The Buddhist Holy Man

Little Tenzin Gyatso was just three years old when he was recognized as the incarnation of Chenrezi – the Buddhist god compassion – and the next Dalai Lama.

A son of simple farmers from the north-eastern village of Pari Takster, he was brought to Lhasa with his family, but had to live a part from them in the Potala Palace. It was, for a young child, something of a ‘golden prison’. For five months each year he had to stay in a musty room, reciting religious mantras, under the gaze of his stern-faced tutor and Regent. From his window, or sometimes through his telescope on the roof of the Potala, he would view the world outside, and watch the cowherds coming home looking happy and carefree. Little did they know, he recalls, how much the Dalai Lama would have like to be with them!

Angola Diary

Fr. Efren de Guzman, SVD

As we prepare this article from Fr. Efren the news from Angola is bad. Things have deteriorated again and the longed for reconciliation between UNITA and the Angola Government seems far away. In the midst of very difficult material and physical circumstances, Fr. Efren and his little group struggle on. It is amazing that he finds time at all to write these brief thoughts, memories, dreams and prayers, special mixture which we call Angola Diary.

Help us to Understand the Mystery of Your Love

By Malou Saranza

My daughter has a halo brace on her head. To many, it seems as if she is in a cage. But my husband and I see that Therese is one of the freest children this world has ever known.

“Mommy! My head is hurting again!” exclaimed my daughter Therese. “Really, sweetheart?” I said, concerned, “Why does my head hurt everyday Mommy?” I turned to my husband Boy, who looked at me a little helplessly. “Mommy you know as well as I do the doctors can’t find anything wrong with Therese. I mean, wasn’t it a relief to know it isn’t it a brain tumor?”

Try the Basic Communities!

By Fr. Melanio R. Viuya Jr., CICM

I just arrived from the village of Lida, 70 kms away from the parish convent. Even on foot it’s difficult because one has to cross the forests and the rivers with my Land Cruiser. Fortunately this old and rusty vehicle still runs rather well. It has already done more than 60, 000 km on very bad roads in the forest, I guess one has to multiply every kilometer by 3 to have an accurate picture of its true suffering.

JUBILEE 2000

By Fr. Pat Sayles

Key text for the Jubilee

The spirit of the Lord is upon me He has anointed me To bring good news to the poor, To bind up hearts that are broken, To proclaim liberty to prisoners, To set the downtrodden free, To herald the Lord’s year of favour. (Isaiah 61)

The Ant Solution

By Sr. Emma de Guzman, ICM

Sr. Emma discovers (what some men never realize) that looking after a child is a full time work-unless you are very creative!

I thought that baby-sitting is not one of my qualities, until it was put to the test one day. Nicole, the two-year-old daughter of Kudji who works with us in the Center, was alone at home. Her brothers and sisters were in school and Kudji needed to o to the dispensary with their three-months-old baby. Being the only adult at home, I was requested to look after Nicole.

A Taste of the World

By Fr. Rey Tejico, CICM

Like tribal people everywhere, the Mayan Indians of Guatemala are under siege from the Government, the military and intrusive lowlanders. Fr. Rey Tejico, a young Filipino missionary, tells us how the Church is trying, albeit belatedly, to respect and integrate the Mayan culture into the liturgy and to ensure that it enriches our Christian life.

Lola's Philosophy

By Bo Sanchez

“Bo, what’s your secret for being holy?”
Yeow! Questions like those make my stomach do triple somersault inside. But instead of screaming till my lungs explode, “I’m not holy!” I answer their question with great solemnity.

“I suffer for Jesus as much as I can,” Their eyes dilate, their jaws drop, and their bodies freeze. I go on, “I sleep only two hours a day so I can pray more; I put broken glass inside my shoes, that through the pain of each step, I mortify for the sins of the world; and I only eat a bitter food so that I will hunger more for the pleasures of heaven...”

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Vacation Talk

Sr. Bernadette Dery, first year novice of the Holy Spirit Sister in Sunyani, was in Kintampo giving a vocation talk on sisterhood. She stressed that to be a religious sister one must leave her country behind. During the open forum Sr. Bernadette was asked why she should leave her country behind. She got somewhat confused but after a while she said with authority, “Because the country is too big for the plane to carry.” The people who filled the big church laughed their hearts out.