May-June 2001

A Tale Of Courage

By Fr. Bernard Steed mssc

I stood in front of a forest of waving hands and arms, saying a few words at the closing of a parish charismatic retreat. “How beautiful and expressive hands are,” I said to myself. “Isn’t it great God gave us hands? What if it had been fins!”

From Tribes Of Bukidnon To Korea

By Fr. Leo Distor mssc

I remember that I first wore a “sotana” and held a Bible close to my heart at age 10. That was in a school pageant performed in an elementary graduation ceremony. I was in the 5th grade then but I was asked to deliver the priest’s line making the young minds understand that priesthood is also a choice that one can make. I didn’t have a clue why I was asked to do that. Maybe the role was really not that popular among the graduating students that nobody among them played that role. I believe they would have rather imagined they’re a lawyer in a courtroom or working in the hospital or in school. I liked that role anyway. Now, if I’ll tell about my priestly vocation I would my priestly vocation I would say that the story should begin there.

No Longer Forgotten

In the awesome city of Hong Kong, glistening with the shine of the 21st century, live a small band of marginalized people who are mentally disabled. Sr. Leticia Bartolome, icm and her co-workers bring the news of God’s love to these sometimes forgotten people.

Savage Revenge

By Fr. Ramoncito Padilla sdb

I have been in East Timor for almost ten years now. When I arrived here in 1991, I remember that there were people, among them some of my Salesian confreres, who were saying that the greatest blessing this land had receive was to be integrated to the “great” Republic of Indonesia. It was easy to see why they said that. There were new roads, a lot of infrastructures that were being constructed especially in Dili, schools were being opened, government employees were being paid well, there was modernization. But as the years passed, it proved to me that these things were not enough. If the people were not happy because they are afraid, intimidated and oppressed, what was the use of all these things?

The Hermit Kingdom

By Gee-Gee O. Torres

Three and a half hours after the plane left Manila, I was already at Kimpo International Airport in Seoul, capital city of South Korea. Juliet Bacamante, one of our Filipino Columban lay missionaries, met me at the airport. Juliet said we would take the subway from the airport going to the Columban Central House where I would be staying. I was excited. This was my first time to take an underground train. We walked down several flights of stairs. I wondered where we were heading. We seemed to be getting down and down below the ground. Finally we came to a halt in a tunnel with rail tracks. Juliet said, “We’ll wait for...” and before she could finish her sentence a train charged into the station and stopped breathlessly. She dragged me along and we rushed among the many passengers waiting fro the train. I was like back in Manila at the LRT Station, inching my way to get into one of the carriages before the doors snapped closed.

A glimpse of Korea on the subway

The subway trip from Kimpo Airport to the Columban House took almost one hour and a half. But I enjoyed the ride so much that I didn’t notice the time, I was preoccupied watching the people in the train listening to Juliet as she briefed me with eh dos and don’ts in Korea. Unlike in my previous trips, whir I felt at home with the people right away, the Korean people seemed to be indifferent. They all looked seriously, so quiet that it seemed and Juliet and I were the only ones talking in the train. And the far end of the train I saw an old man dozing off, but the young man sitting beside him looked as if unaware of the old man. He was engrossed listening to his walkman. Then another passenger caught my attention. She was dressed in mini-skirt & body-fit shirt, with heavy make up and her hair was rainbow colors. And I noticed a young student giving her seat to an old woman. I could see the new generation caught between tradition and modernization. I wondered how do the old people cope with the fast-changing society in Korea?

The Long Struggle

By Fr. Victor Dinangan cicm

Father Victor Dinangan, cicm is a native of the Philippines. He was ordained priest on April 10, 1999 in Tierra Nueva, Guatemala City. Before his ordination he spent a couple of years as a missionary intern in Guatemala. The following article relates some experiences he has at that time, specifically with the Community of People in Resistance.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

THE GLUTTONS

In one of the Wenchi villages, my altar boys and I were having our lunch. The food prepared by the catechist, seemed like a feast to me. I questioned the catechist, “Why did you cook so much?” “Father, your altar boys? I know them. I know their capacity,” she said with an emphatic smile.

Mary As Every Woman

By Tina Beattie

A recent conference in Rome in ‘The Mystery of Mary’ surprised one Christian feminist who took part. Tina Beattie, who has written on Mary and lectures in Theology at Bristol University, found herself inspired by the wealth of the tradition.

Fourteen years ago, when I was living in Zimbabwe and exploring the possibility of becoming a Catholic, I told a priest that my two main difficulties were with the Pope and Mary. One Sunday morning, I found myself sweltering but jubilant on the steps of Saint Peter’s Basilica, where Pope John Paul II was celebrating Mass. This was the culmination of a conference on “The Mystery of Mary and the Trinity”, organized by the International Pontifical Marian Academy, to which I had been invited as a speaker. It has been a long journey from that time in Zimbabwe.

To Search is to find

For some time we have been asked to put in Misyon a section on questions which our readers would like raised. We are not too sure how appropriate or suitable this is, so please let us know if these questions have been of any help to you. We are calling this article To Search is To Findbecause we do not have the answers to every question – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

Is there not separation between Church and State in the Philippines? How come the Church in the Philippines seems to be interesting in State matters?

Answer: The bishops of the Philippines have spoken out on the 1995 mining laws, on the Visiting Forces Agreement, on the Cha-Cha, on gambling, on the death penalty and on general corruption in the government and on the environment. These questions are all in the domain of the government but they also are moral questions and the Church should speak out on them. But the Church should not interfere in party politics or involve itself in campaigning for elections. That is the job of ordinary Christians. The Church should try to enlighten Christians and then leave them do their job.