Dearest Father Seán and staff,
Prayerful greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus! I was inspired to write after reading three issues of MISYON which my aunt lent me.
I had already become interested in obtaining a copy of your magazine after reading some stories from it in the Sunday Examiner. So it was a great blessing to have it through my aunt. I considered it as God’s manifestation of His unconditional love for me. All the contents nourish my soul. All the life stories of our dear missionaries are very inspiring and challenging. When I read the January-February 2006 issue only last May due to numerous borrowers, I was really struck by the life shared by Melissa Andrea M. Kayahon when she said, ‘I have learned the deeper meaning of happiness and fulfillment – that this can be achieved not by seeking fun and pleasure alone but by giving one’s self, including your time, talent and resources to make others happy’. This is really true for us migrant workers, especially my fellow workers who commit themselves to volunteer in religious organizations during our holidays.
By Fr David Warren SFM
The author is a member of the Scarboro Foreign Missionary Society (www.scarboromissions.ca), founded in Canada in 1918. He worked in the Philippines for many years, in the Diocese of Maasin, Southern Leyte, and in San Carlos Major Seminary, Cebu City.
I didn’t need an alarm clock in Cairo. Before sunrise each morning, I was awakened by the call to prayer as it sounded forth from the minaret or tower of the nearby mosque. Allah Akbar! (God is Great!) it would begin. In fact, five times each day the call to prayer would sound forth.
By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD
During our Renewal Course in Steyl, Holland, our group was to report last. ‘That’s good,’ I thought, ‘since many things would have been reported already. I’ll just shorten my report.’ ‘You must report all the details even if they have been reported already,’ said Fr Peter McHugh SVD, our professor, who at once read my intentions. Luckily, while I was reporting, photographers of Steyl Mission Magazine, Stat Gottes, barged in to take pictures of our class, distracting my audience. Saved by the bell!
By Dalisay Barrera Sena Yu
The author expresses her gratitude to Columban missionaries in Olongapo City and shares some of her experiences in Zambia, where she and her husband worked. She now works in Japan and has children in Australia and the Cayman Islands. Last year she became the proud grandmother of twin boys.
I am pleased to read your magazine as it reminds me of my happy days in Columban College, Olongapo City, where I finished my high school and college education. I was a Catechist under the Columban Fathers and an active Student Catholic Action (SCA) Cell leader when Columban Sister Una was our Spiritual adviser. One semester she recommended me for a scholarship when I wouldn’t have been able otherwise to continue my education because my big sister was graduating from the University of the East. My father couldn’t afford to send both of us to college at the same time. Sister Una encouraged me to continue my studies and I was granted the scholarship because I was active in SCA and a Catechist. My Dad and Mom were so grateful to the Columban Fathers and Sisters that time.
My first home visit to the Philippines
By Sister Mary Carmela OCD
Sister Mary Carmela last appeared in these pages in the September-October 2005 issue. The English version of the website of the Carmelite Monastery in Vilvoorde, Belgium, where she lives is www.dentroost.be/english/ukindex.htm
Vacation is also a mission’, was the gist of what dear Rev. Mother Ann Christi whispered to me before she gave me Holy Communion at dawn on Sunday, 21 May, reminding me of Mary Magdalene. After her encounter with the Risen Jesus early on Easter Sunday she ran to proclaim to others the Good News that indeed ‘He is alive!’ I should radiate Jesus to everyone He desired to send me.
By Sister M. Rose Agnes MC
Sr M Rose Agnes considers Misyon as a source of joy and inspiration for her and for others who are working in the different nooks and corners of Sri Lanka. Whenever she finishes with her copy, she gives it to others who pass it on in turn.
Sri Lanka is known for its exotic natural beauty, but due to the ongoing war it is sad that little by little this is disappearing. Though the government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE), usually called the ‘Tamil Tigers’, declared a ceasefire in 2001, killing by both sides is still ‘quietly’ going on. Now in some parts of the country it has reached a climax. As I travel from one house to another in our region, I experience uncertainty about the future. I have to surrender and be ready to die anywhere at anytime. Bombs explode anywhere but I believe that once you surrender yourself totally to Him, He takes care of all the rest, providing a protecting angel to watch over us.
We do not have the answers to every question – maybe only a partial answer that could set you in the right direction. But the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer. So why don’t you send us your questions and together we will search.
I’m a high school student and consider myself as a religious person. But I always feel left out. I suppose my classmates hate me. Nobody likes me. Sometimes in my most difficult times I even doubt that God/Christ exists especially when people produce movies such as ‘The Da Vinci Code” and everything else that weakens the Christian faith. I am very confused with these things. What should I do? What should I believe? Please help me.
The authors have since graduated from high school. They mention an article in the July-August 2003 issue, written by Joy Ampiloquio. You may visit www.institucionteresiana.org/asp_en/index.asp for the English-language home page of the website of the Teresian Association, to which Joy Ampiloquio belongs. We are working to have all our back issues available online.
Dear Ate Joy,
May the blessings of the Almighty God give you comfort and happiness with all the smiles in your heart. I really like your article, ‘A Late Life’, in the July-August 2003 issue of Misyon. I’m truly inspired because at an early age you already became a member of an international Catholic lay association. Upon reading your article, I realized that being a missionary is not easy. I learned many things in your article. It’s true that we must give, not ask, and we are to take advantage of every opportunity, every fitting moment, as what you wrote in your article.
By Bishop Martin Drennan
A few events that took place towards the end of the Jubilee Year (2000) make it clearer what the Pope really wants us to pray for in August 2001. In a letter on 31 October 2000, John Paul II proclaimed Saint Thomas More as the patron saint of statesmen and politicians.
In the course of a homily at a Jubilee Year Mass for members of parliaments and governments on 5 November 2000, the Pope said: ‘At the beginning of the new century and new millennium, those responsible for public life are being faced with demanding responsibilities. It is precisely with this in mind that I have wished to offer you the support of a special patron, the martyr Saint Thomas More.
A venue for the youth to express themselves and to share with our readers their mind, their heart and their soul. We are inviting you – students and young professionals – to drop by Our Hideaway and let us know how you are doing.
I am because of her
By Jomar B. dela Cruz
On 6 June 1987, at around one o’clock in the morning, my tender-hearted mother gave birth to a very healthy little boy. I had an angelic, candid face and a lovely, soft voice. My parents truly believed that my birth was a wonderful blessing for them. With their names they named me, Jomar. They made me the heir of both their beautiful names, ‘Jo’ from my mother’s name, Jocelyn, and ‘Mar’ from my father’s name, Mario.
I grew up in an atmosphere of love. My parents unhesitatingly gave me everything I wanted. When I cried, they would panic! They loved me very much! Perhaps, I experienced the greatest love of all.
By Sr Mary Ignatius C. Aquino OSB
From a history-held mystery Of faces and places past cherished Given in love from the heart of life a bundle of memories am I
The author (7th from left, standing)
with the 5th group of retreatants in Argentina
By Father Thomas M. Priela
The author is a diocesan priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan, comprised of the province of Oriental Mindoro. The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) has been working in the island of Mindoro since before World War II.
The Philippines, being the only major Christian country in Asia, (East Timor’s population of 825,000 is 93 percent Catholic, compared to 83 percent of more than 82,000,000 in the Philippines) has a unique missionary responsibility. John Paul II made a call in this regard. Though these are part of my reasons for becoming a missionary, my motivation is a little more personal. Within living memory we in the Philippines, especially Mindoro, have experienced the benefits of mission work. By a historical accident, the missions to China benefited us greatly.
By Jude M. Garceniego
The author is now studying in St Joseph Regional Seminary, Jaro. His sister Cherryl is a novice with the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.It was during a high school retreat in Sacred Heart Formation Center, Bacolod, that I made my first ‘fiat’ to God in His calling me to priestly formation.
Our adviser, Ms Alicia Calexterio, now Mrs Alicia Dalanangbayan, the faculty and staff of Our Lady of Lourdes High School, Candoni, Negros Occidental, decided to have the retreat of the graduating class on 6-7 December 2000, with our outing the following day.