Misyon Online - May-June 2011

To Dance with the Call

An Interview with Lasarusa ‘Martin’ Koroiciri, Columban Seminarian

By Mary Joy Rile

I guess what most interviewers are excited about is the uniqueness of the encounter in every interview, much more if the interviewee is of a different culture. Thus every interview is for me a privilege and a joy. This time, let me tell you about Lasarusa Koroiciri, known as Martin, a Fijian Columban seminarian. Martin is a jolly person and easy to get along with. In conversation with him, I was amazed at his sense of history. Don’t expect me to share historical facts but rather an inspiring vocation story.

Martin started by sharing about Columban Fr Martin Dobey who was his parish priest when he was in high school. He observed how Father Dobey dealt with people with his ever ready welcome and how he adapted to Fijian culture. He was speaking with pride as he said that Father Dobey was more Fijian than Irish. The visits of the priest to his home added to his admiration of him as a witness who brought inspiration to the mission where he was living.

Misyon and My Vocation

By Fr Christopher F. Amoroso MSP

MSP missionary to the Diocese of Okinawa, Japan.

The author ordained priest on 4 October 2007 and appointed Assistant Vocation Director for the Mission Society of the Philippines (MSP) in Luzon. Later he was sent to the Diocese of Naha, Okinawa, Japan to work with Filipino Migrants and will be two years there on 20 June.’ I go to the different islands of Okinawa to look for the migrants and see what the Diocese can do for them, especially with regard to their spiritual life’.


I was baptized into the Catholic faith by Columban Fr David Clay on 6 May 1972 at St Sebastian Catholic Church in San Narciso, Zambales. My family were nominal Catholics. Even so, I got my first catechism lessons from my parents who simply taught us, six siblings, to love each other and help other people. My father would tell me that God is everywhere, so we can pray anywhere we go.


By Marife Padao

The author recently arrived home in the Philippines from Ireland with the other members of PH17 after their three-year assignment there. She wrote this article while still in Ireland.

Marife Padao

I was so happy when I received my mission appointment, because I had asked God to give me St Joseph’s Parish, Ballymun, Dublin, to be my home here in Ireland. I had a glimpse of what my life would be for three years there. I then made a list of work to do and who to work with.

‘I’m here because of him’

By Fr Michael Mohally

The author, from Cork city, Ireland, has spent many years working with Columban seminarians in both Ireland and the Philippines. He continues to do that in Quezon City.

The King’s Speech won four Oscars this year. It tells the true story of how Lionel Logue, an Australian, helped the future King George VI of England overcome a bad stammer. Fr Mohally here tells a story about an Irish priest who helped many, none of them kings and many of them very poor, overcome speech difficulties. In the incident reported here, nobody could have foreseen the consequences, not only in Ireland but in Fiji and the Philippines.

Update from Columban Lay Missionaries

By Rowena D. Cuanico

There are always exciting happenings at the Columban Lay Missionaries – Philippines, reasons for us to celebrate, rejoice and give thanks.

L to R Sherryl Lou Capili, Nanise Mounga, Joan Yap

PH 19, comprised of Joan Yap (Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay), Sherryl Lou Capili (Silang, Cavite) and Reina Mosqueda (Los Baños, Laguna) have completed their nine-month orientation program. After their commissioning Masses in their home parishes (9 May, 1 May and 8 May respectively) they will go to Taiwan for three years, the first of which will be spent learning Mandarin. As PH 19 implies, Joan, She and Reins belong to the 19th group of Filipino Columban lay missionaries to be sent on overseas mission.

When You Learn, Teach; When You Get, Give

By Fr Nicholas Murray

Fr Nicholas Murray died in his native Ireland on 21 April, Holy Thursday, ten days after his 73rd birthday. We first published this article in May-June 2004. The late Father Murray went to China after serving for 12 years as Superior General of the Missionary Society of St Columban. Though he made ‘it very clear that I am a practicing Catholic, to enhance the witness value of my presence’ he found himself in China being a missionary in a very different way from his years in the Philippines where everyone called him ‘Father’. His Chinese students knew him as ‘Mr Nick’.

I’ve been teaching English in a university in Chongging in southwest China since September 2002. I chose to work in this part of China because it is somewhat less developed than the east and the government is now making efforts to develop the west. Chongging is at the center of that effort. I teach Oral English and a course in Western Culture for AB students majoring in English. The latter course in particular affords great scope for communicating values, with topics such as the Bible and Christianity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and Reformation, to name but a few.

No greater Love

By Ma. Ceres Doyo

“True to form, true to form,” a young Jesuit sobbed when he learned of the death of his friend and fellow Jesuit Brother Richard “Richie” Michael Fernando, 26. As Richie lived, so did he die. He live working among the victims of violence, he died in the midst of them.

Richie was killed by a grenade on October 17 at the Jesuit –run Centre of the Dove in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. At the time of his death, Richie was doing his two-year-regency, that stage when young Jesuits studying to be priests get immersed in an apostolate. Richie had spent two years each in the novitiate, juniorate and in philosophy studies. He had made his simple vows as a Jesuit, hence the ‘S.J’. After his name and had four more years of theology studies to go before he gets ordained. He would have been a priest by the year 2001.

Trip to Nepal

By Pam Villamor

A few months before my trip to Nepal, many of my friends and officemates asked me why I wanted to go to there. Some had no idea where Nepal was. The only thing I could tell them was that I was going to a country where you can find Mt Everest. I also asked myself why I would go on this trip. So many reasons came out: I deserved a vacation and I loved sightseeing, I was also looking forward to meeting someone there, and I wanted to validate my recent passion for peace work. Sounds exciting, right?

Response to Who Will Console Consuelo?

By Lucille Arcedas

I have just read the article Who Will Console Consuelo? and it really touched me. There are many Consuelos around but sometimes I fail to recognize them because self-righteousness dominates me.

I once asked Miladdie, who served in the prison apostolate in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, where we are both from, if she wasn’t afraid of the prisoners. She told to me how nice these people are.

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart . . . I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right... In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.

An entry in July 1944 from The Diary of a Young Girl. These are the concluding words of the play based on that, The Diary of Anne Frank.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Bishop Donald Reece of St John’s-Basseterre, Antigua, now Archbishop of Kingston in Jamaica, during his visit to Ghana in 2007 was complaining that his emails wouldn’t go out. ‘See, Bishop,’ I cut in, ‘if you had used my Olympia typewriter, there would have been no problem’.