Misyon Online - May-June 2015

PULONG NG EDITOR

On 26 April, Good Shepherd Sunday, Pope Francis ordained 19 priests for the Diocese of Rome. In his homily he said: ‘And this is the nourishment of the People of God; that your sermons are not boring; that your own homilies reach people's hearts because they come from your heart, because what you are saying is truly what you have in your heart. So give the Word of God, and thus your doctrine will be joy and support for the faithful of Christ; the scent of your life will be the testimony, because the example builds.’


Bust of Fr Michael Donoher

DIACONATE ORDINATION REFLECTION

By Reverend Kurt Zion Pala

The author wrote this reflection some time before he was ordained deacon in the Columban House of Studies, Quezon City, on 15 March this year by Bishop Honesto F.Ongtioco of the Diocese of Cubao. Immaculate Conception Cathedral is within walking distance of the Formation House. This article first appeared on the website of the Columbans in the USA.


Carlo & Kurt
The Road to Priesthood

In this video made in Fiji while both were still on First Mission Assignment, Carlo Jung, ordained in Seoul on 1 November 2014 and who will be going later this year to Myanmar on his first assignment as a priest, and Kurt Zion Pala, ordained deacon on 15 March this year, reflect on their vocations in the context of their presence in Fiji.

 

A LEARNING VISIT TO THE PHILIPPINES

By Anna Brown

Anna Brown is the first ‘Faith in Action Graduate Volunteer’, spending a year working with Columban Justice and Peace Education and St Mary’s University Chaplaincy. In the article below she reflects on a recent learning visit to the Philippines.

I was incredibly fortunate to spend an amazing month learning about the Columbans’ work. It was helpful for my work here in Britain as we often talk about poverty when discussing justice and peace issues in schools. Visiting slum districts, rural communities and urban industrial areas of the Philippines, I was able to begin to understand something of the complexity of poverty – there are rich and poor in every community. I am excited to talk to other young people about this, avoiding simple stereotyping and giving real thought to the language we use.


Traditional Sinulog dance at the Basilica del Santo Niño.

THE UNFINISHED STORY OF A VALIANT WOMAN

By Fr Joseph Broderick

The author is a Columban priest from Ireland. He was ordained in 1969. He went to Japan in 1970 and, apart from six years working in Britain, 1994 to 2000, has beenthere ever since.

When we think of the missionary work of the Columbans in Japan we must not forget the Trojan work done by Japanese catechists. Very often they were the right-hand ‘Samurai’ of trailblazing Columban missionaries. One such catechist is Miss Tsuneko Hinata.

She was born into a traditional Buddhist family, grew up in the Buddhist tradition and after high school became a professional working woman in a company, but never married. At the age of 40, she ran into crisis time: ‘What is life all about? What am I working like a slave for? What happens to me after death?’

She went searching for answers in the Catholic Church. There she found Christ and her answers, and then went on to receive baptism. She was filled with joy and a new conviction.

But another crisis arose: ‘What do I do with this new joy and conviction? I have to share it with others. How can I do that?’

She decided to quit her professional career in the company and enter the Japanese Catechist School. As a newly graduated catechist she was first employed by the late New Zealand, Columban Fr James Norris and thus began her long journey working full-time for the church, with the Columbans, for meager wages and within even more ‘meager’ living quarters. She became the mouthpiece of the language-struggling Columbans, taught daily the doctrine to truth-seeking searchers, visited the sick at home and in hospital, walked with the newly baptized on their journey of faith in a non-faith environment, and became a spiritual mother to all her spiritual children. She took no credit for her work. It was her way of living out the Gospel.

NOT JUST THE DEATH OF A PERSON BUT OF A HISTORY

SHANGHAI (SE): Monica was buried in the final days of December last year. A few more months of life would have seen her live for 100 years on this earth.


Video featuring Bishop Galvin

Known by her Christian friends as Monica, Xia Jingxian had belonged to the Handmaids of Our Lady, a diocesan group of religious sisters set up in Hanyang by Bishop Edward Galvin in the 1930s.

However, in the face of the advancing Communist army the Irish bishop disbanded the group for the safety of its members and to give them an opportunity to make a new life in what was to prove a hostile environment.

Monica was a nurse and she arrived in Shanghai as a young woman at a time when the Japanese Imperial Army was menacing the population.

She was one of two girls and three boys and her family was forced to leave its home in Xiantao, Hubei, in 1935 to escape the huge flood that followed the bursting of a dam on the Yangtse River.

They used a small boat to get to Hanyang, where she studied at a Columban school and learned embroidery.

Frank Patterson sings Bring Flowers Of The Rarest

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.