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The first book I ever read, when I was 7, was Treasure Island. A map guided Jim Hawkins and his friends to the hidden treasure. God drew a map with clues that guided me to discover the treasure of my vocation during my teenage years.
Photo by Fr Hector Suano SSC
Columban Missionaries live in many countries throughout the world. It is a rewarding life, but it is not always easy. There is a long list of Columbans, Priests, Sisters and Lay Missionaries who have suffered violence, imprisonment and even death while sharing life with the poor. They all believed that the hardships they experienced were small compared to the life, hope and joy they shared with others. Are you willing to serve in that world today?
Photo by Fr Hector Suano SSC
Our cover features some Columban priests on their way back to the main square after viewing St Kevin’s Bed, a cave he used as a hermitage in Glendalough, County Wicklow, Ireland. 36 Columban priests recently made a pilgrimage from St Columban's in Dalgan Park, Ireland, to Bobbio in Northen Italy where the body of their patron, Saint Columbanus, is buried. We can only think of how they felt as they relived the steps of their patron.
The author is from Jimenez, Misamis Oriental, Archdiocese of Ozamiz. The town is named after a Recoleto friar and is one of the oldest parishes in Mindanao. For many years it was staffed by Columban priests. Sister Wennie, as she is known, has been in Myanmar (Burma) since 2003.
Have faith! With God nothing is impossible . . . These are the words that I hang on to when I start to dream and hope for something that is way beyond me. 8 May 2009 was a day of joy, a day of wonder, a day of celebration of a dream come true. On that day many youth from the different parishes came to celebrate the official opening of our new Diocesan Youth Centre in Myitkyina Diocese, Kachin State, Myanmar. Priests, Sisters and neighbors also joined us. Bishop Francis Daw Tang of Myitkyina blessed the Centre and we celebrated the Eucharist. Afterwards we were entertained by the youth who sang their own musical compositions before partaking in the traditional meal that followed.
We call our building the Centre for Learning Alternatives for Youth (CLAY). The purpose of this Centre is the advancement of the youth. We want to help and support them in their human development so that they will realize their gifts, deepen their self-worth and, in time, reach their full potential. We have taken the first steps to make this dream a reality.
Looking back, I asked myself how this dream started. When I was a novice in the Philippines, I visited a campus where I met young students who were warmly welcomed, accommodated and facilitated in their educational, emotional and spiritual needs. I was very impressed by the effective program. I kept that experience in my heart as I continued my missionary journey.
By Marife Padao
Marife ‘Epie’ Padao, a physical therapist by profession, is from Katipunan, Zamboanga del Sur,a former Columban parish in the Diocese of Pagadian, and is now working in the Columban parish in Dublin, Ireland.