Our cover photo features Estefanio Argall Luceño and his wife of 60 years, Teresita. It was taken in Dahilayan, Bukidnon, last year where the couple were visiting from their home in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur. Estefanio died on Holy Saturday this year, 7 April, and buried a week later on Easter Saturday.
Last June John Wang Zongshe and Joseph Li Jiangang came to Manila as the first candidates from the People’s Republic of China to join the Columbans. The Columbans were originally known in Ireland as the Maynooth Mission to China when the Irish bishops gave their approval on 10 October 1916 to a new mission of the Irish Church to China. The Society of St Columban was formally approved on 29 June 1918, the feast of Sts Peter and Paul.
When I was baptized my godfather chose the name John in honor of St John the Baptist. I was born into a traditional Catholic family and brought up in Hebei Province, four hours by train southwest of Beijing. Our village was one-third Catholic.
My village of 800 residents is one hundred percent Catholic. It is in Shaanxi Province, 16 hours by train southwest of Beijing. My Christian name was chosen by our parish priest when he baptized me. As a young boy I always went to church with my grandmother even though I did not really like to. I preferred to be playing with my friends. On one occasion, during my primary school years, I went to see an open-air movie at Mass time.
In June the new academic year will start here in the Philippines. The Department of Education will also begin to implement the new ‘K to 12’ curriculum, will extend basic primary-secondary program by two years. In the Philippines education is seen as a vital key to improving one’s lot and that of one’s family in life. Parents will make great sacrifices, even to the extent of working for years overseas away from their families, so that their children will get a good education.
From 1936 until 1979 Columban missionaries ministered in the Diocese of Myitkyina, Myanmar. During those years they worked hard to develop and strengthen the local Myanmar church but they were forced to leave in 1979.
Since leaving the country, the Columbans have tried to continue to support the Diocese. The Columbans always placed great emphasis on education and during one period, they opened 47 primary schools, six middle schools and four high schools.
Come risk the sacred journey, enter now uncharted place. Risk the sacred journey inward to the ocean deep and dark. Step by step we make our way through Desert plains and mountains steep. Step by step God’s Spirit leads us . . .
Driving around is like taking the given daily choices of everyday life and choosing the right direction so as to arrive at our destination. What is important are the four directions of North, South, East and West, so I always figure out these directions in order to find my way easily.
Until I am one with God I can never have true rest nor peace.
Statue of Julian to the left of the main door to Norwich Cathedral (Anglican) and of St Benedict to the right.
Where does true education in peace and justice take place? First of all, in the family, since parents are the first educators. The family is the primary cell of society; “it is in the family that children learn the human and Christian values which enable them to have a constructive and peaceful coexistence. It is in the family that they learn solidarity between the generations, respect for rules, forgiveness and how to welcome others.” (1) The family is the first school in which we are trained in justice and peace. Pope Benedict XVI, Message for World Day of Peace 2012.
‘Wisdom,’ the Master said, ‘is simply the ability to recognize.’ “’recognize what?’ the disciple asked. ‘Spiritual wisdom,’ the Master said, ‘is the ability to recognize the butterfly in a caterpillar, the eagle in an egg, the saint in a sinner.”’ ~ Sufi Tale ~
‘I often wondered why Brother So-and-so never took to the priesthood despite his academic degrees. But then each man to his chosen profession.’This statement, in a column in a daily newspaper in which the writer was paying tribute to a recently deceased friend who was a De La Salle religious brother , is a variation of a question your editor has been asked or has heard many times over the years. Below is an expanded version of a letter in response published by the newspaper.