Misyon Online - November-December 1995

November-December 1995

A Bridge Too Far

By: Fr. Joseph Panabang, SVD

Rev. Fr. Joseph Panabang, SVD St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Kintampo Brong Afaho Region Ghana, West Africa.

Savagery

Connecting Northern Ghana to the South is the famous Buipe Bridge over the Black Volta River that flows into Akasombo Dam, the world’s longest man-made lake. At the height of last year’s tribal war, mainly between the Gonja and Konkomba tribes, the bridge became a monument to the worst of human savagery. People both children and adults were mercilessly killed and thrown like dead rats into the river. Pregnant women were sliced like cakes and their fetuses forked out and hurled into the river. Infants, if they were male were plucked from the back of innocent nursing mothers and flung into the swirling river; thousands drowned. Whole villages were burned. Finally the government announced that the fight between Konkombas and Gonjas was over, that peace in the North was restored.

A Human Volcano?

By: Sr. Veronica Origenes, OSB

Cooler Than Baguio
Through Kenya sits in the Equator. Nairobi, its capital city is naturally air-conditioned. Mount Kenya, the sacred mountain of the Kikuyu people is snow capped all year around. So all the surrounding areas are cool, cooler than Baguio.

AOTEAROA

By: Fr. Ching Espineda SVD

Fr. Ching Espineda comes from the Bicol area: Sorsogon. Sorsogon to be precise. He entered the SVD Seminary after Tagaytay and did some studies in Japan and Australia. Then he was sent off to worked in New Zealand among the Polynesians. We have called this article AOTEAROA because that is the old Polynesian name for New Zealand.

 Three of us volunteered to go the mission: Ghana, Ecuador, and New Zealand. We said then that were the “export” quality of the class. After some years, the missionary in Ecuador went back to the Philippines. The Ghanaian missionary, in the meantime, has become a world famous “Joker”. He is featured regularly in the Columbans Misyon Magazine, I am still here and have gotten used to the cold weather and marmite! (to me, our Bagoong).

Fiji

By: Sr. Francisca Talibutab, DC

We Daughters of Charity first came to Fiji in 1979 upon the request of the Archbishop of Fiji through the initiative of our brother Congregation, the Vicentian Fathers to help them in their mission work.

257 Pinoys
Fiji, as you know is a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious British Crown Colony in the Pacific, lying to the East if Australia and North of New Zealand with a population of just over half million people. About half of the total population of Fiji came from India bringing with them their very own cultural and religious valued and background. Most of them are Hindus, Muslim and Sikhs. A number of Europeans, Chinese and other Pacific Islanders also live there. During the recent gathering of Filipinos to commemorate the Philippines Independence Day last June 11; Fiji’s President and former Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamiese Mara told us in his speech that there are 247 Filipinos  now residing and working in Fiji, mostly medical personnel and factory workers.

Just Kill Him

By: Fr. Orlando Cantillon, CMF

Fr. Orlando Cantillon is a Claretian Missionary in Kupang, Indonesia Timor. Not to be confused with East Timor which is a former Portuguese colony and is recognized by the United Nations as independent.

Here in Nusa Tenggara Timur Province which includes West Timor, Flores, Sumba, there have been systematic provocations to hurt the feelings of the Catholics. It started in the Island of Flores where the majority of population are Catholics, about 56%. Almost a weekly occurrence, in one parish church or chapel, a Christian fundamentalist or a Muslim youth will attend the Eucharistic celebration. During the communion rite, she or he will receive the Sacred Host and then perpetrate a sacrilege either by smashing the Host until it is broken into small pieces or else throwing the host on the floor and stamping on it. And this is done in public to be seen by all.

Maria & Evans Signs of Hope

By: Fr. Boy Toledo
Columban Priest Associate

On my weekly visit to Vila Nova- a very poor urban community in the parish of Vila Brasil, seldom do I miss to drop by the houses of Maria and Evans. In fact, they are the very first persons I usually consult if I want some information about recent happenings in the area.

Maria
She is a sickly elderly woman who was born in the area. She and her children live with her mother in a very small brick hut. Her inability to earn a living for health reasons I the cause of the perennial complaints of her mother about her church involvement. She is particularly involved with the youngsters Grupo dos Adolescents. Her dedication and fidelity to this group are quite impressive. That is, when she is in the hospital. At times I brought her to the hospital in my car and loaned her some money for medicine. once she visited the casa parpquial and fell in love with the chapel. Despite her condition, Maria is a sign of joy. She always has a ready smile as she extends her bony arm for a handshake. In spite of dire poverty, of hatred and criticism by those close to her, she is a sign of hope to everyone especially to the Gropu dos Adolescents.

The Highland Warriors

By: Fr. Dave Buenaventura

I’m Fr. Dave Buenaventura, a Salesian of Don Bosco. This is my 5th year in Papua New Guinea.

Warriors
If your were to ask any Filipino working in PNG to describe the highlanders of this country, I bet they would use adjectives like fierce-looking, short-tempered, revengeful, and war loving. Of course these descriptions are exaggerated but even still these highlanders are known as the “warriors of Papua New Guinea.”

The People Cry to God

By: Jose Ricardo Guerrero CICM

Guatemala is a land of great sufferings especially for the indigenous Indian population. Fr. Jose Ricardo Guerrero, CICM is among these of his fellow CICMers asking what the Good News should be to these devastated people.

Conquista!
The Mayan Q’Eqchi people are part of the Indian nations that were conquered and colonized five hundred years ago. Since then, like other Indians in the Americas, and particularly in Guatemala, they never played a principal role in deciding their own future.