September-October 1996

A Long Distance Runner

By Fr. Niall O’Brien

House Arrest

It was 1983 and I was vocation director so I needed to visit the schools. However, there was a small problem: I was under house arrest. I needed the permission of General Fidel Ramos or at least of his local stand-in, Col. Agudon.

Armed Guard

That explains why I was accompanied by an armed guard when I spoke to the students in La Salle University, Bacolod. I spoke to the students about the call of Christ to leave home: ‘Go teach all people to be my disciples.’ Philip Bonifacio was one those who decided to attend our seminar on becoming a missionary.

Fair Trade can beat Poverty

By Fr. Shay Cullen, MSSC

Fr. Shay Cullen is known throughout the world for his work in rescuing child prostitution and in charging the international law to make children safer. Less known is the other work of his PREDA Foundation in Olongapo which runs a Fair Trade Program, here is a simple story to keep you understands what fair can do for those on the margins of life. After all isn’t that what mission is about: bringing good news to those who hungry.

Sold like Slaves

Juanito de la Paz was a poor hard-working man who lived in a small bamboo and grass house on the hillside of Olongapo City. His children played outside the perimeter fence of what was then the largest military base in Asia – Subic Bay. He earned just enough for the bare necessities of life, like millions of our people in the world today who live in squalor surrounded by plenty. I said the ‘was’ poor and ‘did’ lice in poverty because that has changed, and I want to tell you why and how. That military base and hundreds like it swallowed up vast amounts of the Philippines natural resources and created wealth for a few families who has contacts with the military or owned clubs and bars where women and children were sold like slaves in a cattle auction.

100 Million in the World

By Ariel Presbitero

Can you believe it? There are hundred million children living on the streets of the world – a hundred million abandoned children. Brazil is now notorious for its street children – No wonder Ariel Presbitero, Filipino lay missionary, is concerned.

Nothing to Dream For

What has a child to dream for when life is so bleak because of social injustice and there is no hope for the future? I often asked myself this question: How can these abandoned children in the future will stay in this misery, or maybe worse, pass it on to the next generation?

It Would Break Your Heart

By Sr. Priscilla Jaurigue, FdCC

Off to Italy

Sometime ago the Canossian Province in the Philippines sent ten sisters to the missions. I was one of them. My place of mission was Como, northern Italy, and my mandate: to work [especially] with our Filipino migrant workers. When I reached the generalate in Rome, the only information I got was “there’s an organized group of migrant workers gathering in our convent in Como every Sunday”, no more less! I was puzzled, what shall I do then? I asked myself.

The War Goes On

By Fr. Efren de Guzman, SVD

For twenty years now a civil war has been in progress in Angola, the government forces being led by President Dos Santos and the UNITA rebels led by Jonas Savimbi. Elections were held under the auspices of the United Nations, but UNITA were not prepared to accept the result. Since they have access to $500,000,000 a year from diamond mines, unscrupulous arms dealers continue to supply then with arms. So, also, they supply the government forces who have oil reserves. Fr. Efren de Guzman, the intrepid SVD priest, and his brave companions continue to do what they can for the poor and the afflicted. Here is one of his recent reports!

Killing Children

On April 8, at 6:00 in the morning the government soldiers of the military camp in Funda, 40 kms from our convent, attacked the people near the camp. They cut off arms and legs of men and women; children were thrown violently to the ground. Some of the soldiers had lost their mind and accused people of having killed one of their soldiers so they could have some reasons for putting our people in prison.

A New Gateway to the Heart

By Sr. Melina Polo, SSpS

For a long time I have wanted to write about my presence here in the Netherlands as a SSpS missionary. It’s on this feast of our Blessed Founder, Arnold Jansen, that I shoved away my reports and books on Social Work and took these quiet moments to write down my thoughts and reflections about my four day stay in this beautiful land of milk, cheese, windmills and, of course tulips!

Don't Keep the Faith Share It!

By Sr. Mayang, MM

Isolation

What would it be like visiting a country and people whose contacts with the outside world and church had been cut off almost completely since the early 1960’s?
I traveled with a young lay woman from Myanmar whoa had stayed with us in the Philippines for some months. My focus was the Kachin people. Tibetan in origin, they were animist until recently. Their homeland is in Northern Myanmar Kachin State.

Our Youth Our Future

By Sr. Virgie Mozo

Sr. Virgie Mozo arrived in Chile in 1989. After a few years, she was assigned to Lancoche which is peopled by the Mapuchi race. There is a great lack of pastors so she joined a summer team to set up some Basic Christian Communities.

I was invited to be a part of a summer mission team in Loncuimay through Mirta Urra, a lay missionary from Lancoche and two other youth who are in the group of Jovenes Sin Fronteres (the Missionary Youth Group) of the parish of which I am the coordinator.

The Youth Keeps Us Young

By Sr. Wilfredis Jacob

Sr. Wilfredis Jacob spent a quarter of a century as a Holy Spirit Sister in the Philippines. Then she was asked to leave home and to go Ghana, she is a youth minister. These photos show us the joy she feels in bringing the tenderness of God to this beautiful people and how she herself keeps young.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Classroom Setting 
Guavas in Africa

The guavas were ripe. I had plenty in my garden. While checking the attendance, I told my catechumens, “If your name is called, come first for your catechumen card then go for your guava.” Somewhere at the middle when called went straight to the guava forgetting his card. We all laughed.