September-October 1997

Au Revoir Titay

By Fr. Niall O’ Brien

To the Memory of A Very Special Friend

Sometime ago our little group held a Mass for Titay Hagad. As I prepared for the Mass I suddenly realized that not only were we holding a Mass for Titay but in fact our group would never have existed if not for her. A couple of years ago just after Johnny retired from being Ombudsman Titay came to me and said, I love MISYON. I think it’s great. I‘d like to promote it. [I am not making this up!] It was an editor’s dream. Anyway so was born our little MISYON Promoter’s group here in Bacolod, Negros Occidental.

This flower still blooms

By Fr. Sean Coyle, SSC

Henri Pranzini was a notorious criminal who was sentenced to death in France on July 13, 1887, four days after his trial opened. At the time Therese Martin was 14. Her father Louis, a watchmaker, was a widower. His wife, Zelie Guerin, had died ten years before. Louis did not allow his children to read the newspapers, even though he subscribed to La Croix, the Catholic daily which is still published in Paris. However, Therese had heard about Pranzani because the whole of France was talking about him, even I those pre-radio, pre-TV days. Everything she had heard pointed to his not having repented. She decided that she would pray in a special way for him. And she asked God for a sign.

Something Crazy for God

Through a mysterious but providential set of circumstances, the Columban Fathers began with Father Edward Galvin. Before going to the seminary in Ireland he seriously considered becoming a missionary but in deference to his parents’ misgivings about missionary life, he entered the Maynooth seminary where young men were trained for their home dioceses. In 1909, on the day he was ordained, his bishop, having no opening for him in the diocese, advised him to go to America and return to home in three years. Fr. Galvin went to New York and became an assistant in Holy Rosary Parish in Brooklyn, New York. It was there he met Fr. John M. Fraser, Canadian missionary, who was the returning to China.

The Street Walkers Will Go Into Heaven Before Us

By Sr. Alma Quisto, OSSR

Like Yesterday

Almost three years have gone since my passage from the Philippines to Venezuela. Yet, everything that transpired during those first few months of my stay here seemed only as if it happened yesterday.

Being a new comer, I was welcomed at our Provincial house in Caracas where I remained for eight months. Living there was great indeed inspite of the many times that I got homesick and the Spanish language was difficult for me.

Africa let me put my arms around you

By Fr. Efren de Guzman, SVD

He came into the room in a bloodshed cassock. I looked up at my brother wondering, seeing fatigue and pain painted all over his face yet hope still filling his eyes.

"Two of the tribal minority groups had a clash today. One of the chiefs was killed and I had to attend to him personally. It wasn’t pretty. But I know that as I served the people, they understood better God’s love,” he said quietly.

They Make me feel special

By Rocky Culanag

Looking back, I consider it a real blessing that I got sick during my Physical Therapy internship at the University of the Philippines. It was during my ‘blues’ period that I got to hear about the community-based rehabilitation program in Fr. Conal’s parish of Malate. I decided to give it a shot and try to help. It turned out that these children were the ones who really helped me.

This is the story of these chldren who despite having problems in their mental growth have helped me grow as a person.

Do I Look Strange?

By Fr. Eugene Cañete, CICM

Zambian Youth

A few weeks after my arrival, I was invited by a young Zambian, the youth leader of Chibote Catholic Church, to join other youth leaders in their home visitation.

Clash of Culture

Vincent Ratnam, an Indian from Fiji tells about his journey to being a missionary priest. Part of his time involved a stay in the Philippines. The interview was conducted by Fr. Francisco Hoare.

An Interview with Vincent Ratman

Francisco: Where and when were you born?

Vincent: I was born on 31st March, 1966 in Lautoka Fiji islands. I have five brothers and two sisters. As the youngest in the family my parents, especially my dad, had emphasized hard work and being well off because we had experienced poverty. Dad work for an Australian company as a stone crusher operator and Mum used to supplement the family income by doing house work for neighbors.

He Will Never Grow Old

By Totet Banaynal, SJ

It was October 17, 1996. The Jesuits in their theological formation had just arrived form a three-day rest in a beach in Tali, Batangas. Refreshed, everyone was in high spirits as they took their lunch in the refectory of the Loyola House of Studies in the Ateneo de Manila University.

Suddenly the house went black. News came that Richie Fernando, a young Filipino Jesuit missionary in Cambodia was dead. At 9:30 that morning, Richie tried to stop a troubled student in the Technical School for the Handicapped from throwing a hand grenade at a class of other handicapped students most already injured by landmines. Her ordered the other to run away and tried to restrain the young man. However, the grenade fell behind Riche and the powerful explosion inside the school building hit Richie in the base of the skull, the upper and lower back and his legs. As he was hit, he flew into the air and dropped on his back but in the process fully shielded the man who wielded the grenade from being hit. Two other handicapped students also suffered from minor injuries but the rest of the students were safe. In a second, Richie was lying dead on a pool of blood gushing out from his back. It was his last act of love for his students and friends in this foreign land.

Love That Speaks It's Name

By David Morrison

As a Catholic and as a homosexuality oriented man. I am deeply grateful to the Roman Catholic Church for its position on sexuality and homosexual acts. Roman Catholicism, almost alone among Christendom’s Churches, refuses to either patronize homosexual with a watered down gospel or brutalize them with a message of irredeemable hostility.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Somo wrestler

During one of my home leave vacations, Fr. Jake Ferrer, SVD of Pangasinan also came for his vacation from Japan to Christ the King Seminary, Manila. Looking almost like a Somo wrestler, an official at the customs counter in the airport said, “Aba, itong Hapon, marunong magtagalog.”