September-October 1999

Monkeys Go To School

By Gee-Gee Torres

The coconut and copra is a mainstay in Thailand. They often use monkeys to help out but these are untrained and sometimes beaten mercilessly. When our editorial assistant, Gee-Gee Torres, went to Thailand recently to visit the various Filipino missionary communities there, they brought her on a side-trip to the famous school for monkeys set-up by a humane man who feels monkeys deserve to be treated better. We hope you enjoy reading the story below.

God Is In A Hurry For Me

It was my first time to join a Christian songwriting contest, and it took me several days to finish the song. The theme of the contest was “Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth.” In the middle of the song, I hit a slump. I didn’t know how to finish it.

In The Steps Of Mother Teresa

By Sr. Mercina, mc

Two years ago the world mourned the death o Mother Teresa, Mother Teresa has become a symbol of the care we ought o have for the abandoned the world. Her many followers continue her work; among them are three young Filipino women who have joined the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa and now live in Calcutta India.

There are three of us Filipino MCs in India. Two are in motherhouse (Sr. Pia and Sr.Jonamile); they came just recently. They are engaged in helping the administrative work. I am working with Adoption her in Shishu Bhavan, Calcutta, the biggest center among all our centers.

Angola Diary

By Fr. Efren de Guzman, svd

All over Africa refugees and displaced persons are seeking help. Fr. Efren recently attended a meeting to help those involved in refugee work.

May 9: I arrived in Lusaka, the capital city of Angola, and visited the refugees between the frontiers of Angola and Zambia. I’ve seen some Hutu and Tutsi and some Zairian refugees. Loren Kabila, the new President of Congo, expelled President Mobuto and changed the name of Zaire to Republic of Congo and the people said that what happened to Zaire was just a change of dictators.

Straight Talk From The Pope To Youth

Young people, my friends, my brothers and sisters,

Many of my hopes for more just and human world find their roots and their support in the young. I continue to think that the young no longer tolerate the seven capital sins of the modern world: racism, colonialism, war, paternalism, pharisaism, alienation and fear. You cannot imagine how many letters I receive telling terrible about the young of today. Over against the seven capital sins you are fighting, they emphasize the seven capital sins into which you are said to fall: elitism, mental laziness, protest, drugs, sex, compromise and atheism.


They talk about your elitism because of your clothes, your music, your language, your reactions. People forget that every generation has its own style----it suffices the glance through an old family album.

Go! Teach All Nations

By Rex Rocamora, Columban deacon

Last December 29, 1998, Archbishop Jesus Tuquib ordained Jude Genovia and Rolando Aniscal priests in St. Augustine’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Cagayan de Oro. More than a thousand people including 97 priests attended the celebration. Archbishop Jesus Diosdado of Ozamis, Msgr. Des Hartford of Marawi Prelature and Msgr. Tex Legitimas, the Rector of the Cathedral, were there. The Columbans were represented by people from many different countries.

Hasta Pronto Teofilo

By Fr. Luis Sabarre, omi

Fr. Luis Sabarre is Filipino OMI ministering in Argentina. He began in a frontier parish and later moved to Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina. He has been involved in the Marriage Encounter but he also helps in the struggle of the aboriginal people who are called the Wichis and Pilajas, These are the original inhabitants of the land. He says they are like our Manobos and Tibolis in the Philippines. In this article he tells us to the death of a dear Filipino companion. We hope some other time he will share with us about his work with the Wichis and Pilajas. [Editor]

Twelve years ago in the land of the ‘gauchos’, my classmate, Fr. Teofilo Faustino arrived to our Oblate Mission in Argentina. I remember how previously in my first trip back home in the Philippines in 1983 on the occasion of my mother’s funeral, I had talked with him about my work here in Argentina. He got interested with my story and with a little push he assured me that after a year or two he would consider volunteering for missions. Though indeed during his 15 years in the Philippines he had worked on the mission because surely Jolo and Cotabato can be called missions. Apart from that he had done Trojan work as vocation animator and there is no more difficult work than that as any priest can tell you. In fact it was he, Teofilo, who recruited Juan de Jesus who later became the Bishops of Jolo and was tragically assassinated there a few years ago.

Joy Or Misery?

By Bo Sanchez

I now realize that joy or misery is a choice that we have to make daily. This came to me strongly when one day I was driving in Novaliches with my family to visit some relatives. Because of the enormous road work there, we got lost taking alternative routes. Besides, Novaliches is famous for an amazingly circuitous network of streets, reminding me of my intestines. “Can you help us find this address?” my Mom asked a guy driving a little jeep. “Sure,” he said, “Follow me. I’m going in that direction.”

Land Of The Two-Humped Camel

By Fr. Wens Padilla, CICM

When the Wall came down in Europe in 1989 many countries opened up for the first time in years. Mongolia was one of these. The new Mongolian government asked the Vatican to send missionaries. The Vatican asked CICM and CICM asked Fr. Wens Padilla, them working in Taiwan. Along with a team Fr. Wens, a Filipino, was the first catholic missionary to return to Mongolia since 1920's.  It is a tiny Catholic community centered on helping street children. Here Fr. Padilla takes a look at the exciting and exotic countryside of outer Mongolia, home to the two hump camel ad the famous blue sheep!

Be Friendly With Malaria

By Fr. Joseph Panabang, svd

Africa is often described as the “white man’s grave” because of Malaria. A glance at the history of early missionaries all over the continent shows that many did not last a week, but that was before the discovery of anti-malaria tablets. With modern medicines now, things are changing.

Malawi Carmel

By Sr. Vilma Juaneza, cm

Malawi is a small country in Africa. The official language is English, but Chichewa is the real language of the people. It is a very poor country with a colonial economy. A great percentage of its economic income is concentrated in Lilongwe, the capital, a very large and beautiful city with splendid gardens, tall buildings, well-paved roads and highways and a good airport. However, a few kilometers away, the specter of poverty greets the eyes: famished faces, people in tattered clothing, inhuman dwellings AIDS, cholera, malaria and malnutrition.

Mtengo Wa Nthenga

Two communities are situated close to these suffering people. Mtengo Wa Nthenga was founded in 1979. Here, six Carmelite Sisters – three Spaniards, one Filipino and an Indian – do their utmost for the inhabitants. To this mission center hundreds of patients flock daily. The poorest are the ones who usually become victims of all these epidemics.

My Buddhist Family

By Fr. Rudy Fernandez, sj

I would like you to meet my friends Akihiro and Noriko Yoshida. They are special. They both come from traditionally Buddhist families. Akihiro’s mother is a very devout Buddhist. Noriko received her high school and college education at a school run by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

Love Slays Evil

By Sr. Pilar Verzosa, rgs

Ester’s Story

When Ester’s parents learned of her pregnancy, they wasted no time in decreeing that she be locked up in her bedroom with neither visitors nor callers allowed and with the ready tale that she had ovarian cyst. That was to explain the bulging tummy at the start. She was a prisoner in her own room. But more than the four walls which kept her, a chain of bigger yet unseen things kept her I bondage.

Many Chains

Her parents were horrified of what their friends and relatives would think if they found out that their 23-year-old single daughter was pregnant. That was the chain of pride. Hence, the concocted story that she was sick. The chain of deception, unable to face the responsibility of having a child and the ire of his girlfriend’s parents, Ester’s boyfriend left her soon enough. The chain of betrayal. What was to happen to her and to her baby? What future would they both have? The chain of anxiety. And finally, with the world closing in on her and nothing at all left in her control, Ester thought she would do well to kill herself. The chain of despair. Chain after chain locked as the weeks turned into months.

Santa Sofia

By Bro. Paul Ines, sdb

Santa Sofia is one of the most ancient churches in the world built in 531 by Justinian I. It was a Christian church for a thousand years; then when Constantinople fell to the Turks it was a mosque for 500 years; now it is a museum. Fr. Ines, a Filipino missionary in Turkey, reflects on the memory of that once great Church.

As a Catholic Christian Missionary I feel a bit like the Basilica, a lonely sentinel in a predominantly Muslim land.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Made in USA

Recommended by the Holy Spirit Sisters, I went to a hair dresser’s shop owned by a certain Mrs. Mary Agyan-Gyau in Fiapre, a suburb of Sunyani. Mary spent a long time in the USA and learned her trade there.” So you are a USA-made hair dresser?” I tease which she happily acknowledges. “And your name is Mary? I supposed your husband is Joseph?” “Yes, he is Joseph-Gyau and we met in the States,” she said to my surprise. After cutting my hair, she said proudly, “Now father, do you want to look at your back?” “How can I, my eyes are I front?” I replied. Chuckling, she gave me a big mirror. After looking myself from behind, I blurted, “Ah, I never knew I look more handsome from my back.” Mary continued laughing together with her apprentices walking around like nurses in their white uniforms and head caps.