September-October 2001

The Story Of Pedro

Pedro Calungsod was a young native of the Visayan region of Philippines. Very little is known about him. He was one of the boy catechists who went with the Spanish Jesuit missionaries from the Philippines to the Ladrones Islands in the western Pacific in 1668 to evangelize the Chamorros.

A Pineapple, A Junk And A Spitfire

By Father Seán Coyle mssc

The first book I ever read, when I was, 7 was Treasure Island. A map guided Jim Hawkins and his friends to the hidden treasure of my vocation during my teenage years.

My first clue

The first clue was Sister Gemma in my second year in kindergarten. She spoke about the need to support missionaries and asked us to speak to our parents. My classmates brought in the equivalent of a peso but mine gave me the equivalent of five, a lot of money for them as my father worked as a carpenter on a construction site. Sister Gemma gave me a little calendar with a picture of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Patroness of Missionaries. I didn’t know at that time that the saint would influence me greatly years after my ordination, even though I still don’t like the name she gave herself, “the Little Flower”.

Not Just Dollars

By Sr. Leticia Bartolome icm

They have been hailed as “new economic heroes” of the Philippines. The estimated 6.5 million Filipino workers in 180 countries endure enormous sacrifices to be able to send home their earnings. Other than working with the special people, Sr. Leticia Bartolome is also involved with these modern day missionaries in Hong Kong.

Here They Are

By Gee-Gee O. Torres
Assistant Editor

When I went to Korea last year. I meet many wonderful people and among them were our Filipino missionaries. Here I would like to introduce to you five wonderful persons who chose to live their life on mission.

Sr. Norie Mojado, mm
Maryknoll Sisters
33 Hwadong Chongno Gu
Seoul 110-210, Korea

Sr. Norie arrived in Korea in 1978 and worked with the urban poor. After several years she was reassigned to the US to work in the vocation ministry. And now she’s in Korea as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director. Sr. Norie says that until now she has not mastered the Korean language which is said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. “However, I think I can understand more than those who master the Korean language because I have mastered the language of love.”

Something Good From Cebu

By Fr. Niall O’ Brien mssc

Last year my superior called and asked me would I speak at the Jubilee Mission Congress which took place in Cebu at the end of September. I would have like to refuse. But the request had come from the bishops to him. If it had come directly to me, I would have been able to give home in Ireland and it wouldn’t be easy to get back in time to prepare. But by coursing it through my superior it was difficult for me to refuse. I am glad now that I didn’t.

He Taught Us How To Love

By Niall O’ Brien mssc

Fr. Eddie Allen died at the Columban Headquarters in Batang, Himamaylan on Saturday the 3rd of March at 8:30 in the morning after a long illness in bed. He was 94 years old age and had worked in the Philippines for the last fifty years. I am sad that I was not in Negros and able to attend his funeral, as I was in Ireland getting a medical check up.

A Mystery

There is a little mystery about Eddie. He never learned to drive or at least he never drove here in the Philippines; he never built any churches or organized schools; he lived quite life in the Convento, going out when called but he was ever into initiating any evangelizing projects or social projects. Yet, he was the most popular and sought after Columban priest in Negros. I don’t think the word popular is the right word. He was not interested in popularity, maybe I sold say the “love”. The most loved Columban priest.

A Killing Field

By Argee Guevarra

Five years ago, Jesuit Seminarian Richie Fernando was killed in a landmine rehabilitation center in Cambodia. In his attempt to stop a crazed student throwing a grenade at some of the already handicapped inmates, he prevented their death but was killed himself. We have a poem written by his friend Argee Guevarra in memory of Richie’s action.

Today we shall let our crosses stand
on a square foot
of the Khmer hearthland—
And knell with one leg, or without
even for hours,
on your sacrament
of giving up your life for ours.

This is your way
of atoning for the sins of the rogues
who once headed our hopes into a rosary
of skull and bones.

The Right Decision

By Buhawi Meneses

Mama was what I call my mother, Rosa Meneses. It wasn’t very long ago when her name rang a bell as part of the telethon on breast cancer awareness staged by ABS-CBN in cooperation wit h the Philippine Breast Cancer Network, a project she co-founded with my father Danny Meneses. That telethon aimed to raise funds for the information drive being instigated by the network in order to combat breast cancer, a disease practically unknown to any of us, until the time when it finally hit my own mother.

Night Of Terror

By Sr. Rosalinda Gonzales, mmm

Sr. Rosalinda is a missionary doctor who has been working in Tanzania for many years now. Together with her fellow Sister nurses and doctors, they run the Kabanga Hospital mostly overflowing with refugees – one of the perennial concerns of Africa. Here she tells us of a night of terror when armed robbers broke in into their convent.

Men In Brown

An Interview by Sr. Ma. Michelina Brondial, fsp

Fr. Ernesto Montuero grew up in Manila. Coming from a religious family, young Ernie used to attend daily Masses and was active in religious activities in high school. It was then that he started to feel the call to the priesthood. He met a Dominican priest and got attracted to the order; this made him join the order as a postulant, stayed with them for sometime and later left. He got involved in different Christian organizations while pursuing his personal ambitions, plans and worldly life. But when he graduated from the temptations of great jobs and a rewarding future was too exciting. He got a job in the prestigious company. However, he felt something was missing in his life. He let go of his career, family, relationships and embraced God’s invitation which he had been declining – he joined the Carmels. He was ordained priest last May 31, 2000 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Shrine in New Manila, Quezon City.

Chaplain At Work In Kenya

By Fr. Jerome Cayetano svd

Bishops Cornelius Kipng’eno Arap Korir, the bishops of the Diocese of Eldoret, had made an urgent appeal to the SVD Superior in Rome to send a missionary to help out in the chaplaincy work of his diocese several years ago. His request was finally granted and Fr. Jerome Cayetano was sent to Kenya in 1996.

I started my chaplaincy work at Moi University (Chepkoilel Campus) and Eldoret Medical Department in February of 1996. Fr. Crowley, the part-time chaplain of these institutions for four years, gave me a good orientation before I began my new assignment.

You Create Your Own Destiny

By Bo Sanchez

Let me tell you a story.

Three construction workers were on top of their half-finished skyscraper. “Rrrrrrng!” the lunch bell sounded, and there tree men sat on a steel beam jutting out of the 56th floor with their lunch boxes in hand.

The first guy opens his and groans in exasperation, “Tuyo! There is not a day that I don’t get tuyo for a lunch!” He turns to his buddies and announces, “Mark my words. If I still get tuyo tomorrow, I’m going to throw myself from this building.”

The second guy opens his lunch box and moans, “Tinapa. Everyday, I get tinapa!” He looks at his friends and declares, “Believe me when I say this. If I get tinapa tomorrow, I’m going to jump and kill myself.”

The third guy opens his lunch box and it was his turn to despair. “Galunggong! All I get is galungong!” He looks to his co-workers and says, “I’m telling you, if I still get galunggong tomorrow, I’ m going to jump from this building and die.”

To Search is to find

For some time we have been asked to put in Misyon a section on Questions which our readers would like raised. We are not too sure how appropriate our suitable this is so please let us know if these questions have been of any help to you. We are calling this article To Search is To Find because we do not have the answers to every question – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.

Misyon to China

Sometimes you have articles on priest going to China. I thought China was not open to missionaries.

Answer: China is not a present open to missionaries in the traditional sense. You cannot preach the Gospel there publicly by word of mouth. But China does allow Christians to wok there and is quite content of them to preach the Gospel by their lives. Indeed it is the most effective way to preach the Gospel though a much more difficult way. That is one of the ways the Church developed in the early times; look at these Christians, see how they love one another!

Father Shay Cullen

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Portable confessional box

During confession in one of Wenchi villages where there was no confession box, an old woman whispered her many sins to my ear, so many that she got tired and began to rest her chin on my shoulder, her weight pushing me down. I was already leaning to my left as if  I a had a stiff neck. I should have brought a portable confessional box with me.