September-October 2009

September-October 2009 Cover

(Video Posted By Faye Reyes)

Hangop Kabataan is the school for children with special needs that Father Sinnott set up in 1998.


Columban Father Michael Sinnott was abducted from the Columban house in Pagadian City on Sunday night, 11 October, at 7:20. We have ongoing updates from the Columban Superior in the Philippines, Father Patrick O'Donoghue, on our blog, The Pilgrims' Inn and on our Online Forum.

Prayer For Fr Michael Sinnott

In the bleak and troubled time, we ask you, dear Lord, to keep Fr Mick Sinnott safe from harm. Guide him every minute of his way and every minute of his journey. 

In the morning light, O God, may he always have a glimpse of Your image deep within him, the threads of glory woven into the fabric of his consciousness. May he touch sight of the mystery of love fashioned in Your likeness, deeper than knowing, more enduring than time. 

We also pray for the captors. Awaken the seed of Your Divine Goodness in their heart. Make them realize that the pain they may cause Father Mick is also the pain they cause to humanity. Make them compassionate to the needs of Father Mick leading to his speedy release. 

This we ask through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


(Campus Ministry, Saint Columban College)


Call To Mission

‘Arlenne’, with a prolonged hold on the second syllable, was the way people at home called me when I was a child in order for me to do something. And then it was followed by ‘Marika’ (Come here) if it was my mother who called or ‘Dali diri’ (Come here) if somebody else. I would answer immediately saying, ‘O,’ which meant ‘Yes’, and then went to the person who called me.

Being an obedient child, I always followed what I was asked to do, sometimes willingly, and other times not so willingly...


‘I might be in a wrong group’, I thought as I was attending Mass. It was kind of different. After the prayers of the faithful, when the people themselves offered individual petitions and then everyone going up to the sanctuary, the priest at the center of the altar and the faithful surrounding it. My dilemma was enlightened when the priest said, ‘for Benedict our Pope, and Matthew our Bishop’. I sighed in relief.

It was 22 August 2008, my first time to attend Mass in Ithaca, New York. Before I arrived, I searched the internet and found out that there were two Catholic Churches there and also the CURW (Cornell United Religious Work) held at Anabel Taylor Hall. Each denomination has a schedule and a room where they can have their own form of worship. I knew that the room that I had just entered was the venue for Christian services but I wasn’t really sure if the service was really the Mass of Roman Catholic Rite because the priest was sitting among the congregation while giving the homily. During the Lord’s Prayer, everyone held hands. Communion was different too. A woman was the first to receive the Body of Christ and then the Precious Blood. The priest then gave each of us the Host, and the woman let us drink the Precious Blood from the chalice. Although there were two other men in the group, the altar servers were ladies. After Communion, we went back to our place and the priest read a verse from one of the letters of St Paul. The final blessing was the culmination of the celebration.

It was a nice feeling, especially on the Queenship of Mary. That first Mass was followed by other daily Masses, when I was free. My Sunday Masses were at St Catherine of Siena Parish, the nearest Roman Catholic Church to my boarding house. It is relatively small, with a very welcoming atmosphere. There are also many families who attend the Eucharistic Celebration there. I think this confirmed what I had read somewhere that divorce is very rare among Catholics in the US.

The Road To Agoo

‘Christi simus non nostri. Perigrinari pro Christo’, I chanted repeatedly as I walked in the dark on my last day towards Agoo. I had been walking for days and sleeping wherever darkness caught me. During the Spiritual Year, the first year of formation, it has become a tradition for Columban seminarians to go on pilgrimage either from Malolos, Bulacan, to Manaoag, Pangasinan, or from Apalit, Pampanga, to Agoo, La Union. Without money, we ask for food and water from the people we meet on our way. At night we also ask around for a place to sleep. We tell people we are on pilgrimage and don’t disclose that we are seminarians unless they ask who we really are. The pilgrimage has always been optional; each of us decides if we will make it or not. We were the sixth batch to go on the pilgrimage.


The Beauty And Change Of Autumn Leaves

Change is everywhere especially these days of autumn when the leaves of the trees turn yellow, orange, red, pink, brown and are later blown off by the chilly wind. 

So my life this year is totally different than during my previous missions in Rome and Chile-Bolivia. I arrived in the USA province on 21 May, the birth anniversary of our foundress, Blessed Mary of the Passion, and in the receiving room or sala of our Manhattan convent her photo touched me with the message ‘We need missionaries’. This gave me the impetus to open myself to whatever He sends me...