November-December 2017

From the Editor

November – December 2017

Life, Death and the In-Betweens

This issue of focuses on life, living and death. In November, we celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day wherein we remember the lives of all those who have gone before us – how they had lived their lives and the mark they left on us. In December, we commemorate the birth of Jesus, the Word made flesh, the fulfillment of God’s love for humanity and all of His creation. Jesus showed us the way how to live life fully, inviting us to follow Him in loving obedience to the will of the Father...

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A Last-Minute Surprise

By Fr. Felisiano Fatu

Fr. Felisiano Fatu, from Tonga, is the rector of the Columban Formation Program in the Philippines based in Singalong, Manila.

I was only seventeen when I completed my secondary education in 1991. I wanted to take a break from furthering my education and decided to search for a job in Tonga. I applied to both government and private sectors for any jobs available. My first preference was to get a job in a bank and second was to work in a government office. My applications to banks were not successful but I was lucky to get a job in the Ministry of Justice. During this time, I really enjoyed being a young man exploring life opportunities and learning about myself...

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I Have Found My Inner Joy

By Jinky Ucol

Evangeline “Jinky” Ucol is from Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro. She joined the Columban lay missionary team PH 24 with Lily Faunillan and Jake Lunor, and left for Fiji in October 2017 for a three-year mission.

At 2AM, the phone rang asking me to bless the dead. By the time I reached the hospital room, the family was grieving and the dead body was already covered. That was good timing, otherwise it would have been difficult for a first-timer like me to bless the dead person. I was a bit scared and hesitant. Questions came into mind: What do I do now? How will I show my sympathy to the family? Basic questions that we are confronted with in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)...

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Chased by God’s Love

A Reflection on My Prison Ministry

By Louie Q. Ybañez

Louie Ybañez is a Columban student from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. He is presently studying Theology at the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila compound, Quezon City.

As part of our formation program, I go to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa under the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service for my pastoral ministry every Saturday. We usually start our day at the Reception and Diagnostic Center where we give values formation classes to new inmates considered as juvenile offenders. We facilitate this class through a group reflection on the gospel. Then we proceed to the Medium Security Compound to do some counselling with inmates who have long been held in prison or visit the inmates who, for a long time have not been visited by their families...

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The Joy I Found with the Youth

By Ma. Fe Corazon P. Arienza

Ma. Fe Corazon "Azon" Arienza is from Cabadbaran City, Agusan Del Norte. She was a youth leader of the Parish Youth Apostolate in Candelaria, Cabadbaran and a member of the Oasis of Love Community. With Hazel Jean Angwani, she is currently undergoing the Columban lay missionary Orientation program.

Columban Lay Missionary PH 25 in Orientation: Ma. Fe Corazon Arienza and Hazel Jean Angwani

My love and passion for service sprang from my experience with a Diocesan priest back at my hometown. His name is Fr. Isaac Manuel Moran. Me and my childhood friends used to accompany Fr. Moran when he celebrated mass in Pirada, a small town in Cabadbaran City. I love how he made all of the people there happy with just his presence and the way he made them feel that they are cared for especially the little ones. When I thought it was Fr. Moran who gave so much joy to those people, he told us instead that it’s the other way around. I found it hard then to understand, until I joined the Parish Youth Apostolate...

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To Search is to find
November – December 2017

When I assured a friend that I will pray for the eternal repose of her father, she responded with an invitation to rather pray for them, the bereaved family, for strength. She continued with, “We do not pray for the dead for it is the dead now praying for us.” I was a bit surprised for she too is a Catholic engaged in a religious group. They do not really grieve that much for they have to “take delight in the promise of the resurrection”.

I am wondering, do we, Catholics, have varied beliefs on praying for the dead, the resurrection and the need for grieving for the loss of a loved one?

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November – December 2017

Lord, kindle our lamps, Saviour most dear to us, that we may always shine in your presence and always receive light from you, the Light Perpetual, so that our own personal darkness may be overcome, and the world’s darkness driven from us. Amen.

~ St. Columban, Sermon XII

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