By Father Thomas M. Priela
The author is a diocesan priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan, comprised of the province of Oriental Mindoro. The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) has been working in the island of Mindoro since before World War II.
The Philippines, being the only major Christian country in Asia, (East Timor’s population of 825,000 is 93 percent Catholic, compared to 83 percent of more than 82,000,000 in the Philippines) has a unique missionary responsibility. John Paul II made a call in this regard. Though these are part of my reasons for becoming a missionary, my motivation is a little more personal. Within living memory we in the Philippines, especially Mindoro, have experienced the benefits of mission work. By a historical accident, the missions to China benefited us greatly.