John Din

Sabbatical for Future Commitment

By John B. Din

The author is from San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur. In 1993 he went as a Columban Lay Missionary to Brazil where he spent seven years before being assigned to Peru. In 2011 he was appointed Coordinator of the Columban Lay Missionaries in the Philippines. Last year, after his sabbatical year, he was appointed Regional JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation) Coordinator and is based in Quezon City.


John Din (left) and friends at graduation, University of Edinburgh 2015

In his book The Light Which Deems the Stars the late Columban Fr Colm McKeating, who worked in the Philippines for many years, argues that the sabbatical is the climax of creation and includes the care and protection of every creature because they all belong to God. Thus a sabbatical year is a not about rest and idleness but is rather meant to be an active and intense experience of God who is the ground of our existence. Indeed, it is about breaking with routine and the familiar and uncovering the extraordinary behind the veil of everyday experience. It is amazing how a different kind of work can reinvigorate when it fits the desire of the spirit.

A Vicious Cycle Of Destruction

By John Din, Columban Lay Missionary

john dinJohn Din, from San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur, is the Coordinator of Columban Lay Missionares – Philippines, a position he took last year after spending almost 18 years as a Columban Lay Missionary in Brazil and Peru.

Misyon Online

First there was the forest, then the loggers came; bare lands appeared and mining companies came. What next? This idea was on my mind when I revisited Midsalip in January 2011 to make a short video on the struggle of the indigenous Subanens and the people of Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur against mining. My first visit to Midsalip was in the 1987 together with a group from our parish during the picket against logging companies. This visit and the participation in the picket at an early age has been the most educative experience about the care of environment in my life.

Find God in the Noise

By John B. Din

It must have seemed weird to the Brazilians on first meeting me to be greeted by just a handshake or a nod of the usual hug and kiss on the cheek. I know they were surprised to see me eat rice for breakfast, lunch and supper.

John Din is a lay missionary in Brazil. He hails from Zamboanga del Sur, diocese of Pagadian, John is one of 13 brothers and sisters and graduated from the Columban College, Pagadian with a Bachelor of Arts degree major in Psychology. He reflects here on the challenge of the culture of Brazil to him as a Filipino.