Joy Amiloquio

A Late Life

By Joy Amiloquio

I belong to the Teresian Association (Institución Teresiana), an international Catholic lay association present in 30 countries. Our founder was a Spanish secular priest, Pedro Poveda, martyred in 1936 and beatified on October 10, 1993. I was only 16, in first year at the university, when I came to know the group, 18 when I was formally accepted, and 22 when I came to Taiwan, home for me now. I see an irony in having been sent as a missionary at an early age while my work involves a late life. Father Poveda wrote ‘Your mission is to season the tasteless wherever you go, in the place where you live, among the people you meet.’ I try to be salt and give flavor to the context where I am and that is being with students at an unusual time – a late life. Poveda went on, ‘It is good deeds that witness for us and speak with incomparable eloquence of what we are.’ I try to be a witness by my good deeds in the university, by ‘wasting’ quality time, even late at night – a late life. How would I know the hunger for God in others if I wasn’t around to listen to their questions?

It’s sort of late to be arriving home every weekday evening at 11:30. It’s sort of strange to be with students on a pleasant Sunday afternoon when you’re supposed to take your weekend rest, stranger still when you’re in school on Sunday nights. Why am I out of the house on weekends, spending time with students with it isn’t a school day?