Richelle H. Verdeprado

Spreading Happiness through Sign Language

By Richelle H. Verdeprado

The author, a social worker by profession was, until recently, the Editorial Assistant of She is now teaching full-time at the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos (UNO-R) in Bacolod City.

Your first glance at this young woman from Cagayan de Oro City named Marice would make you remember her curly hair and smiling eyes. But when you would see her use her hands to communicate with the Deaf you would then remember her as someone whose ears and heart are always embracing the Deaf, especially children. You would think of her as a selfless and dedicated volunteer.

Welcome Home Foundation, Bacolod City

What Missing the Harvest Meant on His Journey

by Richelle H. Verdeprado

They say that our circle of friends can influence who we become. This is particularly true of Fr. Liam O’Keeffe who became a missionary priest after deciding to follow in the footsteps of a school friend who went to the Columban seminary, Dalgan Park, near Navan, Ireland. Since then it has become a decision that is being continually affirmed as he goes on meeting people and going to places where the love of Jesus is shown through the presence of Columbans.

Around County Clare, Ireland

Because We are Students for Life

by Richelle H. Verdeprado

Teakare Betero, from Raba, Fiji, is undergoing his Spiritual Formation Year in Quezon City. Richelle H. Verdeprado is the Editorial Assistant of

Teakare (far right) with Fr Taaremon Matauea on the latter’s ordination day, 11 August 2013

Every time he attended Mass during his teenage years, Teakare Betero or ‘Tex’ would recite with the priest instead of responding to him. For reasons he could not really tell at the time, he just got used to doing that. He grew up that way and his friends would even jokingly say to him that he might become a priest someday. Never did he think too that he would decide to take a journey towards priesthood and that a day would come when he would feel so hungry to learn more about God.

What Yolanda has done

By Richelle Verdeprado

Shortly before Christmas the Assistant Editor and Editorial Assistant of Misyon, Anne Gubuan and Richelle Verdeprado, went to the island of Panay, west of Negros, and visited the municipalities of Sara and Estancia in the north-east of the island and the north-east of the province of Iloilo to help in the aftermath of Supertyphoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

Last 8 November was supposed to be like any other day in the lives of Filipinos. For the children I was able to talk with on Friday 13 December, it was supposed to be another day of playing in the fields and along the shore and for some another day of learning at school.

But something happened that day that made these children hide under their beds and when their houses were destroyed, made them run as fast as they could to seek solace in the hills, in the houses of the well-off in their community and then in the evacuation centers. There was something not ordinary that day that has made the children tremble with fear, cry hard and then pray on their bended knees. That day typhoon Yolanda came in so fast and then left the country with unimaginable destruction and deaths. That day came and has left these children with awful memories.

Christmas with a Purpose

By Richelle Verdeprado

The author, a social worker by profession and a campus journalist from elementary school through college, joined the editorial staff of Misyon in October. We have published a number of her articles in previous issues. She is from Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

Each year of my life I’ve celebrated Christmas in a different way. When I was still living with my family in our simple town, we used to celebrate Christmas with neighbors. We would share whatever we had with each other and would all end up having more than enough to eat for the celebration. In the eyes of the child like me that time, such a spirit of sharing made me wish for everyday to be like Christmas Day. That was a decade ago.

Richelle and her classmates in graduate school spending Christmas at Sagada, Mountain Province in the northern part of the Philippines

In 2011 I spent the Christmas Eve with the girls and Sisters in Holy Family Home, Pembo, Makati City. It was a night of prayers and laughter, a night of singing and hugging, merriment and reconciliation. For each girl in the home it was another night of being with a family, a family where they were being cared for and loved. By this time, I wasn’t a child anymore. But Christmas has its magical effect of bringing out in everyone the simplicity, innocence and joy of being a child once again. No matter where you are or who you are it just comes out naturally for you to be excited in giving and opening gifts, in putting up decorations in your house and in dancing to the beat of songs that we only hear when Christmas approaches.

Here are two comments posted recently on Misyon Online Forum.

Fr Oliver Mc Crossan’s article, Masipag and the International Year of Biodiversity, appeared in our July-August 2010 issue. Jessica M. Maglunob posted this comment on 7 May this year.

Dear Father Oli, I have been very lucky to visit this farm and training center in Bukidnon in May 2011, and I feel that I have not thanked you enough for accommodating me and my niece Tina. The cool climate in Bukidnon is quite ideal for the farm; our farm here in Occidental Mindoro is too dry especially during the summer. I get so frustrated. I hope that during the rainy months I could just stay in our small farm and plant vegetables for our consumption. Our farm is surrounded by a brackish creek and I don't know if it could still be saved from the salty water that intrudes little by little. I just hope that there will be a sufficient supply of drinking water for all of us as the sea keeps on rising. Let us just pray that the devastation of our natural resources will not come all at once. I am afraid for the next generation. God bless you and your continuing commitment to help our poor! Jing


His Home In Negros

By Richelle H. Verdeprado

Born in Omagh, Northern Ireland on 15 December 1926, Fr Terence Bennett or ‘Father Terry’ has spent most of his life as a Columban missionary priest in Negros, Philippines. This morning, eight days before he celebrates his 84th birthday and three days before he returns to Ireland, I’m happy to be given this opportunity to interview him. Father Seán had introduced us to each other several times already, perhaps because we kept forgetting each other. But after this one-hour interview, I’m sure we won’t be forgetting each other anymore.

Father Terry was the eldest of seven children. The idea of becoming a priest came to him through the first cousin of his mother, Fr Thomas ‘Tommie’ McGovern, who was a Columban priest, prayed for him that he would enter the seminary and it happened. Father Terry joined the Columbans at the age of 17. Father Tommie also prayed for his younger brother Donal and the same thing happened.

The Saint Who Failed Math

By Richelle H. Verdeprado

The author is a fourth-year Social Work major at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R) in Bacolod City and a frequent contributor to Misyon.

This was my first time to hear of the name Chiara Luce Badano. This was also my first time to write an article about a teenager who will soon be beatified.

I didn’t know Chiara – ‘Chiara’ is the Italian form of ‘Claire’ and means ‘clear’ - Luce personally and there’s no way for me to meet her now. Luce died a year before I was born. But a well-lived life is a life that is never meant to die. It is a life worthy of being shared with people of all ages from all walks of life. Just as I longed for and tried hard to know about the lives of heroes and heroines who were generations ahead of me, I felt stirred in learning about Luce, a fine-looking, creative and sports-loving Italian who died even before she reached 19. With all interest, I thoroughly searched for facts about her. I wanted to know the events in her life that have led to her beatification on 25 September this year.

Her Home In The Philippines

By Richelle Verdeprado

After many years of not attending Mass, 26-year-old Peruvian Marisol Rojas Tomasto’s concept of priests and going to church changed when she first met the Columbans ten years ago. Since then, she has admired their sense of closeness with the people and how they break down the walls that separate them from the community. Wanting to do the same, she has now found her second home in the Philippines as a Columban Lay Missionary.