Misyon Online - July-August 1995

July-August 1995

Confident Christian Women

By: Fr. Neil Collins

A couple of years ago, I spent a week in Pakistan, visiting our three Filipina Lay missionaries: Pilar Tilos, Emma Pabera, and Gloria Canama. As the Columban lay mission co-coordinator for the Mindanao in the Philippines, the experience was invaluable for me. It has coloured all I’ve said and done since.

A Letter To Jerry

By: Fr. Paul Richardson

Columban Mission

About seven years ago, I was drinking coffee in a small coffee shop in a section of the town of Hinoba-an in Negros that is known as Dancalan Beach. Formerly, the area was almost completely Catholic, but over the years many of the people there have left the church to join a Filipino church known as the Iglesia ni Kristo (Church of Christ). Members of this church are extremely conservative, very anti-communist, and during the Marcos era, they were very supportive of his government. Almost invariably, these people tend to be very critical of the Catholic Church, especially of its social action programme. While I was drinking my coffee, a young boy accompanied by his friend came and sat down at the end of the table where I was seated, and I took their photo. The boy’s name was Jerry and both of his parents were members of the Iglesia ni Kristo, at the time that I took his picture, Jerry was carrying a home-made wooden toy armalite rifle. Looking again at the photo and recalling this incident seven years later, I wandered about the young man he has become. If I were able to locate him, this is the letter I would like to send him...

Deacon of Hope in Haiti

By: Fr. Victorino Coronado, CICM

Unheavenly Haven
The parish of Phaeton in Haiti near the border with the Dominican Republic, it is not an ordinary parish. Phaeton is special in many ways as the poorest and the smallest parish in the diocese of Port Liberty. The place itself occupies 37,000 hectares of land formerly reserved for a sisal plantation its fiber being used for ropes, rugs, and other materials. Thousands of laborers and landless peasants coming from all over the country were employed in this desolate barren desert, euphemistically called “Plantation Dauphin” i.e. haven of the crownprince, by a US based company.

Ethiopia will Stretch Out Her Hands To God

By: Ma. Brenda Villarin, DC

 In those days I was at the peak of my practice as a member of the Cardio-vascular team at home in the Philippines. I truly loved my work. To be away even just for half a day was too much. The Sisters and my Superior teased me saying “We can hardly remember what you look like. We hardly see you.” Then a letter came from Paris informing me of the decision of the General Council to send me to Ethiopia (1976). I could not believe my eyes. I know I did offer some years back (perhaps 1967 or ‘68) but “not now Lord. I’m far too happy to let go of my community, my work and friends and to be far away from home.” It was a difficult decision to make but I made it and left for Ethiopia.

God Meets His People Where they Are

By: Sr. Sonia Sangel, FdCC

Dreaded Malaria
Enamasa brought her one-year-old baby, Sagira to St. Therese’s Clinic Port Moresby where I work as a nurse. The child is severely dehydrated due to three days vomiting and diarrhea associated with high fever. Looking at Sariga’s physical appearances I have the impression that she is positive to the dreadful Malaria Falciparum. She looks very sick, and is shaking with chill and she sweats. Her eyes are sunken and jaundiced and her abdomen is distended with a enlarged spleen. I at once took her vital signs and sent her blood slide to the laboratory for a malaria smear. I started administering the Oral Dehydration Therapy. The child is like a parched land, a thirst for water, I showed and instructed the mother to continue to feed her with Oresol to replace the water and salts that had gone out of her body over the past three days. For her high temperature, I gave her a cool bath and a Quinine intramuscular injection. Finally after an hour and a half the peak of crisis subsided a little. Still anxious that she might not fully recover I thought of baptizing the child.

I Couldn’t Hear the Sermon But...

By: Sr. Carmela Santos, SPC

It is the feast of the Sacred Heart and the Church of St. Joan of Arc in Islington, North London is nearly filled to overflowing. The sanctuary is ablaze with color. The organ is belting out the glorious entry hymn and the congregation rise as Holy Mass begins. But something does not seem to be right. I see people craning their necks to catch what the celebrant is trying to say. Obviously, the microphones are not in good working order. Some kids begin to fidget and loud threats from glaring mums add to the hum and murmur around us.

Imagine There’s A War and No One Takes Part

By: Werner Paczian

Ninety Two Tanks
In early May 1992, more than two hundred men from the village of Tresnjevac in Serbia at the so called “able to fight” age were drafted into military “exercise” by the authorities. People from Tresnjevac knew these “exercises” would take place at the front line in Croatia or more probably in Bosnia; the war was escalating in those days. In a spontaneous reaction, pushed even by women, men decided to resist being drafted into the war. People from Tresnjevac started a demonstration, even though this was forbidden by the local police. While people were marching through their village they realized, that Trensjevac was surrounded by 92 tanks.

Kachin Celebrations

Fr. Owen O’ Leary reports on a happy reunion in Myanmar.

As we approached Myitkyina my mind went back 35 years to the night I first arrived there. Seven years later I said a dad farewell to Burma, today called Myanmar as the new regime began to force us out of the country. Now in 1994 a group of us Columbans who had formerly worked there were returning on a visit at the invitation of Bishop Paul Grawng. With Sr. Doreothea Byrne, now in Korea, Fr. Paddy Conneally from Australia, Michael Healy and Cyril Murphy from Japan and Mick Healy from London I was traveling back for the Episcopal ordination of Fr. Philip Za Hwang.

Sister Act

Sr. Maria Evangeline Nakila, RVM

My first mission was at St Joseph’s School in the downtown area of the famous city of San Francisco, California. I was scared then because of my language skills. Still I moved on and took summer courses in Class Management to make myself ready for school work.

The Hiroshima Nightmare

The Story of Mitsou Tomosawa

 At 8:15, one August morning  50 years ago, the Doomsday Clock struck midnight. The United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb killed more than 75,000 and injured nearly 100,000 of the 245,000 residents. The city was destroyed.

There was a great flash of light, as if millions of flashbulbs were ignited at the same time. It was so bright that we couldn’t see anything. And instinctively, I started to run toward the air raid shelter.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Cry of Balintawak
When I came from home-leave, I brought along a native bolo that miraculously passed all the airport check-ups. Asked what it is I replied, “It’s the Cry of Balintawak” (for it resembles the one Andres Bonifacio was raising.)