July-August 1998

Daw Aung San Su Kyi

Exclusive Interview with
By Fr. Malachy Smyth, MSSC
Editor of Columban Mission (Korea)

Photo Courtesy: http://kbia.org/post/state-free-press-myanmar

Some years ago Daw Aung Su Kyi was elected president of Burma. The military marched in, ignored the election, put Daw Aung Su Kyi under house arrest and declared Martial Law. Since then all the worlds has been watching. The editor of MISYON’s sister paper in Korea, Fr. Malachy Smyth, went through a similar trauma under Marcos, should be sensitive now to the travails of the Burmese people.

Diana and the Landmines

I was sick and you visited me

Photo Courtesy : http://www.royal.gov.uk/List%20Images/List%20images%202/PSSOW/EMP-4483534.jpg

A year ago Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris.

Our readers know that MISYON has been carrying the campaign against anti-personnel mines for a long time now. So we were delighted when Diana, Princess of Wales, took up the campaign. It gave a very high profile image to the anti-mine work and highlighted the horror of 26,000 casualties a year. These casualties are mostly children, women and farmers. The Holy Father himself has singled out these weapons as been particularly inhuman when he said, “I should once again like to make a vigorous appeal for the definitive cessation of the manufacture and use of these arms called anti-personnel mines. In many countries of the world they compromise the return of peace over long periods of time because they have been placed either on the roads or in the fields with the intention of causing indiscriminate harm to a maximum number of people. In fact they continue to kill and cause irreparable damage well after the end of hostilities, giving rise to severe mutilation in adults and above all in children."

Refugees in the Desert

By William Kwong

We went to Kuwait for greener pastures. We ended up as...

First, there was an explosion, rousing me from my sleep. Boo! Was that the elevator? it sure felt as if the elevator in the condominium where we lived suddenly crashed down to the ground floor.

Whiter China

By Sr. Josefina Santos, SPC

A Filipino Sister makes a pilgrimage to China and reports on the difficult situation of the divided Church.

No in my dreams did I ever imagine myself walking on Chinese soil. If someone had told me when I was a child that I would one day see China. I would have said. “You must be joking.” And yet this impossibility became a reality on August 21, 1996 when I set foot in Beijing, the heart of China, with a group of 53 parishioners of St. Margaret’s Church.

Angola Diary

By Fr. Efren de Guzman, SVD

 Let me just share with you some recent events that happened this hot and rainy season. Don’t be upset with my stories. Just pray. Remember, anything beyond your control is not so much your problem. And may the things happening give you inspiration to have a compassionate heart—ready to forgive and understand, trying to be flexible and adaptable in every opportunity and concrete situation.

January 30

In the upper mountain of Kifangondo a drunk policeman lobbed a hand grenade at the people who were at a funeral wake, we brought the seriously wounded to the hospital. To our horror, the culprit was tortured then imprisoned. People said that he was a feiticeiro, a witch or a person possessed by the evil one. This fetishism is part of the culture and some attribute it to deep dreams. Anything bad that happened in their lives –accidents, sicknesses death –has its human cause. They always try to discover the human source of bad luck with help of the Kimbanda (witch-hunter, seer, diviner). One who is accused of being a feiticeiro must suffer tremendously and die. You can imagine the abuses this leads to.

Give me a Baby, Any Day

By Sr. Angela Marie, RGS

“She stunned us with her perfection. Fresh from another galaxy, she radiated an untarnished glory. Everything about her was an intimation of the divine images. We took turns holding her greedily absorbing her baby scent, and nearly falling over from giddiness and joy.”
(Gloria Hutchinson, Praying The Rosary)

The above quote from Gloria Hutchinson who describes her first encounter with her first grandchild is a perfect description of every newborn baby, girl or boy, brown, black or white. When we celebrated the bi-centennial anniversary of our foundress, St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, and he special gift to our gift to our community, we celebrated this unique ministry to new born babies and their mothers and Grace Maternity Hospital. It is a very and privilege ministry to yawning, crying, feeding, sleeping, “grace –full” babies, radiant mothers glowing with joy, pride, beaming daddies, smiling grandparents, some excited siblings and happy visitors.

Donna Cypriana Keeper of the Keys

By Ariel Presbitero

Japanese Filipino

On her favorite porch in front of her little two-room house, day after day, 78 years old Donna Cypriana sits quietly and watches as the streams of people pass along her street. I sense a little flicker of joy in her face ad she spots me, her ‘Japanese’ friend, approach. (For some reason, Donna Cypriana and most of the folk in this part of Brazil think we Filipinos are Japanese.)

Keeper of the Keys

Becoming Donna Cypriana’s friend didn’t come easy. Her little world is this little front space and her sparsely furnished sala and kitchen. Her son, Honesto, a cook in the nearby naval base lodges with her at night and on an occasional weekend, a grandson comes to stay with her. Her most important office is ‘Keeper of Church Keys’.

Thailand of Smiles

By Sr. Roslyn Rivera, CM

Some years ago there Carmelite Missionaries left the Philippines to assist in the Pastoral Youth Ministry in the Diocese of Ratchaburi, 130 kms. southwest of Bangkok. Sr. Roslyn Rivera describes their first tentative steps in a strange but hospitable land.


We spent the first few months studying the Thai language which was difficult. This experience brought a lot humbling situations. Like when I asked or the post office, I ended up at the train station. But hospitality towards the stranger. Another day I was driving to a village under the torrent of rain to bring something to close a family. The road was so bad that I did not realize how the close I was to the edge. I ended up by going into the ditch. The car got stuck. So I had to get down and walk back to the nearest house to asked for help. Two men readily came back with me after a few minutes, more people came on their bicycles and motorcycles, including children and women bringing with them a rope, hoe and spade to help pull out the car.

Victor is his name

By Sr. Marie Fay, SSC

This little story is typical of what so many missionaries do in far out places. This one had a happy ending. It was made possible because in the past people at home made sacrifices and sent help to Sr. Marie. We thank you for this help.

Victor’s home is in a village called Chiriac, high in the Andes mountains above the town of Recuay where we Sisters live. He lives with his mother and father, an older sister and their grandmother in a little shack n a very small farm.

Non-Person to Persons

a Filipino Sister and her helpers gives a lead

By Sr. Conception ‘Ching’ Madduma, ICM

Sr. conception ‘Ching’ Madduma ICM has been working for many years in India with the mentally handicapped. She runs a school and trains trainors and teaches parents how to look after their mentally handicapped children. Her expertise is in the education and care of persons with learning difficulties. In some cultures mentally handicapped people are seen as non-persons. Sr. Ching has had a long uphill road. Here we give a little picture of one of her many faithful co-workers, Mr. Shiv Hari Singh.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Photo Opportunity

Fr. Victor, SVD and our parish priest in Kintampo informed me that a certain Belgian, Mr. Leo took their picture to send to benefactors in Belgium. I said, “Tell Mr. Leo to send my picture instead. It will be more effective since I look thinner and more pitiful.