Misyon Online - July-August 2007

Coming To The Light

By Father Garry Gestoveo

Father Garry Gestoveo, from Victorias City, Negros Occidental, joined the CICMs in 1990 and was sent to Japan in 2000. Ordained in 2004, he is the assistant parish priest of Fukuyama Church in the Diocese of Hiroshima, Japan.

Volunteers hold a distribution of towels
and clothing for the winter season

The Black Belt To White Collar

By Gee-Gee and Miggy Dimayuga

Father Leo E. Patalinghug, born in Cataingan, Masbate, is an associate pastor of St John’s Parish in Westminster, Maryland (www.sjwest.org).  He is also the chaplain of the Cursillo Movement in the Archdiocese of Baltimore (www.archbalt.org). He’s a renowned speaker among youth groups and on college campuses.  He uses his expertise in martial arts (Tae Kwon Do and Arnis) and even breakdancing to bring the Word of God to the youth.

Photo: Mary Ann Wyand © The Criterion

National Youth Day 2006

‘Your Word is the Lamp Unto My Feet and a Light Unto My Path’

By Gracebelle Montecillo

The author graduated in March
from the high school department
of Kabankalan Catholic College
Negros Occidental

When I was 10, I dreamed of one day joining the youth camp that was held annually in our Diocese, Kabankalan. Luckily, the following year, I was allowed to join the parish youth camp and later the diocesan camps. That was the beginning of my desire to reach more than that. When I reached high school, my longing to join youth camps grew deeper. I wanted to learn more about Christian values and share these with my fellow youth.

Ethics And Climate Change

By Fr Seán McDonagh

The author, a Columban, came to the Philippines in 1969 and spent many years in Mindanao, including a long period with the T’bolis. He is now based in Ireland and has written a number of acclaimed books on environmental issues. The Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC), the qualifications awarding body for third-level educational and training institutions outside the university sector in Ireland, awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy to Father McDonagh on the basis of his published work. His latest book, Climate Change: the Challenge to All of Us, was published by The Columba Press, <www.columba.ie>, Ireland, last year.

Memory Of The Heart

National Youth Day Experience
8 -12 November 2006 Davao City

By Sr Davidica ‘Bing’ G. Gunao DC

As Youth Coordinator and head of the delegation of the Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo, I experienced God’s manifold graces and blessings through the hospitality, generosity and warm welcome of the Davaoeños in general, our hosts, Assumption Parish, in particular, and specifically my foster-family, through whom God blessed me as their ‘foster-daughter’ together with another nun, Sr Gina FMM.

Sr Bing enjoying her 'youth' with some of the delegates

Upon our arrival in Davao, all the youth directors, coordinatorsand youth leaders were welcomed to a hearty NYD thanksgiving lunch at Dencio’s Restaurant. It was sponsored by the Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference (MSPC) Secretariat headed by Fr Eking Lacostales, Regional Executive Secretary, and his staff.

Close Association

Browny, my lively dog, wagged his tail excitedly while jumping on me, expecting some bones. ‘Browny, you are so smelly!’ I yelled. ‘Yes, Father,’ a voice replied from the kitchen.  It was Mary Yaa Abrafi, our cook.

The Story Of A Pig

By Sr Tammy Saberon SSC

Sister Tammy, from Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, helped to prepare the way for the return of the Columban Sisters (www.columbansisters.org) to Myanmar. They had been forced to leave in the early 1960s when the country was still known as Burma.

It was St Columban’s Day, 23 November 2001 in a small village

Pig for St Columban's Day

Fr Rufus Halley: A Tribute From His Little Brother

By John M. Halley

In July-August last year we published an article by Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop of Manila, about his friend ‘Pareng Rufus’, Columban Father Rufus Halley who was murdered in Lanao del Sur on 28 August 2001. Here John M. Halley writes about his older brother, whom he called ‘Rufie’, trying to come to terms with his death, and coming under the influence of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, who so inspired Father Rufus and his friend Cardinal Rosales.

Wary of the special status and privileges  sometimes given to Western people in parts of the Philippines, and inspired by  the life and legacy of Charles de Foucauld, in the late 80's and early 90's  Rufus worked in a Muslim grocery store as a shop assistant. This photo shows Panton (the shop owner), Rufus and members of Panton's family. I am seated on the right.

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. – Mother Teresa




– Blessed Mother Teresa

‘But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love – that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion’. <www.gargaro.com/mother_teresa/quotes.html>

Sacramentum Caritatis, ‘The Sacrament Of Charity’.

On 22 February Pope Benedict XVI signed Sacramentum Caritatis,

‘The Sacrament of Charity’. The document is his distillation of

and response to the Synod on the Eucharist held in the Vatican, 3-23 October 2005. Part One is a reflection on ‘The Eucharist, a Mystery to be Believed’, Part Two on ‘The Eucharist, a Mystery to be Celebrated’ while Part Three is on ‘The Eucharist, a Mystery to be Lived’. The document shows how the Eucharist is linked with every aspect of Christian life.

To Search is to find

We do not have the answers to every question – maybe only a partial answer that could set you in the right direction. But the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.  So why don’t you send us your questions and together we will search.

Last January Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado CM of Ozamiz ordained Columban Father Jovito Dales to the priesthood. Young readers often ask how they can know if God is calling them to the priesthood or religious life and how they can prepare to live such a life. On 17 February Pope Benedict met with seminarians of the Roman Major Seminary and they asked him some questions related to those topics. Here are some of the questions along with the Pope’s answers. These have been slightly edited.


Gregorpaolo Stano, Diocese of Oria (First-Year Philosophy): Your Holiness, ours is the first of two years dedicated to discernment, during which we are taught to make a profound personal examination. It is a tiring exercise for us, because the language of God is special, and only those who are attentive are able to discern it among the thousands of voices clamoring inside us. We are asking you, therefore, to help us to understand how God talks in practice and what clues he gives you in his private pronouncements?

Misyon View

A Simple Witness

In the Philippines , the state views overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as the country’s new heroes because of their contributions to the economy.  They leave their families behind, risk many dangers, and battle loneliness in foreign lands to provide a better life for their families back home.

Blessing Of A Large Family

by Sr Constancia V. Peña RVM

The writer is number 16, the lone survivor in a family of twenty: 12 boys and eight girls. The living descendants of her parents number more than 200 grand, great-grand, great-great-grand, great-great-great-grand, and great-great-great-great-grandchildren, five generations. Interestingly, there are ten sets of twins: one set of male and female, six sets of females and three sets of males. There was that so-called ‘baby boom’ in the fifties and sixties, but members of this large family were born in 1902 through 1930.

Sr Constancia with family members and Fr Kevin McHugh SSC

A venue for the youth to express themselves and to share with our readers their mind, their heart and their soul. We are inviting you – students and young professionals – to drop by Our Hideaway and let us know how you are doing.

Retreat Retreat with God

By Athea Myrnette ‘Aia’ Orayle Caspe

The author graduated from high school this year at St Peter’s College of Ormoc.

My recent retreat was really a vacation with God.  I did not expect that it would be that good and such a relief.

For the first time, I was able to talk to God wholly in an honest letter to Him. I told Him all my happiness and doubts. After that, my teacher handed each one of us a letter from God. Even though I knew it wasn’t really from God, I really felt thrilled and happy at receiving and reading the letter. What made my heart beat faster was when I started reading it!