Misyon Online - July-August 2015



Fr Kevin O’Neill, the Superior General of the Missionary Society of St Columban, welcomed LAUDATO SI’, the encyclical of Pope Francis ‘On Care for our Common Home, with these words: ‘We thank Pope Francis for his visionary and pastoral leadership which invites us as faithful disciples of Jesus to an on-going ecological conversion. Our lived experience speaks to us as we see the impacts of the exploited Earth and exploited peoples. We believe, as stated in our 2012 General Assembly, ‘that we are called to solidarity with marginalized people and the exploited Earth [which] are ways we participate in God’s mission’.’


By Arlenne B. Villahermosa

CLM Arlenne Villahermosa in Myanmar

The author, who is currently the Coordinator of Columban Lay Missionaries – Philippines, has worked as a lay missionary in Korea and Myanmar. She is from Talisay City, Cebu. At their annual meeting last year the Columban Lay Missionaries in the Philippines reflected on these three questions.

  1. What was it like to leave my family, culture, and country for the first time?
  2. What about my coming to a ‘new land?’
  3. As I respond to this calling of being a Columban lay missionary through my ministries, how has this calling been deepened over time?

My Vocation Story

By Michael Javier

Michael left for Chile in May with the two other members of PH22, Lorna Cañete and Gilda Comayas for a three-year term as Columban Lay Missionaries.

When I was a child I liked to be involved in religious activities in our barangay, maybe because I saw that my grandparents were very active in the church. Some people and even priests asked me at times if I wanted to become a priest someday. My response was usually just a smile.

When I went to Cebu City for my college studies I joined and became an active member of Singles for Christ (SFC). I thought that that would be enough for me in serving my brothers and sisters in Christ but when I left Cebu and went to Taiwan to work, my faith and sense of service in the Church became stronger. I volunteered in the church. There were religious sisters working in the same parish who noticed my presence and asked if I wanted to become a priest. I told them that I was discerning. So they recommended a spiritual director to talk to and who could guide me in my discernment.

PH23 - New Team of Columban Lay Missionaries in Orientation



Spreading Happiness through Sign Language

By Richelle H. Verdeprado

The author, a social worker by profession was, until recently, the Editorial Assistant of MISYONonline.com. 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.

A Concert in Hong Kong for Anniversary Year of St Columban

By Fr Patrick Colgan

The author, from Northern Ireland, is a member of the General Council of the Missionary Society of St Columban in Hong Kong. He has worked in Fiji for many years.

On 11 June this year a quite historic confluence of ‘worlds’ came together: the Oriental and the Celtic, diplomats and business people, missionaries and music lovers, as the Anglican Cathedral Church of St John in Hong Kong quieted for ‘The Journey – a Celebration of the Life of St Columban’, an Irish monk-missionary who died exactly 1400 years ago, patron of the Columban missionaries.


What I have Learned from Being Vulnerable

By Red Dawn Laurente

‘Is it meant to be?’ I asked myself hoping I could get an answer as to why I ended up in a situation where I felt so helpless, weak, isolated and incapable.

What I found was a very profound answer.

April 25 this year started as an ordinary morning. I was sitting in front of my computer in a laid-back way, passing the time, when suddenly the earth shook in a manner I had never experienced before. I heard a deafening sound followed by screams of people nearby. I knew that something big was happening but because of my shock and utter confusion I didn’t know what to do. Then I saw debris falling from the ceiling and thought that maybe my end was near. Being scared, I escaped from my room. In the hallway of my apartment building I met my neighbor and saw his very scared eyes. I knew it wasn’t just an ordinary tremor but an earthquake of great intensity. I tried to run out of the building as fast as I could.

July – August 2015

In the Highlands of Scotland

Father, we praise you with all your creatures. 
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.