March-April 2004

Reflection From Colombia

By Fr Jaime M Baclayo SVD

I’ve been in Colombia since 1992 and people still ask me why I answered the call to be a missionary, considering its difficulties and challenges. Basically, I would say it’s a constant discovery of the living God who continually calls many people to commit themselves to the unfinished missionary work of Christ. It’s a process in which one may discover the loving God by being in relationship with him day to day during one’s formation and while on mission. During my formative years I discovered that Jesus loves me very much. Through that experience I’ve developed gradually in my faith, enough for me to commit myself totally to his Cause in a very concrete way. That is by being a member of the Divine Word Missionaries.

A Modern-Day Hero

By Vladimir Redzioch

Remember Dr Carlo Urbani? He was 47-year-old World Health Organization doctor and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 for his works with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders),, who discovered the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus in January 2003, only to die just three months later from the disease. His widow, Giuliana Chiorrini, speaks to Inside the Vatican about her husband and his work and the honor of being chosen by the Pope to carry the cross in the Via Crucis on Good Friday in Rome last year.

In early 2003, the Vietnamese government asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate a strange virus that was invading their country. The WHO Southeast Asia representative, Italian doctor Carlo Urbani, took on the task and on January 26 headed to Vietnamese hospital to visit an American businessman who was displaying unusual symptoms.

Out In The Streets

By Father Abraham Aquino CICM

Street children are found all over the world. Most people are quick to conclude that poverty is the root cause. But if you look more deeply into the problem, you’ll find that parents are often blamed. Father Abraham, a missionary in Zambia, tells us why.

I visited the parents of a street child whom we had taken home a few months before. In the beginning, everything was going well. He was going to school. But after a while he went back on the streets. On a few occasions I tried to convince him to go home, but he refused. So I decided to find out from his mother what had happened. She told me that the child was stubborn and preferred to stay on the streets. I asked her what her plan was for him. She said, ‘Bring him to the police to be beaten so that he will learn his lesson.’ Her statement hit me like a bomb. I got angry. Is this the best a mother can think of for her child? I said ‘Goodbye’ and told her sarcastically that I’d do exactly what she had suggested.

We Must Not Grow Weak In Faith

The First Sunday of Lent, 29 February, is National Migrants’ Sunday. In a pastoral letter for that same day last year, Bishop Vicente M. Navarra of Bacolod wrote that according to surveys there are 7.41 million Filipinos in 193 countries overseas. Nine million Filipino children have at least one parent working abroad.

Pope John Paul, on December 2002, celebrated Mass with some of the 23,000 Filipinos in Rome. ‘The fact that you are immigrants makes you more lovable in the eyes of Jesus,’ the Pope said in his homily, in which he focused on the difficulties of immigration. ‘With great affection I greet you and, through you, the many thousands of Filipino men and women living in Rome and in other cities throughout Italy. The Church’s concern for the Filipino faithful can also be seen in thirty-nine pastoral centers located throughout the city where you can foster your own noble Christian traditions and give them new life, thanks to the liturgical and apostolic services offered there.

Farewell To The Farm

An interview with Fr Micheal Riordan

Fr Micheal Riordan grew up loving the farm life. He became a veterinarian and worked in Korea for some time. In this interview we will find out how his profession led him to become a priest.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background

Fr Riordan: I was born in Ballymun Avenue, Dublin, Ireland in 1954. My parents are both from County Carlow. I remember that the possibility of being a priest entered my mind a few times when I was growing up but I decided it wasn’t for me. I was afraid of making a mistake, and I probably thought that if you went then you couldn’t come out.

My Angel of Humility

By Gregorio Pelaez III

The moment I began to change emotionally and mentally I knew that the point of my life I’d been waiting for so long had finally arrived.  My expectation that being a teenager would be the greatest part of living turned out to be wrong.

To Search is to find

1. Do I understand correctly that bahala na is trust?

‘Bahala na’ can mean trust in the Lord when we recognize our own limitations and helplessness. But it can also be a refusal to take responsibility for our own actions and their consequences.