May-Jun 2004

Getting To Know Some Travelers In Ireland

By Annie Budiongan

My three year term here in the only Columban parish in Ireland, St Joseph’s, Ballymun, Dublin, gave me a great opportunity to get a glimpse of the life and culture of Travelers, an ethnic minority with their own history, value system, customs and a nomadic tradition, part of Irish society for centuries. Their distinct culture can be seen in their dress, language, accent, family structures and use of symbols. According to the Department of the Environment there were about 28,000 Travelers inIreland in 1999, nearly a quarter in or near Dublin, the capital.

Close Encounter With The Teenage Kind

By Veronica Ugates

Libya, whose economy is dominated by oil, forms part of the vast Northern African Plateau extending from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. About 90% of the population lives in and around the coastal cities, especially Tripoli and Benghazi. Veronica Ugates has been living there for two decades now. She wrote for Misyon a few years ago and now she shares with us once again how she and her family are doing . . .

Veronica Ugates

When our daughter was about 14 we started to feel the lack of social life for a teenage girl. We observed that the youth program of the Church had not pushed through due to many hindrances, one of which was the lack of personnel. So we offered our services and reactivated the St Francis Youth Ministry in October 2002.

The Journey Continues

Father Nazario Caparanga, CICM

Father Nazario Caparanga CICM is a native of Bicol who joined the CICMs in 1994 and was ordained in 2001. He was assigned to Koza in the extreme north of Cameroon in 1999 and is presently still working there animating the community of Mazai. 

Mourners express sympathy and support in the days following Nganawa's burial

'Its A Small Church But It Contains The World'

By Sister Lourdes Fernandez MM 

Albania is a small country in South Eastern Europe known not only as the birthplace of the parents of the Blessed Mother Teresa but also because of its extraordinary history. The Albanian people and the Church suffered severe religious persecution under Communist rule. By the 1980s, albania had become the most isolated country in the world. In 1995, the Maryknoll Sisters found their way there. Here Sister Lourdes shares with us their experience in the land tha once was declared by Communist dictator Enver Hoxha as 'the world's first completely atheist state.‘

On May 1, 1995 the Catholic Church started activities in Pogradec,’ Veronika recalled, ‘and it brought happiness to my family.’ Veronika and four other young persons were baptized at Easter 1997 when Albania was in turmoil. ‘The darkness and ugliness of gunfire surrounded us but inside our hearts was a fire of joy and love,’ she said.

From ‘Vertical’ to ‘Horizontal-Vertical’

By Amparo Batutay

The author is a Misyon promoter. Here she shares her struggle to grow into the post-Vatican II way of living our faith.

An old song says, ‘It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’ These words have significance in my life.

Before I started my formal schooling at the age of 7, I had already received my First Communion, studied the basic Spanish alphabet and memorized the old little booklet of the catechism. Though born in Cebu City, I was raised in Boljo-on, a sleepy, quiet romantic town in the southeast of Cebu, with verdant mountains majestically towering over white sandy beaches where bathers stretch lazily and enjoy the lapis lazuli sky over a shimmering azure sea.

I Learned From Their Story

By Sister Angelica Cruz ICM

How does one define the meaning of being a missionary? Not in the number of ‘converts’ made or the baptisms performed. Certainly not in the amount of money spent on projects, nor the size of the buildings constructed. For me it is from the stories they tell.

I’ve heard some of these stories from Sr Marieke, a fellow ICM sister. She is a native of Belgium and has been a missionary to the Philippines since the 1960s, with years in between out of the country for temporary assignments to Rome and Belguim. She has been involved in several ministries. Currently she is involved in Tahanang Walang Hagdan. Sr Marieke is a quiet person in the community. But with a little prodding, she comes alive when she talks of the people who have touched her life.

To be free like a bird

She told me of a little boy in Tahanang Walang Hagdan who, at the age of 8, was abandoned by his parents. One day, while they were sitting in the balcony, the boy remarked, ‘I wish I were a bird like that big bird over there. He’s not stuck in a chair like me.’ The boy has muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal or voluntary muscles which control movement. She quietly carried him up from his wheelchair and placed him on her lap. Together they sat in silence.

‘So that I Could be Innocent’

By Father Francis Chapman

Father Francis Chapman, now 90, came to the Philippines as a Columban missionary in 1938. He hears confessions regularly in St Augustine’s Cathedral, Cagayan de Oro. Here he recalls an incident from nearly 60 years ago.

May in Mindanao is a hot month. For the priest it’s also a busy one. That day there had been a barrio fiesta. The barrio wasn’t large but had done its best to celebrate the feast day of its patron, San Isidro Labrador, with becoming solemnity. Almost every house had put on a feast. Visitors came from far and near. The late Mass was sung. A band accompanied the long procession immediately following the statue of the San Isidro. The statue itself was attached to a float and carried over the fields on the shoulders of four able-bodied farmers. Then a large number of children from the village were baptized.

An Open Letter To Filipino Catholics

By Steve Ray

Steve Ray is the author of many best-selling books, eg, Crossing The Tiber (his conversion story), Upon This Rock (on the papacy), and recently, St John's Gospel (a comprehensive bible study guide and commentary). Steve is also currently filming a 10-video series entitled, Footprints of God. The first two videos are out: Peter, Keeper of the Keys and Mary, Mother of God.

This article is used with permission of The Filipino Catholic Ministry, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. You can access their website with either or

Our Hideaway is a venue for the youth to express themselves and to share with our readers their mind, their heart and their soul.


  By Ann-Ann Gerong

People say that what you are now is what you were before. Based on experiences that molded me and influenced my behavior, I agree.

How I knew Lolo

One of my memorable experiences was when I was still a little child. We were living with my grandparents. I’ve lots of fond memories especially from the time when my grandfather was still alive. He was my ever-dearest grandfather, especially since he was the only one I knew. My maternal grandfather died when my mother was still in college. My grandfather’s name was Rafael or ‘Paeng’ to relatives and his many close friends, mostly teachers and men in politics. He was a man of integrity whom many went to for advice. He was retired and in his late 80s when I became old enough to know him.