- The Contents
- Regular Sections
- About us
- Misyon Forum
‘Habang may buhay, mayroon akong ibibigay.’
By John Wang Zongshe
When I was baptized my godfather chose the name John in honor of St John the Baptist. I was born into a traditional Catholic family and brought up in Hebei Province, four hours by train southwest of Beijing. Our village was one-third Catholic. When I was young there was no television in our home so I asked my father to tell me Bible stories and that is where my faith journey began. As a primary school student, each Saturday I would play with my friends in our village but also made time for one hour’s adoration before the Blessed Sacrament in the local church. It was the custom in our village to have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturday afternoon and the Catholics would spend some time in prayer in the church. I feel that my personal relationship with God has its origin in those hours before the Blessed Sacrament.
(Video prepared by Columban Mission Australia-New Zealand)
By Fr Ray Scanlon
Until I did the pilgrimage I did not know much about St Columban. To me he was a mythical figure of ages long ago, one who was not so human and who had extraordinary powers, superhuman ideals and expectations.
As we travelled in St Columban’s footsteps we heard a number of accounts about his life. I began to understand and admire him. He became alive and real rather than a distant historical figure.
At the beginning of the pilgrimage our leader, Fr Derry Healy, said, ‘We are a group of lay people, sisters and priests hoping to be touched by the people, places and cultures where St Columban traveled, setting up schools and monastic communities at the end of the sixth and the beginning of the seventh centuries’.
The highlight of the pilgrimage was offering Mass with my classmate, Fr Brian Gore, on the occasion of our 40th anniversary of ordination. We celebrated beside St Columban’s tomb in the crypt of the basilica in Bobbio, Italy. I felt feelings of gratitude to God, to my family, Columbans, the people of Korea, the benefactors of our mission Society and to St Columban himself.
Through the pilgrimage I have come to know St Columban as someone I could pray to in a personal way.
Basilica of St Columban, Bobbio, Italy. The basilica was built between 1462 and 1522.
‘Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure’ (2 Cor 11:25-27).
By: Mitzi Saguisag
The official website for World Youth Day 2008 is www.wyd2008.org. Many dioceses and groups have their own websites for the event, which can be easily found through ‘googling’. You can find WYD material in English on the Vatican website at www.vatican.va/gmg/documents/index.html