In Pulong ng Editor Mauricio Andrez Silva Ramirez and Nathalie Marytsch Rojas, a married couple from Chile, speak of their presence in Britain since 2001as Columban Lay Missionaries. The video was made by John Din, the new Coordinator of CLM-Philippines, at the CLM International Meeting in Tagaytay City, 3-16 July this year. John, from Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur, recently came home from Peru where he worked for many years as a Columban Lay Missionary. His first assignment was in Brazil.
We thank CLM-Philippines for the use of this video which is on their website.
The author, a Columban lay missionary who has served in Korea and as coordinator in the Philippines, is from Talisay City, Cebu, and is now based in the Diocese of Banmaw in the Kachin State, northern Myanmar (Burma).
L to R: Sr. Ashwena, Arlenne, Sr. Mary and Columba
‘Because the Columbans love us . . .’ This was the reply of a Kachin woman to a Columban priest when asked about the elaborate celebrations in honor of the Columbans when there were other missionaries who came before them.
The people in Banmaw have never forgotten what it was like to be loved by them. They have remembered well with gratitude in their hearts.
The thought of ordination, wedding, profession of vows and commitment rites always excites me. Every moment is special. I believe in the special grace received being present on those occasions. And I believe that God's hand is working through the newly professed.
I'd been invited to some ordinations before but never made it. So I when I learned that I could attend Chris's ordination, I was truly happy. But I thought to myself, I had to control my excitement and believe only when I was there.
I was privileged to meet Chris three days before the ordination. Feeling my own excitement for that day, I was curious to know how it was for him. I asked how he truly felt and he said, 'sagol-sagol man' (mixed emotions), 'di ko kasabot' (I cannot understand). I guess he didn't have to elaborate. Those few words meant much already.
Experiences and people who allow me to say: ‘I feel at home in the city of Salvador, in Brazil, where I have lived for the past 26 years’.
In the coffee table book Salvador, an alluring photographic study of life of this city, the Brazilian poet, Jorge Amado, writes:
The city is prey to the spirit of adventurers from all parts of the world, who over the years have exploited her black and heavy beauty, thick as oil and deep as mystery, trying to reduce it to the value so the tourist trade. And everything is small and sad when touched by such hands. There is a persistent and criminal effort to shrink Bahia’s beauty, her dramatic ancient beauty, to the limited scope of a tourist’s curious gaze. Bad poets come from afar to sing her praises in uncomprehending verse, while movie-makers film her without feeling, and millionaires and socialites buy her without knowing her, but she has held out against them all, living on for those who understand and love her. She lives on in her grandeur, her ocean and streets, in the daily renewal of mystery and beauty.
Since the Columbans first went to the Province of Zambales in 1951, around 70 of them served for varying lengths of time. The area became the Prelature of Iba in 1955 and a diocese in 1982. Columban Bishop Henry Byrne was bishop from 1956 until 1982. The last two Columbans to staff a parish there were Frs Fintan Murtagh and Donal O’Dea. They turned over the parish of the Immaculate Conception, Barretto, Olongapo City, to the Diocese of Iba on 20 May this year. That leaves just one Columban remaining in the Diocese – Fr Shay Cullen in the Preda Center.
The turn-over ceremony, with the installation of the new parish priest, Fr Rodel San Juan, took place within a Mass in Barretto parish church. It was a very well prepared ceremony, with Bishop Florentino G. Lavarias presiding and most, if not all of the priests of the diocese, attending. Many tributes were paid to the Columbans who had served in Iba for the past 60 years. The Regional Director, Fr Pat O’Donoghue, expressed the gratitude of the Society for the welcome, acceptance and cooperation that the Columbans had experienced during those years.
By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD
Bro. Marcus Hipolito, SVD from Brazil and I were watching on TV the World Under 17 Football Championship in Ecuador between Ghana and Brazil. It was really exciting. Both teams were giving their best. Bro. Marcus naturally cheered for Brazil.
The Marines of the Church
By Reynante Bantigue
In my exposure in Negros Occidental, I was able to visit the places in the Diocese of Kabankalan where Columban missionaries have greatly involved for 61 years. Many of their contributions were noticeable: schools and churches they built, various communities organized, many programs and projects initiated; all in the service of justice and the uplifting of human dignity is uplift. I was very impressed.
I want to ask humbly about the blessing of inanimate objects with holy water. I have learned in what I read that it is God who sanctifies the water and that it in turn blesses through the Holy Spirit. I wish to hear what God's word in the Scriptures says about this. Thank you. To God be the glory!
Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, another religion, is to take off our shoes, for the place where we are approaching is holy. Else we may find ourselves treading on their dreams. More serious still we may forget that God was there before our arrival.
~ Author unknown ~
Greetings from Redemptorist Youth Mission, Iligan!
Hello Sister Marie Paul... I was really excited when a friend told me that he read your article, From Iligan to Vilvoorde, online. He too, like you has the desire to be a religious and is now an aspirant with the Redemptorists.