The Magazine of the Missionary Society of St. Columban
Women, Children and Youth
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Sold Like a Chicken “I was promised a job as a waitress in a club,” bemoaned a distraught Filipina woman “but on my first night in Hong Kong I realized I had been sex-trafficked.” She explained that along with other women the manager said we could just have drinks with the customers. Another young Filipina said that she had also been told that all she had to do was have drinks with the clients. “I had worked overseas before and going out with the clients was strictly forbidden. In fact, if any of the girls did, they got terminated.” Sex trafficking doesn’t always involve midnight journeys in covered trucks, but comes with smooth talking job-recruiters promising decent work, moderate wages, a chance to travel and the possibility to help the family. Outsiders wonder how young women from the Philippines are continually sucked in by these promises. But in a country where truth and trickery are difficult to distinguish, it can be hard to smell a rat when business people offer a good job in a foreign country. “We’ve all heard stories of people making money overseas,” one woman explained, “but women caught in our situation — they never talk about it at home.” Both women gave up calling their families, as they couldn’t hide their emotions. “I was always In So Many Words afraid I would cry,” said one “and give the game By Fr. Jim Mulroney away.” The other said she relied on God. “I have learned that you can’t judge anyone. We came to Hong Kong with the dream of a better future, but this is shattered. It’s hard to dream here, but I still ut in a country where have hope. I pray every night. I talk to God as a truth and trickery are father. I feel close to Him because of my trials.” Now back in the Philippines, both say that time difficult to distinguish, it is comforting, but the scars of their traumatic can be hard to smell a rat adventures in Hong Kong remain raw, even after when business people offer some time has passed. One said, “I cannot tell anyone here or I will be marked as a prostitute a good job in a foreign forever. But I must tell someone. I don’t want country. anyone else to get caught. I was sold like a chicken to satisfy someone’s appetite.”
Columban Fr. Jim Mulroney is the editor of “The Sunday Examiner,” which is the English language paper of the Hong Kong diocese. www.columban.org
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Crosswalk Experience 2013 An Interview with Lui Baledrokadroka By Fr. Patrick Colgan
“You did not choose me. It was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear much fruit, fruit that will last and everything you ask the father in my name, he will give you, I command you to love one another.’’ ~ John 15:16-17 Autor’s note: Elisabeta Mariana Rawalai represented Sacred Heart Cathedral parish, Suva, in the 124 mile annual Crosswalk 2013. I did not volunteer, but I was chosen. I believe God chose me because I had thought that He had forgotten about me. I’ve always had questions popping in my head, like, Why am I going through such a lot, God?.... Don’t you love me anymore?....Why am I always feeling sad, angry and lonely every 4
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day?.... Isn’t it enough that I’m looking after my Mum?.... Why did you have to take my grandmother’s life, Lord? She was my only best friend, and the only one I relied on for help. There are many more questions: Why? Why? Why? I was angry at God. I didn’t like praying. Whenever we had prayers at home, I would lie in my room and come out when prayers were about to finish. And if I had to go to Mass with my family, it would
just be for the sake of attending because it’s a Sunday. I would do anything just to make my parents angry. My parents had a hard time with me. I have always thought that my parents did not love me, because I was brought up differently from my other siblings. I come from a family of six and I am the third eldest. I was brought up by my grandmother and sometimes I would feel that I was being treated differently at www.columban.org
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home. In fact, I got so angry that I didn’t want to accept them as my parents. I’ve always wished that my grandparents were my real parents. But at one point this year, at the beginning of Lent I stopped to look back at my life, so I started praying because I wanted peace in my heart. I wanted God in my life. I thought it was too late. I saw the way my parents saw me, the way they thought of me. It was so painful to see my parents so angry with the person I was. They saw me in a different way.
In the early morning of March 23, 2013, 90 youths of the Central Eastern, led by an inspirational young priest named Fr. Papila Tonga of Nausori parish, commemorated the death of Jesus on Calvary. I was so scared, and I thought I wasn’t going to make it. That same Saturday I prayed and asked God to give me a sign to make me feel that I was following the right path and that going for the crosswalk was no mistake and He did. That same morning we were the first group to carry the cross, it was so emotional. Tears
Two weeks before the crosswalk, Father Tavite Naiveli, our parish priest, came and asked me if I could take part in the crosswalk this year; I was so happy. But my family didn’t think I would make it. As for me, I knew that God had answered my prayers. This would be the way, the first step, that I would change my life. That same day was our medical check up [for entry into the walk]. Even though I did not pass my first medical checkup, I did not give up. The second medical checkup, I also did not pass; still I did not give up. I had to find another doctor to get another opinion. I was praying so hard that I would pass my medical check up with a different doctor. This doctor heard a slight heart murmur, so I had to have an ECG done, and thank God, this time nothing was found. Finally I had my certificate.
were just running down my cheeks. Following in Jesus’s footsteps is not easy, but if you put your mind and heart into praying and singing, you won’t feel a single pain. Along the way the committee did different dramas about family life. It was very touching; they had different messages and one in particular made me realize how I was hurting the feelings of my parents, family and friends without knowing it. It opened my eyes and my heart to ask for forgiveness. I found this very hard, especially to ask it from my parents. But this crosswalk made me realize how important my parents are to me and my life. It made me realize how important it is to obey them and how strong our faith can be if we put our mind and heart into praying and singing. I believe that after the crosswalk, I can say my faith has grown stronger.
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“Last year I left school to look after my Mum. I was not prepared for it. At first I was angry because I don’t have any experience in looking after the sick, but now I realize that, that was one way God was trying to build back a bond between a mother and a daughter. When I was young I cannot recall the day I felt a mother’s love from my own mother. I can’t recall any hug or kiss that made me feel like her daughter. I guess God wanted me to look after my Mum, so that we can build a bond. I thank God for building that missing bond between my Mum and me. The crosswalk made me realize my mistakes in life. It made me stronger in spirit, and also strengthened my faith as a Catholic youth.” “This crosswalk was amazing; I would love to share my experience 6
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with other youth, family and friends. I’ve learned a lot on this walk. Just recalling the walk, it’s like doing a drama from which you exit as a different person, one who was at the beginning very closed and with a heart as hard as a stone. But we return with new hearts, a new life and completely changed persons. When you put your mind and heart into what you are praying for, believe me you will get it. Whenever you sing or pray, every single word means a lot. Before the walk, we were told that we will only be praying and singing during the walk, and that through this, and with faith, we can achieve anything in life. Remember that God is always there even when you think He is not. He will always love you even if you think you are a very sinful
person. Even if you think that no one loves you, or feel like the world has turned its back on you, God is always beside you, guiding you, ready to listen to you and help you. God will make miracles in your life, if only you put your life in His hands. Always make Him number one in your life. I find myself very lucky to have participated in this year’s crosswalk. I believe I was chosen and the only thing that’s left is for me to spread how good the Lord is in our lives.” CM Columban Fr. Patrick Colgan serves on the Society’s General Council. He lives in Hong Kong.
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A Leap Year Marriage Followed by a Baby! By Fr. Frank Hoare
atechists are the corner stone of the Catholic Church in Fiji. Semi Sasai, head catechist in Navala village, epitomizes the generous voluntary service that catechists give to their people and to their Church. Semi takes his turn with two younger catechists to lead the Liturgy of the Word and preach on the three Sundays in the month when there is no Mass in his large village of 800 Catholics. He conducts funerals when the priest is not available. He also instructs couples for marriage, parents for the baptism of their children, and young people for confirmation. He regularly travels by bus to Ba town to assist villagers, to report to the priest and to attend the monthly catechists’ meeting. Semi is now 60 years old and has served as a catechist for the last 40 years. He not only serves in his own village but, down through the years, he has also walked or ridden a horse on Sundays in scorching sun or drenching rain to nearby villages and settlements which have no catechist of their own. All this is unpaid voluntary work though he may occasionally receive a present of food or a mat from the people he prepares for the Sacraments. Well into his forties, Semi remained unmarried. He looked after his widowed mother until her death. Even afterwards he remained single. Many supposed that he was a committed bachelor. Some years ago I invited Semi to accompany me to Tabaquto, a Catholic village almost one hour journey further into the hills from Navala. I had decided to stay there www.columban.org
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for a few days to get to know the people better than the quarterly Mass visit allowed. The villagers gave us a great welcome. Over the long weekend, we prayed, did some planting in their gardens, washed in the river, drank yaqona, shared stories and feasted with them. In Fiji, sitting around the yaqona bowl, exchanging stories, and sharing the experience helps create a bond between all participants. Visitors feel acceptance and inclusion in a new community. Many business deals and social contracts are achieved around the yaqona bowl. As is common in these situations, some people slept on the soft matted floor of the house where we were being entertained. On the third morning, Semi woke up to find that a young girl not yet twenty, Kalara, was lying beside him. After exchanging greetings she said to him, “Are you ever going to get married”? “I might if I found the right girl,” he replied. “Well, some of us are ready” she said meaningfully. “But I am too old for you,” exclaimed Semi, surprised. “I am not interested in young men,” said Kalara, “They don’t know how to treat a woman properly.” Semi thought about it and later arranged for some of his relatives to approach Kalara’s father. Marriage was agreed, and Semi observed the traditional custom of bringing food to her family for some months before the marriage. I had to leave Fiji before the marriage was to take place so I asked Semi what I could give him as
a wedding present. He told me that he needed a saddle for the horse for his pastoral visits to the villages. I duly got him the saddle and left Fiji sometime later. A few years later I returned to Navala on a visit and found Semi and Kalara very happy. Their only regret was that they had no children. Then after a further absence from Fiji I returned to Ba town to hear that Semi and Kalara had a baby girl after ten years of marriage. I was unable to visit them that day, but I sent a congratulatory present to the happy couple. Recently I visited Navala again and met Semi, Kalara and their three-year-old daughter. Semi says that his daughter reminds him to say family prayers at night if he seems to be distracted by other things. Semi clearly dotes on his little daughter and loves to cuddle and play with her. I asked Semi if he still has the saddle I gave him. He said that he has the saddle but added sadly that someone stole the horse some years ago. Jokingly I said that for his next marriage I would present him with a new horse. “No,” he said. “Things are fine as they are.” CM Columban Fr. Frank Hoare lives and works in Fiji.
7 9/3/13 10:21 AM
Things that Matter The Importance of Small Talk By Fr. G. Chris Saenz
he “small things,” as St. Therese the Little Flower would say, are an important aspect of spirituality and mission. Yet we don’t get a romantic notion of what that means or how it looks. Often the small things can be a nuisance, an inconvenience and a pain in the side. That is the moment we have to be alert to what God teaches us in the small things. I learned such some years ago when I worked in southern Chile.
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I was living in the rural countryside populated by the Mapuche natives of Chile. One day, after visitations and meetings I arrived home late, tired and hungry. With a cup of tea I sat down to watch the local news. Suddenly, there was a knock on my door. What! Who can that be! My mind raced thus, completely upset by the intrusion. I opened the door to see Kata, one of the Fijian lay missionaries who lived
next door. “Sorry to disturb you,” she apologized, probably seeing discontent on my face. “There is a woman here to see you. She is in our house.” I told Kata that I will be there. With a huff and grump I changed my clothes and went over. It was unusual that someone, most of all a woman, be out at this hour. I was surprised to discover that there were two women waiting for me, one being Maria who lived quite far from our location. They greeted me. www.columban.org
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Those of us from North America and Europe value being direct and getting to the point in order to not waste time. However, in Chile, being direct is not a value. It is considered rude and reﬂects a poor education. The women began the conversation with the usual general questions of how was I doing, my family, my health, etc. Being in Chile for several years I was accustomed to it, but tonight it was a torture. I begrudgingly participated. After about 30 minutes they ﬁnally got to the point. Maria explained to me that after shopping in the large city (two hours away by bus), they arrived late to town missing the last bus to her area. In fact, no buses were running except the one bus that passed by my house. Maria told her companion, “This bus goes by Father’s house. Father is my friend, he will help us.” Darn! I thought. They want me to take them home! More than an hour of wasted time! Yet, I told them, “no problem.” After I took the ﬁrst woman home, I drove to Maria’s house engaging in small talk. We arrived, and it was completely dark except for the lights of the house. When I parked the truck in front of the house Maria looked at me and said in a cautious tone, “Father please stay in the truck while I get down ﬁrst.” I thought it was a strange request being that I had been to her house many times before. I looked at the doorway and saw a ﬁgure standing there, her husband. The inside lights highlighted his aggressive stance. It was then that I realized the complexity of Maria’s situation of which I was completely ignorant of due to my being “bothered” with Maria’s small request for a lift home. www.columban.org
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Often the small things can be a nuisance, an inconvenience and a pain in the side. That is the moment we have to be alert to what God teaches us in the small things. The rural culture is very macho. Maria was a married woman who did not arrive home on the last bus of the night. Her husband’s mind would be ﬁlled with thoughts of what Maria could be doing at such a late hour. This was further complicated by the fact that Maria, a poor woman, could not hire a taxi from the small town because the distance and hour would equal a large fare. Furthermore, even if a good Samaritan were to take her home, all the drivers where men. Who could this strange man be bringing Maria home so late, her husband would think. Maria was caught in a no-win situation until she saw her only way out — possibly the only man who could save her from this misunderstood but tense situation —the priest. Her friendship with me could make a difference. Maria began conversing with her husband. Things sounded and looked tense. Eventually, I stepped out of the truck and shouted, “Don Jose!” The aggressive man turned towards me with a puzzled look. “Don Jose,” I repeated. “How are you doing? How are crops this year?” ironically using the Chilean non-direct small talk to my advantage. When Jose recognized my voice, his body posture relaxed.
“Father, is that you?” he said. “Yes,” I responded, “I was out late and ran into your wife who was waiting for the bus. Since the bus already left I decided to bring her home.” Jose looked at his wife, then at me and said, “Father come in, we will drink some tea and have something to eat.” Food is a good sign that all will be ﬁne. The tense mood was gone. Maria was relieved and thankful. I shared a meal with them and arrived home very late. Mission is not necessarily about sacraments (catechism, formation) or about construction (churches, parish buildings), but more often is about the small things, the daily living with people. I myself cannot boast of any great building or program in my name during my years in Chile. Yet, I believe my contribution to mission has been the friendships formed and transformed with the people I minister to. That is a small thing that matters. CM Fr. G. Chris Saenz lives and works in Chile.
9 9/3/13 10:27 AM
Both Sides of the Coin By Fr. Sean Conneely
It was a cold and snowy night in Chuncheon City when I got off the train from Seoul. The journey only took an hour and 10 minutes. I had to wait in line for 15 minutes before I could get a taxi to bring me to the Columban Sisters convent in Chuncheon. I needed a quiet place to do a retreat before Christmas and the Sisters offered a place. The next day wasn’t as quiet as I had planned because the Cathedral parish next door had a Mass and celebration to commemorate the 80th birthday of the former Bishop of the diocese, Bishop John Chang. I was glad I was able to attend being the only Columban priest in town. Bishop Chang was the first Korean bishop of Chuncheon after Columban Bishop Tomas Stewart 10
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retired in 1994. During the Mass and ceremony my mind was far from being at rest. It kept going back to my first visit to Chuncheon in 1969 with classmate Fr. Jack Houlahan. We were new in the country innocent and inquisitive. Bishop Stewart was bishop at the time, nearly all the priests working in the diocesan offices were Columbans. Most parishes in the diocese were staffed by Columbans. All the churches in the dioceses were built by donations from benefactors from the home countries. The trip to Seoul at the time took nearly four hours by jeep. At the time the Columban Sisters ran one of the finest clinics in the whole of the Kangwon Province. It was staffed by well
trained and educated Columban Sisters, doctors and nurses from Ireland and the U.S. The morning we visited the clinic, every corner of the building was packed with patients. Many were mothers with babies on their backs, some with children by the hand, grandfathers and mothers who had traveled many hours by bus and on foot to get the “holy medicine” as some called it, from the “foreign holy women.” There are many stories told by the Sisters of women waiting for hours in the early morning to get treatment and medicine. I have met people over the years who told me they owed their lives or the life of one of their family members to the care and treatment from the Sisters. All of www.columban.org
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“There was sadness in my heart to see the ever diminishing presence of Columbans in Chuncheon. But gladness, pride and gratitude abounded in my heart too.”
that is history now. The clinic was knocked down a few years ago. It wasn’t needed any more. Only the statue of Our Lady stands in the center of the new parking lot as the place is much needed by the people who drive to the many Masses in the nearby cathedral. The parish has built a youth Center and a kindergarten on another part of the old clinic compound. The Sisters nowadays run a much needed center on the outskirts of the city for hospice patients, the elderly and the dying. There are no more Columban priests needed in the dioceses of Chuncheon. As I walked around the town in the afternoon I could not recognize any part of the city anymore, new high rise buildings, new highways, wide roads and construction going on everywhere. Behind the Cathedral are the graves of the diocesan bishops and priests. Among them are eight Columbans, four of them were killed by the North Korean soldiers in the beginning of the Korean War in 1950. Of those Fr. Tony Collier was shot dead in a back street in the city on his way to Bishop Quinlan`s house just two days after the war started, probably the first foreigner killed in the war. As I walked around the frozen and slippery streets I could not help but wonder what were the thoughts and feelings of Fr. Collier as he was shot. Did he die immediately? We know he threw his falling body on top of his catechist and saved his life. At least the ground wasn’t frozen; it was probably steamy hot and humid that fateful June day. www.columban.org
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Outside the clinic
I went into the Cathedral to pray. The children`s Saturday Mass was on. The boy who read the prayers of the faithful had a most beautiful clear and strong voice. I thought to myself if I lived in Korea for another 100 years I could not speak Korean any way as sweet sounding as this boy. After Mass some of the children greeted me in Korean and in English. I wondered did they know anything about the Columbans? Were they aware the Columbans built this beautiful church? Did they know about Fr. Collier’s brave deed? Did they ever hear of Fr. Frank Canavan who spent just over a year in the country before being captured and forced marched into North Korea and died on the side of the road there; his body was never recovered from North Korea. And Frs. Reilly and McGinn shot in cold blood by the retreating North Korean soldiers on the East Coast?
There was sadness in my heart to see the ever diminishing presence of Columbans in Chuncheon. But gladness, pride and gratitude abounded in my heart too. Columbans did what they came to do in Chuncheon. As missionaries we have to let go of possessions, of churches, hospitals and seats and trust God and the local people to lead the future church. Life moves on. Today young Korean priests, Sisters, bishops and lay people run the church. Chuncheon city has fine hospitals staffed by excellent Korean doctors, nurses and technicians. Now there are young Columban priests, Sisters and lay missionaries working as missionaries across the world. Our calling today is to guide and support the young emerging Korean missionary church as they take on new challenges in their missionary endeavors. Fr. Tony Collier’s blood has long been washed away from the streets of Chuncheon, but his brave and missionary spirit lives on in the hearts and lives of the people of this great diocese. I feel blessed, grateful and humbled to have lived long enough to have seen both sides of the coin. CM Columban Fr. Sean Conneely lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.
11 9/3/13 10:33 AM
Breaking the Bonds of Poverty Making Education a Priority By Sr. Young Mi Choi
olumban Sr. Young Mi Choi lives and works in the parish of Cristo Liberador, one of twelve parishes which comprise the district of San Juan de Lurigancho in the eastern part of Lima in the foothills of the Andes. It is the most populated district in all Latin America, with a population of over one million people. Most of the people who live there have come as migrants from other parts of Peru over the last 25 to 30 years. 12
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In our parish we have a population of about 130,000 people. Those who live in the valleys have basic services and conditions have improved greatly over the years. However, there are still thousands of people living on the cerros (hills) in precarious dwellings who do not yet have running water or basic services. We have started a number of projects to help educate the migrant population in the area. One is a small preschool for
3- to 5- year-olds, with a room for special children. Many are children of very young single mothers who have very little education themselves. We saw this project as a way of giving basic formation to these children so that they could have more options for life and a better future. We also wanted to have something for special children because there are no services for them in our area. My own background is in Montessori and special education. We have about www.columban.org
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80 children in the school. They come around 8:30 a.m. and are with us until 3:30 p.m. This is to give the mothers opportunity to work as many do in the local market and other areas. We provide breakfast, dinner and a snack for the children before they leave in the afternoon. Three years ago, a little girl named Sandra came to our school. Her mother, a widow with three children who sold pieces of charcoal in the market, asked me with tears in her eyes if I could take her because Sandra had a hearing problem and almost caused a serious car accident that day as she was unable to communicate with anyone. Sandra stayed with us for three years. We worked with her on her own and at other times she joined the normal children for classes. From being wild and without even minimal education, she has become a caring, confident and beautiful child who has become an example to the other children in her class. The director of the local elementary school says â€œWhen I see Sandra blossoming in our school and playing with normal children I see the value of inclusive education.â€? Our task is to maintain the quality of our educational program, to prepare our teachers and to provide education for the parents. We get no government assistance whatever for running this school. Our second project is in Cristo Rey at one end of our parish where the people live on a series of high hills in extremely poor living conditions with huge social problems of alcohol abuse and family violence. The alcohol abuse and domestic violence coupled with a lack of education, very few adults have completed high school, means that education is not a priority for the children. For example Susana, www.columban.org
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Sr. Young Mi with a student
age 11, is still struggling to read and write because the parents ask her to mind her four younger siblings at home instead of going to school. She asked me to convince her parents to allow her to come to our educational program. Last year we began an educational program as an outreach from our school in this deprived area. The general idea was to build up the community. I could see from our school that the problem was where the children were coming from, and I felt that in Cristo Rey we could help the community beginning with children and women. With our teachers and others volunteering, we began
workshops in the afternoons with children of different age levels, helping them with their reading and writing skills. On Saturdays we have handicraft and drama workshops for the children, and a program for women with a psychologist and social worker. This year we hope to have a three pronged educational program for adults â€“ development of practical life skills, human development, and leadership in the community and chapel so that they can take responsibility for their lives, and also continue the work with the children. CM Columban Sr. Young Mi Choi lives and works in Peru.
13 9/3/13 10:37 AM
The Work of the Holy Spirit Meeting the Needs of the Children By Fr. Tony Coney
I was ordained in 1995 and have been working in Peru since then. After studying Spanish I started working in a parish in a poor area of Lima, the capital city of Peru. At this time I am the Regional Director of the Columbans in Peru. In the parish I first worked in there was an “invasion area.” People had taken over the side of a hill without permission. The soil quality in that area is very poor, so nobody wants the land. When I first arrived in the parish, I went to this invasion area and introduced myself. The poverty was stark, and I was struck by the fact that the children had nothing to do but play on this dirty, dusty hillside all day long. Many homes were one-parent families. Since the mother had to go out to work, the house was 14
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locked. The children spent the day outside roaming the streets without anyone watching them. The need was very obvious, and one day I noticed at the top of a hill a house for sale. I asked the women in the parish prayer group what were their thoughts on me buying the house. They were very supportive and enthusiastic. So I bought the house, and we used it as a safe-house for the children where they could play or do some study. Our first week we had seventy children! In a short time it became clear that the house was not big enough for our needs. The children were coming from quite far away. Then I became involved in fundraising. My home parish in Northern Ireland was the first to give a donation. That parish is
called St. Bernadette’s parish, so we called our children’s home St. Bernadette’s. Thus we were able to buy the land and houses around us and improve our facilities for the children. We set up psychological services, bought computers, set up training programs and more. Through our psychological services it became apparent to us that a lot of children were being sexually abused. We reported our suspicions to the local authorities, but they simply weren’t interested. This made it worse for the child because the child was blamed for bringing disgrace to the family. In response we opened a home for children where they receive therapy to help them overcome the scars of sexual abuse. It’s the only one of its kind in Peru. There www.columban.org
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is no other place where sexually abused children can go and receive treatment. At least now the civil authorities have begun to recognize the issue and when a legal case is actually pursued they will send us a child for safe-keeping. Another problem we came across was young people failing at school because of problems at home; the emotional difficulties they were experiencing were leading to learning difficulties. In Peru if a student fails their exams two years running, they are thrown out of school! It wasn’t a lack of intelligence on their part but that their emotional problems were holding them back. So we opened a school for these children. And now we have an agreement with fifteen schools in our local area where they send us their students with learning difficulties. The kids will stay with us for a year and then they are able to return to mainstream education. I didn’t plan it this way. My idea at the start was just to have a place where children could be safe and cared for during the day. But it seemed to develop a momentum of its own and continued to grow. A lot of my work involved fundraising and trying to get donations. I used to worry a lot about it in the early days, but whenever we needed money for something it always seemed to arrive. Now I worry much less, and I think that if this work is the will of God then it will continue. Looking back, I very much believe that our successes so far have been the work of the Holy Spirit. How to overcome the physical, sexual, emotional abuse of children? By treating them with respect and dignity; by caring for them as human beings with their own values, with the hope that in the future they will treat their own children in this way. It is tremendously life-giving for me to www.columban.org
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see the change in the children over the years. Just recently, the very first group of kids we had, all those years ago, started sending their own children to our playschool. That gives me great satisfaction. Why is the sexual abuse of children so difficult to talk about? Well, an awful lot of us are living in denial. Most people don’t want to accept the reality of sexual abuse because it reflects badly on our society, on our families. For example, we had a woman come to us to tell us that she suspected her two grandchildren were being abused by their father. We investigated the situation and found that it was her son who was the abuser. When we told her this, she didn’t want to know and went into denial immediately! Also we Columbans have our own Child Protection Policy Document. When I gave a copy of it to our local bishop he wasn’t interested and said that he had no problems like this in his diocese. I would say that the Church in Peru is like the Church in Ireland 30 years ago. I see a lot of problems arising in the next ten years for the Peruvian Church. Thus, these days, I do a lot of educational work on raising the awareness of people on the issue of child abuse. What is a Child Protection Policy? If, for example, a child was to make a complaint against one of our staff we have a Policy Document that clearly states what steps are to be taken to investigate the complaint and who is in charge of implementing the steps to be taken. In our experience children don’t lie about this. Also over the years we have identified certain patterns of behavior that abused children follow. If one of our psychologists notices this then they will try to help the child talk about it. Some children, because of their abuse, turn in on themselves, other
children actually look for the abuse to happen again as it is the only attention and affection they have experienced. Even though it is a destructive and negative affection, they will seek it out again. We try to teach the children personal boundaries. It’s important they understand the need for healthy boundaries in order to protect themselves and to be able to relate in a healthy way with others. How do I feel towards abusers? My first reaction is anger. When I see children, some as young as three years old, who have been abused I feel anger at the way they have been scarred and damaged. However I see the abuser as someone who is psychologically ill, and I feel a certain compassion for someone who is ill and acts compulsively because of their illness. I feel if they had a choice they would choose to act differently. Unfortunately, this compulsion is very hard to break as pedophiles don’t see themselves as abusing the child but rather as being affectionate towards the child. Every society needs to examine itself to try to understand why child abuse is occurring within it. Our work is all about trying to meet the needs of children. Not every family is able to meet the needs of their children so we try to help them. We have a staff of fifty now with a number of psychologists working with us. It costs money to keep it going, so we are always grateful for any donations we receive. CM Columban Fr. Tony Coney is the Regional Director of the Columbans in Peru.
15 9/3/13 10:40 AM
Bearers of Joy and Good News Working to Support Women Prisoners in Hyderabad, Pakistan By Sr. Rebecca Conlon
beeda, a 28-year-old mother with one small child, has been sentenced to fifteen years in prison for trafficking marihuana. She was caught in possession of one kilogram of the drug. Her husband, a laborer, was out of work at the time, and she needed money to feed her family, as do so many others in a similar situation. She took her child to prison with her. The women in prison here at present are Muslims and Hindus. The Christians who were also here previously have been moved to a prison in Karachi. They are for the most part Nigerians who have been caught peddling drugs. My friends in the local prison do not seem to be worried about their fate. I often hear them say: “Koe bat nehi. (It doesn’t matter).” They also respond to my query about how they are coping with, “Allah’s heart is good.” It may sound fatalistic to some, but it is also faith. I visit the prison regularly and do what I can to support and share with the women and their children. My main contribution to their material welfare is an income generating scheme. We have a bag making project using traditional Sindhi cloth (Ajorak). We provide the cloth and sewing materials; the women make the bags, the long-term spin-off for them being a skill that they might use after release from prison. We then sell the bags locally and overseas (25% of our market). Income from the sale covers the cost of material and wages.
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Abeeda and her companions are able to buy extra food for their children with this income, and some who work assiduously at the bag making have been able to earn enough to cover the cost of paying their lawyer without whom they would have no hope of being released. To an outsider this ministry may seem so disheartening, but I find it anything but that. We have a great laugh together, and we celebrate our religious faith together. We do things the way we want to do them. In a way we are very free to do things our own way in the prison. We also try to support the prisoners’ children. Abeeda’s child is one of twelve in the prison for whom we bring educational toys to stimulate their learning process. Also, this year a great moment for the children was our celebration to mark Universal Children’s Day. A group of children from the Christian community visited the
prison (with special permission) to play games with the children of the inmates. They began their celebration by ceremonially cutting and sharing a cake. They ate the cake even before they got into the soup. They then shared poems and songs, with the prisoners’ children also participating. They played games together. Then, the coup de grace was a performance by a magician for whom we also had to obtain special permission from the authorities. Finally, the children from our Christian community also presented a gift pack of clothes, toys and sweets to each of the children accompanying their mothers in the prison. They were truly bearers of Good News as they prompted a moment of laughter and joy for all in the prison. CM Columban Sr. Rebecca Conlon lives and works in Pakistan.
Sr. Rebecca Conlon in Pakistan
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Yvonne A Life with Dignity By Fr. Cathal Gallaher
had not seen Yvonne for over a year, but since I came to know her she was always a person who kept things to herself. I always felt that I had to be careful as any enquiry was taken as being intrusive, containing a certain suspicion that she had returned to her old ways. I had spoken with her by phone a number of times just to say hello, and she sounded composed. Last week she came to visit me; she said she felt depressed. I had noticed when she entered the office that she was dressed in black. Suddenly the tears started to flow as she told me that both her parents had died within two weeks of each other. Yes, they were both advanced in years and had been in declining health, but it had not occurred to her that they might die. Now she felt alone and memories of youth came flooding back. She told me of her childhood and how she did not believe in life, of how she wanted to die and had even attempted to “cut her veins.” Eventually she ran away from home and worked as a prostitute in the jungle. She would go there and stay for a month or more and the “madams” with whom she worked would deposit her money directly into her account. With this money she built a house of four floors for her parents in Lima, Peru. But then came the diagnosis of HIV positive, and when she told her family they threw her out. They were afraid that they could contract her condition by being in the same house with her. She became ill and www.columban.org
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spent all her savings on sending her two children to be with their father who lived in the US. “I did not even know how to get a passport, but my brother-in-law did everything. He would not receive money from me for fear of infection; I had to let him take it out of the bank.” A co-worker kept encouraging her to not give in and told her, “You cannot die; we have a mission to tell other companions, so that they take care of themselves. I asked her to show me how. I went with her and heard her speak. She spoke of the ambition to have money and how it led us astray. She asked me to speak, and I told them that we too are women, who like to hear nice words, to be told that we are loved. I told them that a man can bring heaven down to earth; he tells us that he wants to take us away from all this and we forget all our pain at that moment and will do anything to maintain the illusion. I felt good.” This friend presented Yvonne to a group of religious sisters who ran workshops. “At first I went out of curiosity but ended up studying
computer skills. I continued because they accepted us as we were. This was when I heard of ‘Sí, da Vida.’ I decided to gather a group of women who I knew did similar work. That was the group you counseled in my flat. They are my family now.” This year we celebrate the 7th anniversary of the founding of “Sí, da Vida.” Yes, we are proud of the work that we do; we accept people as they are and offer them the necessary tools to take control of their lives. We offer workshops on Human Dignity, Human and Civil Rights, Self-esteem and Child Protection. But most of all we offer a space to people who often feel alone and forgotten, a space where they are received with warmth and kindness, a space to think, to reaccess life lived and look forward without fear of judgment. Our motto remains the same, “A long life, a full life, a life with dignity and a happy life.” This is what we offer to Yvonne and her friends. CM Columban Fr. Cathal Gallagher lives and works in Peru.
17 9/3/13 10:46 AM
Surviving Martial Law The Struggles of Family Life By Teresa de los Santos
round 1976, just four years after the declaration of what would turn out to be a nine-year martial law regime in the Philippines, a young couple accepted the invitation of a Columban missionary priest to do pastoral organizing work in a province in the southern island of Mindanao. After completing training in community organizing skills, Teresa (more known as Tessie) and husband Tomas de los Santos assisted Columban Fr. Paul Oxley organize small Christian communities in the parish of Tukuran, a quiet coastal town in Zamboanga del Sur. There, Tessie and Tomas came face to face with the grim realities of the country’s democratic demise that would forever change their lives. At that time, Tukuran was an emerging hotbed of resistance against the strongman rule, hence, there was a strong presence of government military troops. As normally happened in such tense situations, the ordinary people suffer. Salvaging, which is formally known today as extrajudicial killing, is rampant, targeting perceived enemies of the state. Many locals,
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mostly invited for questioning by state security forces, disappeared. Some would surface alive, others later found dead, and still others never to be found again. In the course of military operations against a rising tide of insurgency, throngs of civilians were forced to evacuate their homes and villages to escape the crossfire. Many sought temporary refuge in the parish. Unwarranted arrests and detentions also seem to be the rule for suspected insurgents or their supporters. Almost all the detainees had tales of being tortured. “Our experience working with the Columban priests and with the lay people of the parish was memorable. We admired their commitment and dedication to justice and human dignity for the poor and oppressed,” said Tessie as she reminisced those fateful days. Because of their work, Churchbased community organizers were unfortunately branded by the military as associated with the insurgents. This endangered the work and lives of Tessie and Tomas. By 1985, as they became increasingly “hot” with authorities, Tomas brought a pregnant Tessie and their eldest child Liwanag to Davao City to escape the ire of the military in the hope of treading a normal and quiet family life. Only six, short months later, their sense of safety was shattered. Tomas was shot right in front of Liwanag’s school, raising the suspicion they could have been followed. They decided to move to another town, leaving Liwanag in Davao in the care of Tessie’s aunt so she could complete the school year. This began the long struggle of Tessie and Tomas to raise their family amid very trying personal security circumstances. Soon, the couple had to endure the financial and emotional burden of caring for
Liwanag who was later diagnosed with systemic lupus. Liwanag lived with the disease for two years before dying at the age of 13. March 14, 1993, was a bittersweet moment for the couple; Tessie gave birth to their second child Bagani. But the delivery, and most likely also Tessie’s pregnancy, was attended with several complications. Apart from suffering from mild to moderate cerebral palsy, the infant Bagani was found to have abnormal heart rate and respiration, blurred vision, and impaired hearing. Doctors gave her half the chance to survive infancy. But life moved on for Bagani and her family who moved to Butuan City. At two years old and struggling to walk uprightly, she started going to school, carried by her father. Bagani’s condition posed a big challenge to her academic performance in her formative years. But Tessie and Tomas’ modest means limited the available options for her effective schooling. She was eventually sent to a special education school which is designed for children with disabilities, placed in the “mentally challenged” section. Five years later, Bagani was transferred to the hearing-impaired class. In six years as a special education pupil, teachers evaluated Bagani as mentally retarded and suffering from delayed child development, hence, her limited academic performance. Tessie admits being hurt by these words. “This outright labeling of Bagani’s condition was demeaning and humiliating,” Tessie said. Tessie observed that the teachers, too, have yet to fully develop sensitivity to the formative needs of children like Bagani. Owing to her limp, Bagani was not allowed to join cultural www.columban.org
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“My art is an expression of my life.” presentations along with other hearing-impaired children. This led to Tessie’s decision to stop sending Bagani to school. Tessie felt that schooling was of no help to Bagani. Bagani took the decision hard. She became depressed. Sometimes she had tantrums and would not eat. Tessie’s burdens became heavier as Tomas, who was stricken with lung cancer, died in 2006. This left her alone to care for Bagani. But she strived to be equal to the task. With her child’s welfare as central consideration, Tessie resolved to put Bagani back to school, scouting for one that would surely cater to her special needs. In July 2009, Bagani was enrolled in a school in Ampayon town, a bit far from their home in Butuan City. She was under the care of teacher Sharon Rose Puyo. Tessie said that in her new school, Bagani was treated well and given the proper care as a child with special needs. She was taught sign language and had the opportunity to hone her art skills. Inspiring words and comments from the teachers buoyed Tessie’s hopes. Bagani soon developed to be a budding artist. Bagani’s interest in art started at an early age, but www.columban.org
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her parents misunderstood her and sometimes felt irritated by her activities. Tessie remembers that the then young Bagani would do things which seemed weird to normal people. For example, she would cut paper into precise squares the whole day. She would pour her time in this obsession every day for several weeks. One day, she was invited by a member of the local Church for a summer art workshop. There, trainers discovered Bagani’s art skills like producing paper beads that she made into fancy jewelry. Bagani started with paper arts such as mosaic, folding, and paper beads. She then went on to do thread work like thread knotting and bead work such as crafting bracelets, necklaces, bags, slings, and other accessories. After more than four years of working on handicrafts, Bagani sold forty-thousand pesos worth of items. She also participated in three art exhibits. Once despised as mentally retarded, her being an artist brought Bagani in contact with different sectors of society, mingling with people to whom she introduces her various artworks.
Bagani with some of her art
“My art is an expression of my life,” Bagani said. Bagani was on her second year attending two-hour visual class from Monday to Thursday at the Ampayon National High School— seven kilometers from home— when she had to stop last year due to financial problems. Tessie is ill with asthma, hypertension and cervical infections. Her body’s reactions from the medications caused severe rashes in her scalp. As Tessie relies solely on the social security pension of her deceased husband, she is financially pressed to spend for Bagani’s continued school. For now, her income would barely suffice the needs for her medication and daily subsistence. Bagani hopes to help her mother cope with their financial difficulties by opening an art gallery at the Ampayon public mall. The planned gallery will showcase for-sale “Art of Silence” items as well as be a platform for advocating a reformed understanding about persons with disabilities especially appreciating that despite their limitations, they are capable people. CM Teresa de los Santos is a friend of Columban Fr. Oliver McCrossan in the Philippines.
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Living In Joyful Anticipation In Search of My God by gracia Kibad
The Mirror Moment
I remembered this particular moment. I was standing in front of the mirror combing my hair. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I suddenly became aware of an inner voice. And as I continued to gaze at my own image before me, deeper questions about life surfaced. The questions posted to me were, “Who are you?, Why were you born?, What are you doing in this life?, What is the purpose of your being born into this world? 20
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What should you be doing with your life?, Where are you going?” As a young 15-year-old, I didn’t know the answers nor did I know how to go about finding answers for the questions. Those questions came and went. I forgot that moment and went about doing my own business as usual—mundane things as they were. But looking back at that moment after going further on with my journey in this life I saw it as a moment of grace. For someone who believes in God, that
experience was an experience of my God making Himself known to me. We can only find our true selves when God is in our lives.
Angry with God
My teen years were not easy ones. I was fifteen when I lost my father. Losing someone at that very fragile stage of development of a teenagers’ life was traumatic. I lost a significant person in my life, and the anguish that it brought me was a lot to bear. I did not know what www.columban.org
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to do with it. I didn’t know that I had to go through the process of grieving. I was angry with God. I found myself saying, “You took my father away so I don’t want to have anything to do with you.” And I also remembered asking myself the questions, “How come God takes someone I love and who loves me? How can He say He is my God if he is a jealous God?” I disliked going to Mass, but I had to because I felt guilty not going and because my mother would know I wasn’t going. And so business went as usual.
The Emptiness Within
As the years went by I felt there was a bit of emptiness in my life, but I was not giving it much attention. I thought it would just fade away, that perhaps it was just part of life of a growing young adult. I was focused with my studies and being careful not to mess up with it. I wanted to finish my studies, and at the same time I wanted to reward my mother for all her hard work in raising her children. She had been the sole breadwinner of the family since my father died. Furthermore, I did not want to break my mother’s heart. I finished third level, and I was lucky to get a teaching post right after graduation. I was happy with it. I thought that I would build my future from there. Unfortunately, I felt unfulfilled, and my life seemed empty. I felt the emptiness in me, and I felt the hunger. I also felt burdened by the emptiness and didn’t know what to do with it. It was this time in my life when I began to get much closer to God. I began to pray. I started talking to God as I would to a friend I trusted. Eventually I told God about the emptiness I was feeling and the longing for it to vanish. God didn’t give me www.columban.org
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answers right away though. I discovered that the answers were to come later on my journey. At that time I thought I should continue talking to Him and make the communication open between us. You would think that dealing with the feeling of emptiness in my life was enough but again it was at this time that the same questions I asked myself during the “mirror moment” I had when I was 15 surfaced. Unlike that moment, this time I felt the questions bothered me. It bothered me, because it felt like I could not get away from the questions. Then I realized answers had to be sought from somewhere and so the searching began. In my solitary moments, I kept asking myself the questions like: “What does my life mean then? What is it that I should be doing with my life? If finishing my education and getting a job is not enough what is it then?” I needed to talk to someone and knowing that I had gained a friend in Jesus, I needed to tell Him about the questions and my search for answers. I felt I was turning to God more and more. I often asked God what it was that He wanted me to do. If only He would tell me then I would know what to do next. But secretly I was afraid God would ask me to do something I would not want to do because I would not have been ready yet. God was silent still, and secretly I was glad. It felt more comfortable to keep a part of me that was not ready to let go. I was even bracing myself to fight if the response that I was to get from God was not what I wanted after all. I was getting closer to God, or God was getting close to me. Whatever way it was, I was testing the waters and was proceeding with caution just in case. Ironically, there I was wanting answers to the deeper questions and yet at the
same time putting myself forward half-heartedly. There was a bit of resistance within myself to get much closer to God.
A Covenant with my God
Time came and went. One particular night, I was preparing my lesson for my class the following day. This time I was at my lowest ebb as I was not getting any answers after my so-called efforts, of my so-called searching and waiting for God’s response. Then I kind of heard an inner voice saying, “Stop. Just stop. Listen to me.” I knew then the time has come. In a moment I felt the urge to cry. Literally I felt my tears flowing profusely down my cheeks. I reached out to God as I never did before. It was only when my tears began rolling down my cheeks that I understood why I needed to cry. It was time for surrender. I reached out to Him in all my emptiness, in my fears and anxieties, in my unanswered searching, in my inability to do things on my own without God in my life, in my unfulfilled life, in all that I was, raw and broken. It was at this moment I surrendered to God. I had to let go of the barriers that were hindering me from my relationship with God. I had to let go of my pride and learned to bow in humility before God. I had to let go of my inability to trust. Before when I was asking God what He wanted me to do with my life, they were just empty words. Before, there was caution, fear and worries. And I was not letting them go. But on this particular night, I needed to die from my pride, from my fears, worries, anxieties and my limitations. Yet in my process of dying to these, there emerged a new understanding, a new meaning to the relationship I had with God that I was to October 2013
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embrace. It meant recognizing my dependence on God’s presence at work in my life and to accept the challenges that came with building this relationship with God. That is trusting in God’s love and providence. Surely for me, this moment was an acknowledgement of God’s presence and my nothingness without him. All throughout the Old Testament, God was there with His people, revealing Himself to them, being faithful to them even when His people were unfaithful. He made a covenant with them that He is their God and they are His people. I felt that it was during this particular night that God and I made a covenant together –that He is my God and I am His daughter. Having entered this phase in our relationship, I began to realize that to trust in God is to let God be God in my life. This indeed is always a challenge to take in one’s lifetime.
Entering into deeper relationship with God called for a commitment to listen more and to spend more time with Him. As I listened more, I felt drawn to look at those deep questions that I had been wondering about for some time already. It was through this deeper encounter with God that I began to hear some kind of answer to my questions and pondered them even more in my heart. I felt God inviting me to look at my life. To look at the emptiness I was feeling. To continue seeking answers but to be patient. To trust that the answers will come at the appointed time. In those times of waiting, slowly I began to hear a call. I felt God calling me. Calling me to do something more, something different with my life. There was a feeling of anxiety 22
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It meant recognizing my dependence on God’s presence at work in my life and to accept the challenges that came with building this relationship with God. about it because it was not clear to me what it was exactly that I was supposed to be doing. So I asked God again to give me an answer. God was silent. Over time, I got accustomed to God’s silence and to the beckoning within me. Then I heard an inner voice saying, “follow the desire of your heart.” What would fulfill the emptiness in my heart? After such seeking and waiting, like a eureka moment, I felt the desire to follow a commitment to serve others. I didn’t know how I would serve others. If my desire is to serve others there must be something that I needed to do. I knew that while I was serving others in my teaching job, I felt I was called to do something different. All I knew was serving others was what I wanted to do and nothing will stop me from following such. But again, what was it that I was supposed to be doing? The answer came in its own time, not on my schedule! One day, I was talking to a nun, and she asked me if I wanted to subscribe to the Misyon Magazine, a magazine published by the Columban Fathers in the Philippines. Thinking that it would be a good material for my religion classes I put forward a subscription. I received my first copy of the magazine and as I flicked through the pages, I saw in one of the pages, an ad saying, “Have you thought
of being a lay missionary?” I was struck by this statement. It was interesting, I thought. I put it aside and did not give it much thought.
An Answered Prayer
One day, I was clearing a cabinet and there I saw the magazine again. I was reminded of what I read in it a year previously. I looked at the page again. Then it dawned on me that this could have been the answer to my prayers all along. It felt like I finally got the answer. It felt right, and I needed to do something with it. Maybe it was chance, coincidence or fate. I felt it was time to make a decision and to follow the desire of my heart. I also felt that God was with me on it. Then decision time came. It was not an easy one to make as I would have to leave the comfort of being with family and friends and a job. It was also around this time that my heart has been awakened to love but even then, it did not stop me from following my call. Taking all these factors in my discernment, I felt that the call to follow God’s will was stronger. So in joyful faithfulness to the covenant God and I had made, I felt it was time to seek what my calling meant and make it a reality. There then began my vocation to the Columban Lay Missionaries. Sixteen years passed. Life on mission has its challenges, joys and sorrows. And through it all, God has constantly shown His love for me through the people I met on my journey as a missionary. They give me life and hope. I pray that I may grow each day in faithfulness to my God and meet each new day with joyful anticipation of what is to come. CM Originally from the Philippines, Columban lay missionary Gracia Kibad lives and works in Ireland.
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Beacons of Hope
bout thirty years ago the Columban Fathers decided to facilitate young people who were interested in being part of our mission, but who had no wish to become priests or Sisters. Since then, hundreds of young adults, both women and men, both married and single, have joined us in living out their baptismal call as Columban lay missionaries. Like Columban priests, they too live in another country, learn a new language, and give witness by their way of life to God’s concern for the poor and forgotten. One such young adult was Han EunSook, who had been born into a Buddhist family in South Korea. At the age of eight she was baptized, together with several other members of her family, and given the name Genovia. While still a young adult, her father’s premature death left her with the challenge of supporting the younger members of her family. In order to do this, she set up her own math tutoring service for children, which she turned into a successful enterprise. However, some years later when her siblings had completed their education and become independent, she decided to pursue her secretly cherished dream of becoming a Columban lay missionary. After
FROM THE DIRECTOR By Fr. Tim Mulroy participating in a year-long orientation program in her home country, she was assigned to Japan, where she quickly embarked on studying the language and learning about another way of life. Today, fourteen years later, Genovia continues as a Columban lay missionary, ministering daily to the poor and forgotten in a slum area of Tokyo. The district of Sanya is where large numbers of homeless people live secluded from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. Their loneliness is often compounded by a deep sense of rejection by society, alcohol abuse and gambling. Within such a bleak world, Genovia’s gentle manner and warm smile are like radiant beams. She has become a familiar and trusted presence
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Genovia is one of hundreds of Columban lay missionaries who, over the past three decades, have ministered to outcasts in Tokyo and Lima, in Chicago and Manila. as she serves lunch in one of the many houses of hospitality in that district, or cycles the streets to personally deliver a snack to a woman who has found a secluded spot under a bridge where she can sleep with some ease. Yet, Genovia is adamant that “being a lay missionary is not primarily about what I do. It’s about my relationships – my relationship with God that allows me to see Him in the least of my brothers and sisters, and then my relationship with these brothers and sisters that helps me to come to know God in so many amazing ways.” Through her care and concern, she wants to help the forgotten men and women discover their true dignity as children of God. Genovia is one of hundreds of Columban lay missionaries who, over the past three decades, have ministered to outcasts in Tokyo and Lima, in Chicago and Manila. The majority of these lay missionaries are women who not only provide us with a fresh understanding on the role of the baptized in the mission of the Church, but also share with us a woman’s perspective on various issues in the Church and in society. Furthermore, in some of our mission countries where strict cultural rules governing relationships between men and women also apply to priests, female lay missionaries have more opportunities to interact with local women and their families. Like many other Columban lay missionaries scattered throughout the world, Genovia’s faith and compassion brightens up the bleak world of the poor and forgotten by living as a beacon of hope.
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Columban Fathers PO Box 10 St. Columbans, NE 68056
NON PROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID COLUMBAN FATHERS
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, and revealed them to the little children.” — Matthew 11:25 God makes what appears to us to be unlikely choices. He may even be calling you to mission. We would be happy to discuss it with you.
We invite you to join this new generation by becoming a Columban Father or Columban Sister.
Watch the mail for your free 2014 Columban calendar! You can order additional copies for yourself or loved ones by writing to us or sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in the missionary priesthood, write or call… Fr. Bill Morton National Vocation Director Columban Fathers St. Columbans, NE 68056 877-299-1920 Email: email@example.com Website: www.columban.org
If you are interested in becoming a Columban Sister, write or call… Sister Virginia Mozo National Vocation Director Columban Sisters 2546 Lake Road Silver Creek, NY 14136 626-458-1869 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Websites: www.columbansisters.org www.columbansistersusa.com
Japan + Korea + Peru + Hong Kong + Philippines + Pakistan + Chile + Fiji + Taiwan + North America
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