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Feb 21st
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Home Far East Jan-Feb 2016

January - February 2016

A People Filled With Hope

It is appropriate that Pope Francis has declared 2016 as the Jubilee Year of Mercy, a theme that is very close to his heart. We have just celebrated the feast of Christmas when God sent Jesus into the world in the form of an innocent and vulnerable child. The child is Emmanuel, God with- us, who reaches out to the world in friendship and love. It is in Jesus that we discover and rediscover the joy of God’s tenderness, mercy and hope.
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Reflections: Walking in a Relaxed Manner

When she decided to walk the famous pilgrim road, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Joyce Rupp was given this wise advice: ‘Drink lots of water and walk in a relaxed manner.’ It may be good advice for all of us as we begin this New Year. Whatever about the water, we know it is impossible to ‘walk in a relaxed manner’ if we are at sixes and sevens within ourselves, if we are agitated, worried, driven by endless pressures. So the first thing, even as we begin our journey, is to sit down and take a good look at ourselves. We may be surprised at what we uncover.
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Elmer Rex

Going back to Kabankalan, even for a short visit, was a pleasure; I had spent ten years there, it was home away from home. This time, I was chatting to the relatively new Filipino parish priest, Msgr. Pepe Iledan, when the phone rang. Obviously an emergency, it was a call for him from the local hospital: “Please come over, Elmer Rex has been shot”.
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A Journey of Hope

By Fr Bobby Gilmore

Joseph got up, took the child and his mother,
and left that night for Egypt,
where he stayed until the death of Herod.
(Mt.2-14)


Europe and Refugees
The anti-immigrant rhetoric poured out over recent years by commentators in Europe was getting to a stage where the public seemed indifferent to the plight of immigrants, as if they were not people. Even members of the public with some family members, or extended family relatives in the diasporas, were led to imagine that there was some kind of difference between their immigrant kith and kin, and the immigrants fleeing wars in the Middle East, or common violence in failed African states.
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Everybody has a Part to Play

Melia phoned us in the Children’s Center, distraught and asking for help, as her ex-husband had taken their 8 year old daughter, Milagros, a few months previously, and any attempt she made through the police and the local DEMUNA (“Defensoría Municipal del Niño, Niña y Adolescente”) to recover her child ended in frustration.
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