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Oct 18th
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Home Far East July-August 2016

July - August 2016

Bearing Fruit

By Sr Ita McElwain

It was a great joy for me to be invited, two years ago, to return to Santiago, Chile to celebrate 40 years of the Columban Sisters’ Mission in that beautiful country. Sisters Gemma Shelley, Kathleen Mary Riordan and I pioneered the mission there in 1974. This was during the early days of the oppressive military regime when life was very difficult for people. They suffered greatly; almost daily we would hear stories of people being hauled away, some were never to be seen again. We had great Church leaders under Cardinal Raul Silva who inspired and strengthened us all by his great faith, his unceasing work for justice, his concern for the poor. The Church, though suffering, was alive and vibrant and it was our joy and our privilege to be part of these growing basic Christian Communities.

Reflections - Joy does not simply happen to us

When he lists the fruits of the Holy Spirit, St Paul, in Gal 5:22, puts joy right up there after love. “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

Rosa on Calvary

By Fr John Marley

I had just finished lunch when I got an urgent request from Rosa to visit her son Alex who was ill in the hospital

At the time I was in charge of a sprawling parish on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, and Rosa was the leader of the newest and smallest of the seven Catholic communities under my care.

Her community consisted of twenty-five families, the poorest of the poor. They knew they could become homeless at any given moment, because they were squatters who had built their little wooden homes on farmland to which they had no title. Moving their house would be no great problem They could dismantle it and re-assemble it again in half a day. The problem would be finding a place to locate.

Malate Holds Many Memories

Fr Alo Connaughton interviews Fr John Leydon

Columbans have founded, worked in and handed over to diocesan clergy dozens of parishes in the Philippines.

Any special reasons why they continue working in Malate?

JL This was the first parish the Columbans took charge of when they came to the Philippines in 1929. At that time great numbers of Spanish missionaries had been expelled. As fair as I know it is the oldest ‘Columban’ parish today. It is still an important for us as a base.

A Columban Gift to the Church of Myanmar

The End of a Beginning
“I have come to inner freedom by finding out my real self. I have a different image of God and prayer is now more meaningful,” said Sr Lucia Raw FMM, a participant in the recent Myanmar Summer School for Formators. This course for personal transformation and for the training of religious formators was started by Columbans Frs Michael McGuire and Frank Hoare and Columban Sister Mary Ita O’Brien in 2003. In March 2015 they handed it over to a fully trained Burmese staff of priests and religious.
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