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Home Far East November 2016

November 2016

Reflection - Blessed are the Comforters

When her six year old son died his mother was inconsolable. Friends came, family gathered around, neighbours brought food and comfort. But the mother grieved. One day a kindly neighbour said, “Don’t be so sad, Mary. You know you now have a little angel in heaven looking after you.” It was the last straw. “I don’t want an angel in heaven,” she cried. “I want my son here and now in my arms. God can keep his angels; but why had he to take my child?”
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‘For the Joy Set Before Us’

Everything Fr Brendan Lovett has written and done over his 50 years of priesthood has been linked to his efforts to “appropriate” the insights of the renowned Jesuit philosopher/theologian, Fr Bernard Lonergan. A lecturer in theology and philosophy at the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies in Quezon City, Fr Brendan believes that if more people grasped Lonergan’s ideas it could challenge the trend towards fragmentation and individualism. That is why he continues, at seventy-five years of age - when most are long retired - to guide and teach his students about contemporary theology and philosophy. He was recently honoured by his academic peers with a Festschrift entitled ‘Reshaping Christian Openness’ under the Himig Ugnayan imprint to mark the golden jubilee of his ordination as a Columban Priest.
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Helen's Story

Friendship with Helen has taught Sr Patricia Byrne about the importance of being present to those who are suffering.

Perhaps many of us could associate with the words in this short poem, written by my friend Helen, a poem which in many ways reflects the story of her life (see below). Helen has indeed dreamed dreams, puzzled over the meaning of her life, and, above all, has experienced life as a mighty battle.
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Making Light, Giving Life

Fr George Hogarty reports on an innovative candle-making project in the Philippines which is led by a Columban lay missionary and has changed the lives of the women involved.
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The Migrant Children of the Desert Crossing

Fr Shay Cullen explains how young women and children are vulnerable to human traffickers who operate along the US-Mexico border. Some are enslaved in the brothels of Juarez, a city of violence linked to drug cartels and criminal people-smugglers.

Just a few kilometres on the outskirts of El Paso on the US border with the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, I lean against the long wire mesh fence that keeps out the flood of migrants and asylum seekers from Central America and Mexico seeking the safety and economic prosperity of the United States. 
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