Columbans Ireland

Oct 18th
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Home Far East September - October 2016

September - October 2016

Reflection: Measuring Our Worth

“Nobody likes me,” wailed the teenager when her Facebook image drew no response. “I can’t possibly wear that old thing again,” complained another of a new dress. “My friends have already seen me in it (on the social media).” Trying desperately to measure up to the expectations of others, whether real or imagined, is an obsessive pursuit of many people, not all of them teenagers. How many are the magazines dedicated to fashion, diets, cosmetics – all promising happiness if you follow their advice on how to change your life? Women and young girls are especially targeted with the subtle, or not too subtle, message that when you are this (celebrity) size, wear these clothes, use these cosmetics, then you will be popular with all your circle of friends and acquaintances.

Jeju’s Beginnings

By Fr P.J. McGlinchey 

In 1950 the Korean War broke out: two million people were killed and the country was devastated with starvation prevalent everywhere. I was appointed to Korea in June 1952 and later, after language studies, I was appointed by the Columban Fathers to open a third parish on the western side of Jeju Island, off the south-west coast. The name of the new parish was Hallim. This was a township consisting of 26 scattered farm villages with a total population of 20,000 all living in small thatched houses. Of course there was no priest’s house or church or other building. But more importantly, there were 25 baptised Catholics (including suckling babes!). I gathered them together in one of the Catholic houses for Mass.

Houses for the Poor

By Fr Damian McKenna

Any family in the parish who are in a house not fit to live in, or need a house but do not have somewhere to build or the means to build, will be helped with a new house. The request for help with a house comes from the community in which they live.

Two Sorrows

By Fr Eamonn Horgan

Over six long decades ago, in late October 1953, still a very callow cleric, I left my Littlefield Kilkenny home where, since birth my rural life had been happy and more or less carefree. The months since my ordination on the previous December had been pleasantly spent finishing my seminary course and visiting friends and relatives. My mission destination was to be Japan, where, God willing, I would spend the rest of my active life as a Columban missionary. My rudimentary knowledge of that land had been gleaned from books and from Columbans who had laboured there over the years. Japan had been the destination I had hoped for at assignation time. Suddenly, however, all too soon, accompanied by two of my sisters, and two friends from early school days, I found myself heading for Cobh to start the first leg of my missionary journey to Japan.

The Elderly in The Mountains

By Sr Eileen Rabbitte

I still have vivid memories of my first awakening in Lima, Peru. It was June 24, 1971. I had landed in Peru. In the small hours of the morning as I was driven up the hill of Independencia to our mission, I was amazed and dazzled by the bright lights from the poor dwellings, reminding me of a huge Christmas tree. When I awakened next morning the lights were out and reality hit like a vague dream. From my bedroom window I saw in the distance, a makeshift kind of laundry where a young woman, braving the cold damp June mist of the foothills of the Andes, was washing her family laundry in a large plastic basin.
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