O Mary, Here we stand before you
to entrust to your maternal care
ourselves, the Church, the entire world.
Plead for us with your beloved Son
that he may give us in abundance the Holy Spirit,
the Spirit of truth which is the fountain of life.
Receive the Spirit for us and with us,
as happened in the first community gathered round you
O Mary, Here we stand before you
Grant, O Lord, to Your faithful people,
that they may undertake with fitting piety
the venerable solemnities of fasting,
and complete them with steadfast devotion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Ghost.
Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty,
and impelled by the anxieties of the world,
we cast ourselves into your arms,
O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary,
confident of finding in your most loving heart
appeasement of our ardent desires,
and a safe harbor from the tempests
which beset us on every side.
O Mother, you know the sufferings
and hopes of the Church and the world:
come to the aid of your children in the daily trials
which life brings to each one,
and grant that, thanks to the efforts of all,
the darkness will not prevail over the light.
To you, Dawn of Salvation, we commit
our journey through the new Millennium,
so that with you as guide
O Most Holy Virgin Mother,
we listen with grief to the complaints
of your Immaculate Heart
surrounded with the thorns placed therein
at every moment by the blasphemies
and ingratitude of ungrateful humanity.
We are moved by the ardent desire of loving you as Our Mother
and of promoting a true devotion to your Immaculate Heart.
Glorious St. Joseph,
Model of all who are devoted to toil,
Obtain for me the grace to work
In the spirit of penance,
In order thereby to atone
For my many sins.
Back in 1990 a missionary priest in Taiwan was the parish priest of a small parish that had a small kindergarten attached. The kindergarten was underused and struggling. The priest, Father Gerry Neylon, a Columban missionary from Ireland, began to notice that little help was available at that time for families who had children with special needs.
The personal experience of loss and grief over the death of a loved family member is universal. People tend to remember the lives of those who have recently died. Neighbors, friends and relatives often gather together to be with the family when a cherished member has passed away. The way that this passing is remembered and celebrated differs in various cultures.
The Philippines is a country with some of the greatest inequality. There are 16 million Filipinos who suffer serious poverty out of population of 107 million. Six million live in extreme poverty. They suffer the burning heat of summer and the downpours and floods of the rainy season in hovels made of plastic sheeting, scrap wood and rusty metal sheets.
Four of our Columban seminarians are studying philosophy at the Pacific Regional Seminary (PRS). During our community night one Sunday evening someone asked one of them who was serving the yaqona (local beverage made of roots) what the Fijian for philosophy would be. Being somewhat at a loss he said “talo” (serve the yaqona) and began serving the yaqona. We all laughed and then agreed that “bati ni tanoa” (chat around the yaqona bowl) would be a possible translation for philosophy!