My childhood dream was always to be a religious sister. The seed of this dream must have been sown by the Columban missionaries, Sisters and priests, who were my educators and friends from my early years. I was baptized by the late Columban Fr. Paul Cooney. I worked as a teacher for several years before deciding in 1990 to join the first Columban Lay Missionary team from the Philippines.
From the seclusion of his monastery in Kentucky, the Cistercian monk, Thomas Merton, reached out to the men and women of his time with a wise and compassionate heart. The writings of this contemplative priest, poet and author continue to inspire us today.
Today I escaped from my Hindi studies to visit two veteran French missionaries, Frs. Cocereau and Debois at Naililili mission station. I was impressed by the fine old church despite the green fungus on the walls. I heard that Fr. Debois polled his way in a boat up the aisle to say Mass there during a flood. It is still no bother to him to tramp in his big boots to nearby villages.
O Mary, countless people have known
the overflowing joy of the mercy
which the Father has given us in Christ.
In the particular Churches throughout the world,
and still more in this center of Christianity,
the widest array of people have accepted this gift.
Here the enthusiasm of the young rang out,
here the sick have lifted up their prayer.
Blessed are You, Lord God,
ruler of all creation
and Father of us all:
we praise You for Your loving care.
Help us in our time of sorrow
and lift us when we are crushed,
for we entrust our life into Your hands, Father,
through Christ our Lord.
I would like to introduce Mr. Dismas Shigeru Kato. He was born 91 years ago in a small fishing village called Kushimoto in Wakayama Province of Japan. In his youth and when drafted into the wartime army he built up a massive debt for alcohol at different bars.
O omnipotent Father,
God of truth, God of love,
permit me to enter into the cell of self-knowledge.
I admit that of myself I am nothing,
but that all being and goodness in me
comes solely from You.
Show me my faults,
that I may detest my malice,
and thus I shall flee from self-centeredness
and find myself clothed again
My Queen and my Mother,
I give myself entirely to you;
and to show my devotion to you,
I consecrate to you this day my eyes,
my ears, my mouth, my heart,
my whole being without reserve.
Wherefore, good Mother,
as I am your own,
keep me, guard me,
as your property and possession.
O God who lifts little lost lambs close to Your heart,
O God who gives the heart a desire to return to You,
I ask Your mercy and Your forgiveness
for all the treasures I’ve misplaced.
I give You thanks and praise for the beauty of finding them again.
Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace.
God became man, and the Word was made flesh.
Christ was born of a Virgin.
Christ was crucified.
Christ rose from the dead.
Christ ascended into Heaven.
Christ reigns eternal.
May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning.