Monthly eNewsletter

A Brush with the Law

November 1, 2016

The drive from Ba, where I am stationed as assistant priest, to Suva takes well over four hours. Load-carrying trucks are one of the obstacles on the way, as I found out today. A few miles outside of Lautoka city I passed a slow truck on an incline only to be flagged down immediately afterwards by two Indo-Fijian policemen. One of them brought his speed gun over to me as I got out of the car. “You were over the speed limit,” he said. “But I wasn’t doing more than 80 km per hour,” I replied. “The 60 km speed limit sign is just back there,” the policeman pointed. As I saw it I realized that it had been obscured from my view as I passed the truck. I tried to explain this to the policeman.

Retracing My Great-Uncle's Footsteps in China

November 1, 2016
Bishop Henry Ambrose Pinger, O.F.M., the great-uncle of Fr. Thomas Greisen, served as a missionary in China for 30 years.
From left, Omaha Archbishop George Lucas, Columban Fr. Dan Troy, Fr. Thomas Greisen of Omaha.
Lunch under the tree blossoms in Zibo, Zhoucun Diocese.
Columban Fr. Dan Troy, Fr. Thomas Greisen and Omaha Archbisop George Lucas with the bishop of Zhoucun Diocese.

I have never known life without him. My great-uncle, Bishop Henry Ambrose Pinger, O.F.M., returned to the United States the year I was born, having served as a missionary in China for 30 years. His humble, gentle spirit enveloped my entire Pinger clan – true to his Chinese name Guang Bei (which I’m told is translated as “Vast Comforter”). I have letters from him expressing his desire to baptize me; and a couple years later, his letter encourages my parents to seek medical tests for me with a willingness to cover the expenses. While a saintly, prayerful man, he knew how to laugh, play cards, and enjoy a whiskey sour whenever he returned to his roots in Nebraska to be with his family. All along he instructed us about the grand people of China, encouraging us to keep them in prayer – not because they were seen as lost, but rather seeking a spiritual communion with a culturally-rich people who had faith in Christ.


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Columban logoThe Columbans are a society of missionaries, including priests and lay people, who minister to people of various cultures as a way of witnessing to the universal love of God.

We go in the name of the Church to announce, by deed and word, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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