The season of Advent gives us an opportunity to prepare ourselves for the coming of our savior in our lives. Unless we recognize our need for God we won't appreciate what advent season is all about.
As I was preparing to move from Sydney to Melbourne to take up the new role of Regional Director of the Australia/New Zealand Columban region I reflected on the many occasions I have had to pack up and move on in my missionary life.
It was Christmas Eve night and Fr. Charlie O'Rourke was alone in the rectory in his parish in South Korea when he thought he heard a knock on the back door.
On May 23, 2017, I returned home after three years of being away. I arrived in our village around nine in the evening, and I was expecting people to be in their houses. But I was mistaken.
Fr. Sean, you came to Korea in 1969, almost 50 years ago. How has the nature of your work changed in that time?
Good morning! These are two words that made a big difference in my missionary journey in Taiwan. On the first day of my Mandarin class, I went out early that morning to my teacher's house. I walked slowly while praying the rosary. There were a lot of people I met on the streets.
After a happy six year break back in Australia as editor of The Far East magazine and working in Columban promotion in Adelaide, I have returned to Santiago, Chile, where I had previously worked for many years.
When did you arrive in Korea?
I came here on October 2, 1969.
What were the Columbans doing there at the time you arrived?
In mid-September 2017, a family of three, Aik Ket aged 30 years old, his wife San Bu, also 30 years old, and their only child Chit Oo Mya, just three years old arrived at our shelter at the Hope Center.