It was about three in the afternoon on a Tuesday. I was seated at my desk in the parish office chatting with a young couple who had come to ask for baptism for their newborn baby.
Now that I'm home, I realized I do not have a room to call my own. My room is the bag I carry on my back every time I move from one mission to another. Right after high school I left home to pursue a childhood dream– to become a priest.
The Columban missionaries staffed the three parishes on Amakusa Island in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, from 1950 through 1997. The three parishes were in three different communities, each with its own history and personality.
The other day I walked out of the church after Mass. There is a group of beggars there at the gate of St. Peter’s Church. Sometimes they are hunted away by the authorities, but they tend to drift back. They have been around for years and know me quite well.
While at my age being the main celebrant at the Holy Week ceremonies can be very demanding on a worn out body, it is more than compensated by experiencing first hand the fervor and the enthusiasm of our people with special needs.
When I instructed catechumens in Japan, I spent the first year dealing with ordinary catechetical matters. After Baptism we studied St. Luke's Gospel and Acts. I chose Luke because he was a foreigner writing for foreigners, and also in Acts we have the history of the early church.
We all marvel at the deep and simple wisdom children hold in their hearts and on their lips.
Like the air we breathe, water is essential for our life and well-being. The average person here in the U.S. uses 80-100 gallons in a variety of ways throughout each day.
It's been nearly six years since I arrived in Birmingham, England, as a Columban lay missionary. When I first came to this country, I honestly thought that I was going to give more and that people would learn more from me. The reality is that I receive and learn more from them.