"I have to be in Myanmar. I have to go. I have to take a risk. I know there will be a lot of frustration, difficulties and struggles, yet inside my heart I hear the voice of God gently saying, 'Go! You must go, you have to go.'"
In February of this year Fr. Charlie Duster was admitted to the hospital where he was informed a short time later that he was terminally ill. During the following weeks, with the same zeal with which he had lived his missionary life, he prepared himself to meet God face to face.
In his book, The Road Less Traveled, Scott Peck's first sentence is the somber observation, "Life is difficult." Direct and honest, it is a reality worth mulling over because, though we all know and have experienced that life is indeed hard, nevertheless there is a widespread belief that we have
Columban Fr. Frank Hoare shared this page from his missionary diary:
April 16, 1992
Word came into the church that a homeless man was sleeping rough under Sotohori Bridge, in Japan. The local Church group looking after the homeless went to visit him. Yes, he was there living in an exquisite homemade cardboard style of a home. He would slide in and out of it like a drawer.
In late January 2017, Columban Fr. Pat Colgan (General Councillor with responsibility for Myanmar) and Columban Fr. Jovito Dales (the Society's Bursar General) visited boarding houses and internally displaced persons' (IDP) camps which the Columbans support in Myanmar.
After every atrocity in the global city there are days of discussion and debate as to why such acts are happening. Blame is thrown around at the individuals who perpetrated the atrocity and the organizations with which they are associated.
Before sharing some memories of my experience as a lay missionary, I would like to thank the Columban Fathers for giving me the opportunity to live one of the greatest life experiences I have ever had.
I used to work with the prison ministry as a seminarian, visiting the national penitentiary called Bilibid, a place for the "rejected and discarded," both young and old men and women deemed "worthless" by society, their communities and even by their own families and friends.