My first experience of engaging in pastoral ministry in Japan was at a residential center, run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, for adults who had various physical and intellectual disabilities.
We rejoice in the great gift of life. But as we grow older this gift is overshadowed by experiences of illness, pain, and loss. The certainty of an ever-approaching death often makes life itself seem meaningless.
I came to live in Fujisawa after getting married 58 years ago. I have been fortunate with my health. I have never even had a cold, and last year I had my first visit to a hospital.
Fiji for me will always be one of the most wonderful places in the world. I never expected to end up in Fiji, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean surrounded only by a vast expanse of water. It’s almost impossible to get further away from Ireland, my home country.
Editor’s Note: On Monday, November, 23, 2015, Columban Fr. YoungIn Kim celebrated the Feast Day of St. Columban in Cuzco, Peru. He described the experience in the article below.
The Rainbow Community, a foundation offering services to peoples with intellectual disabilities in South Korea, founded by Irish-born Columban Fr. Noel O’Neill, received the Manhae Award in the field of social service.
“What is it that keeps you going?” is a question that I frequently ask other Columban missionaries who live and minister in very difficult circumstances.
I left Taiwan three years ago and returned for a two-month refresher course in Chinese Mandarin in March 2015. It was great to be back in a place where I am familiar, a place where I feel secure. It is fair to say that Taiwan is my place of comfort, my second home.
For many years, the Columbans have been sponsoring the Education Commission of Myitkyina and Banmaw Dioceses, in Kachin State, Myammar, in their provision of boarding hostels and schools in the remote areas, where war and poverty are widespread.