We were told that we would be spending about five days in Agoo (the Philippines). We were all excited except that we had to walk for five days from Malolos, Bulacan, to Agoo, La Union, without money for food or renting a room.
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.
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.
We all marvel at the deep and simple wisdom children hold in their hearts and on their lips.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On the night of December 16, 2011, a sendong or typhoon struck the northern coast of Mindanao, the main southern island of the Philippines.