In my early days as a missionary in Fiji, I worked mainly among the Hindu Indo-Fijians around the town of Labasa. I was often invited by head teachers of primary schools to explain to their students the meaning of Good Friday and Easter Monday, since both were public holidays.
I still have vivid memories of my first awakening in Lima, Peru, on June 24, 1971. The population all around our mission was made up of thousands of Peruvians from the highlands, who had ventured to the coastal cities looking for a better life for their children.
In the history of human life suffering is what every person will encounter in their lifetime. Not even Jesus, the Son of God, was spared from pain as He too had to suffer to fulfill the plan of the Father for His people.
I started to write these two poems last year during a workshop training on poetry writing in my ministry with asylum seekers.
Ethnic Indian people are traditionally obsessed with matters of pollution and purity. Purity is a central value in the culture. The caste system in India is based on this.
I remember how I silently uttered a prayer to bless me in my desire to become a missionary when Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines in 1985. Years later when I watched a movie about Mother Theresa's life I started to feel remiss about something.
Ana Flores Huaman is a Columban lay missionary with nearly eight years of experience, and this is her story. I first knew Ana when she was accepted into the Columban lay mission sending program in Lima, Peru, in 2007.
Shwe Mya was a dignified 40-year-old mother of two children. Her oldest son had been sent to a Buddhist monastery when he was six years old because Shwe Mya was too poor to feed him. The younger daughter lived with her grandmother whose village was very far away from Myitkyina.
"What do you know about Ireland?" I asked the third grade class that was excited to have just learnt that I was from there. "St. Patrick was from there" responded a girl in the front row. "So did that mean that he was Irish?" I inquired, my tone betraying an element of doubt.
My name is Sr. Young Mi Choi, and I live and work in the parish of Cristo Liberador, (Christ the Liberator), one of twelve parishes which comprise the district of San Juan de Lurigancho in the eastern part of Lima, Peru, in the foothills of the Andes.