It was a great privilege to have had the opportunity to visit Myanmar (formerly Burma) this year. As a Columban missionary it is a country that has always fascinated me.
I was born in a predominantly Christian city in the Philippines. Iligan City is about an hour’s drive from Marawi City, a city that was declared as the “Islamic City of the South Philippines.” Growing up, I had a few Muslim classmates, and we were good friends.
I came home for my highly anticipated home vacation in April 2018 after spending the last three years in Chile, feeling incredibly excited to be back among my family and friends. I must admit that I had mixed feelings about reintegrating myself back amongst my family.
Shwebo dropped us at our last stop, and he headed off to return to his village, the Shwebo district from which he gets his name. We returned to the Sisters’ house and had dinner. The next day Columban Sr. Kathleen brought us to her Buddhist friends up the hills of Sagaing.
If you are from a very poor family living in a remote village with no electricity, no running water and poor transportation, you might feel depressed and feel the world is unfair. You would be right to think this way.
Fr. Neil MagillJuly 23, 2018
What was the first thing you did when you entered the church today? I assume you dipped your finger in the holy water and made the sign of the cross. Making the sign of the cross affirms our faith in the Most Holy Trinity.
Fr. Kurt Zion PalaMay 16, 2018
My main interfaith experiences in the Philippines were with Muslims; things in Myanmar are very different given the very large majority Buddhist population. Last year, I spent one month in a Buddhist monastery, following their schedule of prayer and work.
What is the largest organ of our body? The skin. This is probably the reason that among the senses, touch is the first to develop in the human infant, and it remains perhaps the most emotionally central throughout our lives But we have forgotten the power of touch.
Fr. Kurt Zion PalaApril 16, 2018
Peter, a student at the HEC, as told to Columban Fr. Neil Magill
Mission: To promote in all areas of society, with other social representatives, the defense and respect for the human rights of children and adolescents, so that they can opt for a dignified life, and be agents of change in the future.
Fr. Tony ConeyFebruary 22, 2018
Drugs have wrought havoc in Kachin State. Despite over 50 years of on-going warfare for independence from Myanmar, more Kachin people have died from drug-related problems than from the armed conflict.
Pope Francis has chosen the motto "Miserando atque eligendo," meaning lowly but chosen; literally in Latin "by having mercy, by choosing Him." I was reminded at a Lenten recollection facilitated by another Columban priest that only those who experienced real mercy will also be able to show so muc
Fr. Kurt Zion PalaFebruary 19, 2018
I used to really find it difficult to understand that my father and my mother loved me for who I am. I struggled growing up because I always feel I have to prove myself that I am the best son they could ever have. And the irony is that I am the only son.
Fr. Kurt Zion PalaJanuary 8, 2018
As I prepare for Christmas this year, my thoughts are with the people of Myanmar with whom I have celebrated Christmas since 2007. I lived in a community in Mandalay.
Sr. Margaret MurphyDecember 18, 2017