I went to China because we used to get The Far East magazine (the magazine of Columban missionaries published in Ireland). I was the eldest of six children: four girls and then two boys. We grew up between Roscommon and Castlerea in Ireland. I read about China in the magazine and decided this is where I would like to end up. I wrote to the Columban Sisters, and I was invited to meet the person in charge of vocations in Dublin when I was seventeen.
I clearly remember the first time I visited Julie Santiago. To reach her house, I had to pass by several narrow lanes in the area where I lived. It was daytime, but it was quite dark inside her house because they didn't have lights. There was a small table at the corner with plates and kitchenware on it. In the dark room, Julie smiled brightly because she had me as her visitor from Korea. Her three daughters were playing beside her. They were lovely.
As part of my process of priestly formation, in 2015 I was assigned to Taiwan to perform my First Missionary Assignment (FMA). In Taiwan, after ten months of studying Chinese Mandarin (Taiwan's offi cial language), I was assigned to the Holy Martyrs Sanctuary parish in Banqiao, near Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. The priest in charge of the parish was Fr. Willy Ollevier, a Belgian priest of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM).
Since 2014, St. Joseph's Parish in Ballymun, Ireland, started to look at ways to respond to the needs of young people in the parish. Parents asked if there was a program that could help them nourish the spiritual aspect of the lives of their teenage sons and daughters. It was through that inquiry that Lifeteen came to be.
The blind beggar heard the crowd passing him on the road. Feet hurrying, people talking, all moving quickly along. What was going on? "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." It was enough. Immediately the beggar shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" He was making a nuisance of himself. Shut up, they warned him. But this was not a man to be silenced. He had heard of the Nazarene. He knew, beyond a shadow of doubt that he would help him.
In late 1917, Fr. Edward Galvin landed in New York and began a long trek across the country in search of a suitable location for the U.S. headquarters of the Missionary Society of St. Columban. At the same time, another Irish priest, Fr. Edward Flanagan, who had already ministered for several years in Nebraska, began earnestly searching for a suitable residence for poor and homeless boys. Within six months both priests were to fi nd a home for their fl edgling organizations in Omaha. During the following decades the story of Columban missionaries and the story of Boys Town would intersect not only in Omaha, but also in Kumamoto, Japan.
In 1947 Fr. Flanagan visited Japan where he witnessed ...
One of my many blessings and opportunities as a missionary is to share the Joy of the Gospel. As a missionary Sister in Chile and Pakistan, I found the countries to be quite different in terms of culture, religious beliefs, language, weather and even food. In my third mission assignment in the United States as part of the Development Office, I gained a wider perspective in the context of the U.S. reality in its diversity.
"Abba, call me that," my host father responded when I asked him how I should call him. Abba is the Hindi (Indian) word for father. Sam Daniel would be my third host-father in Fiji. He is Anglican and lives with his wife near their church. They have a son, Roneel, who is now an Anglican priest himself. Abba works as the school manager of the Anglican church-run schools in Labasa. He would wake up early in the morning to feed the chickens.