The Ai Jia Development Center was founded by the Hsinchu Catholic diocese in Taiwan to help and support mentally challenged adult students. Like in many other countries, mentally challenged people in Taiwan are not considered as important. Consequently, there are not enough social benefits to cover their daily needs. I have been working as a volunteer at the Center for more than six months, and I have had a very fruitful experience.
Audy was a bright-eyed, smiling three-month-old baby who arrived at church for her baptism in the arms of her proud father, Jason. I chatted with him for some moments at the entrance to the church while a large number of relatives and friends of the family arrived. Soon the church was rather full. It was Sunday afternoon and this was going to be my first baptism of a Filipino baby.
Sociologists claim that one of the major problems in much of the world is that nowadays people only listen to, read of and converse with people who think the same as them.
Power and prosperity can stifle the Spirit, blind us to others and prevent us from understanding the weak. Witness the rich man who never understood or appreciated Lazarus at his door. (Lk 16:19-31)
I first encountered Tien in Tokyo. He had traveled there from Australia, while I had come from Ireland. Both of us were Columban seminarians who had come to Japan in order to study the language and learn about missionary life. Both of us were twenty-seven years old. During the next few years as I came to know Tien, I realized that while both of us had similar dreams for the future, his past had uniquely prepared him to become a Columban missionary.
One of thirteen children, Tien grew up in Vietnam as communism was advancing from the north to the south. At the age of fifteen, he tried to escape from his homeland by boat, but was …
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War with all of it inhumanity. However, in spite of this Declaration, a lack of respect for the rights of all people as human beings is evident in so many places around the world.