When I joined the Columban Lay Missionary orientation program in 2002, I knew that my decision entailed a lot of letting go. I knew that there will be special occasions at home that I would miss. This includes one of the most important gatherings, a time to be home, a time with family during Christmas. Since 2003, I have only spent two Christmases with my family: 2009 and 2016.
Father, you prepared the Virgin Mary
to be the worthy mother of Your Son.
You let her share beforehand
in the salvation Christ would bring by His death,
and kept her sinless
from the first moment of her conception.
Help us by her prayers
to live in Your presence without sin.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Missionary Society of St. Columban. Below is a list of events and activities across the United States that are being held in celebration of our centennial. Please join us!
For millions of Filipinos, Christmas is a celebration of the family. They come together from around the world; they delight in the togetherness and sharing of respect. They honor the aged, bless the children, and feed the hungry. They fill the churches with light, song and festival, and they have joyful celebrations.
God Our Father we pray,
that through the intercession of St. Nicholas,
You will protect our children.
Keep them safe from harm,
and help them grow,
and become worthy of Your sight.
Give them strength,
to keep their Faith in You,
and to keep alive their joy,
in Your creation.
Through Jesus Christ Our Lord.
May Christ support us all the day long,
till the shadows lengthen,
and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over
and our work is done.
Then in his mercy
may he give us a safe lodging,
and holy rest and peace at the last.
I am standing in the center of the spacious main hall, the atrium, of the new Preda children's home for girls. The light from the transparent roof throws its soft and gentle light on the children playing nosily, shouting in glee. They are happy, running about, playing games, and laughing, cheerful and joyful. They had a sumptuous Christmas dinner and gifts and new clothes.
I was reading a Biblical reflection when word came that my niece's baby had just been born. The author of the reflection pointed out that the first sound we hear in the Bible is God breathing in the darkness. My thoughts wandered to my niece's baby breathing in the darkness for nine months. Gradually I came to realize that both mysteries are related.
O Immaculate Queen of Heaven and Earth,
Mother of God and Mediator of every grace:
I believe that thy dearly beloved Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
is truly, really, and substantially
contained in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
O Mary, Mother of Mercy,
watch over all people,
that the Cross of Christ
may not be emptied of its power,
that man may not stray from the path of the good
or become blind to sin,
but may put his hope ever more
fully in God who is rich in mercy
May he carry out the good works
prepared by God beforehand
and so live completely