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. At the beginning I had some difficulties, but step by step I was able to enjoy my time at the Center.
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.
My name is Evangelyn Gawason. My friends call me Vangie. I'm a Subanen. The Subanens are an indigenous people whose ancestral homeland covers most of the mountainous Zamboanga Peninsula in the Philippines. For the past six years I have been involved in a livelihood project called Subanen Crafts.
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)
Veidrala is located on the Northeast of Vitilevu under the province of Nakorotubu in Ra. It is a 2 ½ hours bus ride from Suva, the capital of Fiji, followed by another 45-minute boat ride to reach Veidrala.
Chile is very far from my native land, with different people, language, culture, climate and food. It is a Catholic country which is very abundant in resources. During my Mission Sending Mass last year, our parish priest asked me why I was going to Chile for mission then. I just answered him, "Yes, Chile is abundant, but I'm sure there is still need for mission there." Although, at that very moment, I really didn't have any idea what mission will be like in Chile, and it was a big challenge for me.
One of the many gifts and blessings I experience in the United States as I travel during the summer for the church appeals is the universality of the Church and meeting people from the different ethnic groups from Eastern Europe, Latin and Central America and Asia.
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.
I have lived and worked in the Philippines since 1972, arriving in Manila just one week after then President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law and instituted a reign of terror which lasted until his ouster in 1985.
The following is an account of a visit by Columban Fr. Seung Won Joseph and some Korean youth – including Columban candidates and seminarians – to a number of Columban parishes in Fiji during July 2016.
We began our first full day at Navala village, which is an inland mountaintop area of Christ the King Parish, Ba, on the Western side of Fiji's main island. Navala was sweet. We were so tired after the long trip from Korea, but it was still "sweet"— not in the sense of "candy-sweet," but the feeling of peace—like a part of heaven.
The Ocean's (Atlantic) Influence Island life is shaped by the ocean. The weather determines whether you can cross to the island from the mainland, a jetty at São Tomé de Paripe, and the tides determine when people can cross from the community of Praia Grande to the community of Santana, and from Santana to the community of Nossa Senhora das Neves. The church of Nossa Senhora das Neves (Our Lady of the Snows!) is reputedly the third oldest church in Brazil.