On September 6, 2015, I celebrated Mass for the last time in prison. For the past 22 years I have been working as a prison chaplain in Western Australian jails.
The Thar Parkar Desert is situated in the southeast of Pakistan in Sindh province. It covers an area of 22,000 square kilometers with an estimated population of 1.5 million people and is one of the most densely populated deserts of the world.
I got off the minibus at the last stop on the hillside in Huaycan, on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. The road ended here so I walked on the unpaved sandy track up the hill, past the shacks that seemed to sprout on the bare slopes. Sand, dust, dirt. Not a blade of grass. Not a flower.
Fr. Thomas Nan was ordained in 2002 and spent eight years in Peru as a Columban missionary. “When I was young I never knew the Columbans. I was an altar server in my parish and always thought I would become a diocesan priest.
It’s hard to remind yourself to have faith every day. Especially when it comes to having patience or to being confident in God’s plan when it is unknown to you. I have found myself saying, “God has a plan,” a number of times over the last few years.
The road from Lima to Samanco passes through a number of fast growing coastal towns but for the most part the traveler has no choice but to contemplate the bare rocky or sandy hills that fascinate by their ever varying forms and their multiple colors from shades of white, cream, brown and black.