September 2019 was very special as I had the opportunity and privilege to visit Brazil for the first time. In visiting a vast country like Brazil for a short time there is the real danger that one could do a real injustice to a country rich in culture and heritage.
At the entrance to the chapel in the Columban formation house hangs a large picture that shows all the areas where Columban missionaries were martyred, including the photos of the seven priests martyred during the Korean War.
In our life we are bound to experience the different stages of life, “from the cradle to the grave.” Whether we accept it or not, there is always an end to everything. The good news is that “endings usually signal new beginnings.”
The grim realities here at the U.S./Mexico border of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, are the twin plights migrants and poverty. We, the Columban missionaries living and working in this area, have been accompanying the migrants.
“Please give blood, you can save someone’s life.” This is always the constant call of National Health Service (NHS) Blood and Transplant in front of their donation center in Birmingham, Britain.
One of Pope Francis’ most famous quotations is that those of us who are priests, we “shepherds,” should have the “smell of the sheep.” What a great, pungent image! Taking on the smell of the sheep will not be achieved by distancing ourselves from our people and their daily struggles.
All is in God and God is in all. “Why does God need priests?” The answer is “We need priests to remind us that we are in God and God is in us.” Priests, by what they do and what they say, are in our midst to remind us that we are Jesus people.
In the Gospel we hear how Jesus performed a miracle by saying to the paralyzed man, “Rise up and walk!” Today He continues to work the same miracle, mayb