In the dangerous southern island of Mindanao in the Philippine archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, martial law reigns. It is a place forbidden to non-Filipinos by many embassies. It is troubled with social and political unrest.
Last year, in December, I had the opportunity to attend the mission-sending Mass for Hazel Jean Angwani at Santa Rita de Cascia Mission Station in Bontoc, Montain Province, Philippines.
Time flies! As I write this, it is October again, but I did not notice since the time passed by so quickly. By now, I am already almost one-and-a-half years in my country of origin, the Philippines. Actually, it was not part of the original plan of the Columbans that I would be here.
The Subanens are an indigenous people whose ancestral habitat is the highlands of northwest Mindanao in the Philippines.
"As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near, I have fought the good race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me, the crown of the righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of His return.
Columban lay missionary, Liliani Maafu, shared the story of what happened while traveling to work in a jeepney (bus). Originally from the kingdom of Tonga, Liliani was assigned to the Philippines in 2015 where she began a six month course studying the Cebuano language.
More than 20 years ago, I left the Philippines for the first time as a Columban lay missionary assigned to Brazil. It was a very long journey that started from Manila to Salvador, Bahia, situated in the northeast of Brazil, its first capital, and where the Columbans worked.
In 2012, while I was working in a parish among the aboriginal people called Atayal in the mountains of Taiwan, we organized a pilgrimage to the northern Philippines (where I am originally from) as part of the celebration of the parish's 50th foundation anniversary.
Fr. Andrei PazMay 21, 2018
Journalists, writers, reporters, commentators will just have to curb their passion for speaking and exposing the truth if they want to continue to live. Too many end up a corpse in a cold dark morgue, silence their only companion. That is just the way it is in the Philippines and elsewhere.
Movements and changes continue in the Philippines, at this time of celebration of 100 years of the Society of St. Columban. By God's grace we continue our mission of spreading God's love, especially with those on the margins.
Arlenne VillahermosaFebruary 16, 2018
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.
Fr. Don KillDecember 6, 2017
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.
Fr. Shay CullenDecember 4, 2017
Today I officiated the wedding of my sister Karen, who is a talented nurse, to her forever Dodo, who is who is a mechanical engineer. In all the eight years they were together before the wedding, I only met the groom on the day of their wedding!
Fr. Kurt Zion PalaNovember 22, 2017
I had just came out of the church after celebrating Mass. An altar server came up to me and told me that one youth decided to leave home and wanted to speak with me. I saw a bag sitting in the guard house and I got nervous thinking, it must really be true.
Fr. Kurt Zion PalaNovember 13, 2017