This evening, I had a good chat with Sukh Deo as we drank yaqona together. Sukh Deo is Hindu, but his wife and children are Catholic. They live in an interior settlement, far from town. He is always pleased when a priest visits the family, and he sits respectfully and meditatively during the prayers. As we chatted about old times, he was reminded of an unusual cure that took place in his village when he was a boy.
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. I knew who the kid was and so I asked for him. When I found him, his eyes were red from crying and so I asked him to see me in one of the counseling/confession rooms. He sat down and started to sob.
When Dan O'Connor first arrived at the Columban House in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1983, he was greeted with "There's a Kiwi in the house!" And indeed he was a "Kiwi" hailing from Hokitika on New Zealand's South Island. He had been posted to Pakistan for two years on the Columban Overseas Training Program.
In February of this year Fr. Charlie Duster was admitted to the hospital where he was informed a short time later that he was terminally ill. During the following weeks, with the same zeal with which he had lived his missionary life, he prepared himself to meet God face to face. He also bid farewell to family and friends, and took care of important personal matters.
Among his treasured possessions was a chalice and paten that had been given to him as a gift by his parents, Charles and Cleo Duster, on the occasion of his ordination and first Mass in December 1961. These precious gifts had traveled with him on his various missionary journeys around the world during his 55 years of priesthood. In fidelity to the
In his book, The Road Less Traveled, Scott Peck's first sentence is the somber observation, "Life is difficult." Direct and honest, it is a reality worth mulling over because, though we all know and have experienced that life is indeed hard, nevertheless there is a widespread belief that we have a right to be happy and that pain, distress and hurts are to be shunned. We should be free of anxieties and conflicts. We have a right to the good life.
Columban Fr. Frank Hoare shared this page from his missionary diary: My meeting Michael Rangu Raj on the streets of the town today, for the fi rst time in twenty years, left me astounded. He recognized and saluted me. Then he grabbed my hand and began appealing to me to forgive him. "I am sorry Father, please forgive me. I did wrong but you must not hold it against me," he repeated. I was staggered. In view of our last couple of meetings, I would have expected him to ignore me or to treat me coldly. Instead here he was appealing for mercy.
Word came into the church that a homeless man was sleeping rough under Sotohori Bridge, in Japan. The local Church group looking after the homeless went to visit him. Yes, he was there living in an exquisite homemade cardboard style of a home. He would slide in and out of it like a drawer. He was a quiet soft spoken man and my first impression of him was that there was no guile in this man, "incapable of deceit,"—just like Nathanael in St. John's Gospel 1:45-48.
In late January 2017, Columban Fr. Pat Colgan (General Councillor with responsibility for Myanmar) and Columban Fr. Jovito Dales (the Society's Bursar General) visited boarding houses and internally displaced persons' (IDP) camps which the Columbans support in Myanmar. In the diocese of Banmaw, of the three boarding houses, based in Banmaw town and exclusively for IDP young people, we heard that 31 students passed their Tenth Standard State exams (equivalent to college graduation).
After every atrocity in the global city there are days of discussion and debate as to why such acts are happening. Blame is thrown around at the individuals who perpetrated the atrocity and the organizations with which they are associated. Seldom is an overall critical analysis made of the causes of terrorism and its solution. There seems to be an assumption that what is happening at a distance should stay out there where the conflict is taking place.