A Missionary From Colombia

By Richelle Verdeprado

The author, from Himamaylan, Negros Occidental, is a third-year student at the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos (UNO-R), Bacolod City, taking up social work. She has been involved in campus journalism since her elementary days and in her spare time works as an editorial assistant in the Misyon office.

Opportunities to decide how they will spend their lives come in different ways for different people. More than just recognizing these chances is the permanent joy brought about by listening and responding to them according to God’s plan. For Sr Adela V. Paternina TC, her opportunity to decide how she would live the rest of her life came to her 57 years ago, when she chose to enter the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family, a religious congregation founded at the shrine of Our Lady of Montiel in Benaguacil, Valencia, Spain, by Bishop Luis José María Amigó y Ferrer OFM Cap. Now, as her 78th birthday is approaching, she sees her life as simpler but more real than it was before.

Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro SJ

By Sister Mariana Reyes HGS

Sister Mariana came to the Philippines in 2000. She is a member of the Hermanas Guadalupanas de la Salle founded in Mexico in 1946 by Brother Juan Fromental Coyroche, a De La Salle Brother from France. The Sisters follow the charism of St John Baptist De La Salle and are involved in the promotion of Christian Education. Their spirituality in the service of God inspires them to look to Our Lady of Guadalupe in her role as evangelizer of the people they serve. They arrived in the Philippines in 1984. Other countries in which they work include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Madagascar, Peru and Thailand.

Reflection From Colombia

By Fr Jaime M Baclayo SVD

I’ve been in Colombia since 1992 and people still ask me why I answered the call to be a missionary, considering its difficulties and challenges. Basically, I would say it’s a constant discovery of the living God who continually calls many people to commit themselves to the unfinished missionary work of Christ. It’s a process in which one may discover the loving God by being in relationship with him day to day during one’s formation and while on mission. During my formative years I discovered that Jesus loves me very much. Through that experience I’ve developed gradually in my faith, enough for me to commit myself totally to his Cause in a very concrete way. That is by being a member of the Divine Word Missionaries.

A Land Of Blood And Poison

By Hugh O’Shaughnessy

Since we have Filipino missionaries in Colombia, this should be of interest to the readers. Apart from that, it is interesting that in Colombia the beleaguered peasants have started Peace Zones as we did in the Philippines in the nineties. Colombia is a very large country. There are areas of the land which are mercifully free from the turmoil we describe here. (Ed.)

Scores of Oscar Romeros, martyrs for their faith, for peace and for their fellow men and women, are going to their deaths every year in Colombia. Lay and clerical they die, as people are sucked into a swamp of mud and blood, war, poison and deceit which has no present parallel in the Western Hemisphere and few, if any, parallels in any other parts of the world. The killing has been going on for half a century, well before Colombia was a source of drugs. In the decade after the killing of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, a popular Liberal leader, in 1948, more Colombians died in battles between Liberals and Conservatives than Britain lost in the Second World War. The killing continues.

In The Cocafeilds Of Colombia

By Cora Llamas

Missionary priest Fr. Jimmy Aguilar brings the Catholic faith to war-torn, poor communities of South America, where kidnapping, torture and violent death are a way of life. Fr. Demetrio “Jimmy” Aguilar’s faith has been tested by fire. Literally, and several times. As a foreign missionary of the Society of Divine Word (SVD), he has faced narco-terrorism in Colombia, endured Panama’s persecution of its Catholic Church, and stood with the people as the US troops rained fire on a dictator’s stronghold. In his service in God’s kingdom, this priest was almost killed twice. And at one point in his life, he lived with the knowledge that he could be arrested and killed without due process of law at anytime.

Water, Water Everywhere Nor Any Drop To Drink

By Fr. Welfredo L. Lañete, SVD

Surrounded by Water

El Banco is a historic town in the province of Magdalena, Colombia. It is surrounded by water yet suffers lack of water. At El Banco is the confluence of two big rivers of Colombia – the Magdalena and the Cesar rivers. To the northeast of El Banco is the big lake called Zapatosa. On the other side is another lake called Chilloa. With this water situation, the majority of the people of El Banco are fisherman and farmers.