The Jubilee Year of St Columban begins in Rome

Filipina Columban Lay Missionary Rose Basada shares with us her participation in the three-day celebration in Rome marking the opening of the Jubilee Year of St Columban, which runs from 10 October 2014 to 23 November 2015. This year makes the 1400th anniversary of the death of St Columban in the year 615 in the northern Italian town of Bobbio. Rose is based in Birmingham, England.

It was a blessing and privilege for me to participate in the celebrations in Rome to open the Jubilee Year of St Columban, the patron of the Missionary Society of St Columban with whose members we Columban Lay Missionaries work on mission.

Rose, center, waving to Pope Francis

The Jubilee Year began with four major events. They started on 10 October with Ecumenical Vespers at 5:00pm in the Basilica of San Clemente. The church was full of pilgrims from different places in Europe. It was a very moving celebration as people of many cultures and Christian denominations gathered. I was able to meet pilgrims from various churches – Catholic, Anglican and Methodist. The Parish Priest of Bobbio held relics of St Columban during the procession. They are normally kept at the Museum in Bobbio where Columban died in AD 615.

Into The Deep

By Sr Francesca M. Mariano FSP

I am the ninth of thirteen born of the second marriage of my father. Six died in infancy. My father was 42, widowed with five children when he married my mother, then only 18. Their marriage was arranged by their parents. My mother didn’t know about the five children. After the wedding my father began bringing them home, one after the other. They were aged thirteen, eleven, nine, seven and five. They considered their father’s new wife as their own mother. My parents welcomed all their children from the hands of God who rewarded them with the joy of having many children. I always enjoyed the company of my big family. Many times we disagreed and quarreled, but beyond that we loved one another.

Then each one followed their own vocation. I entered the convent and at present I’m assigned here in Italy. Six remained in the Philippines and five went to the USA. And now our Lord is calling us back to Him one by one. Three in the Philippines have gone back to God and three in USA. Thanks be to God, we are still many.

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.

My Last Dance With You

By Sr. Mercedes Yañez, rvm

I live in an old people’s house in Italy. The ‘olds’ love to dance, to chat, to take a walk as they wait for their last moment to part from this world. Our main activity here in Casa di Riposo with the old people is journeying with them, listening to all their tales of past successes and failures, health problems and aspirations.

One Last Party

So, in between my work in the office as the directress of Casa di Riposo, I find the time to be present to them. Every month we have a day to celebrate their birthdays. It’s a day they always look forward to – a toast of champagne, a gift, a cake to sliced and shared, and most especially a special dance for each celebrant! So on this occasion I try my lost tango, waltz, cha-cha, lambada. Sometimes one dies on the very same night after the birthday party, and then we are left with the memory of that last dance.

50 Years Ago When I Was A Little Girl

By Sr. Evangeline Canag, FSP

I am sending you...

From far away Rome, I heard John Paul II’s impassioned commissioning of the young people during the 10th World Youth Day in Manila: “To each one of you Christ says: “I am sending you....’ These words are addresses to you. The Church addresses them to all young people around the world today, though they are being addressed especially of the Philippines and to the young people of China, of Japan, Korea and Vietnam....”

It Would Break Your Heart

By Sr. Priscilla Jaurigue, FdCC

Off to Italy

Sometime ago the Canossian Province in the Philippines sent ten sisters to the missions. I was one of them. My place of mission was Como, northern Italy, and my mandate: to work [especially] with our Filipino migrant workers. When I reached the generalate in Rome, the only information I got was “there’s an organized group of migrant workers gathering in our convent in Como every Sunday”, no more less! I was puzzled, what shall I do then? I asked myself.

They also Serve Who Operate Computers

By: Sr. Rosalinda Argosino, SSpS

Tied to the Desk
I am not in the frontier mission, but belong to the group whom Fr. Wens Padilla, CICM of Mongolia described as follows: “Some of us have to do our mission work chained to a desk.” (cf. July-August. 1991 issue of MISYON). As “computer manager” on our Generalate in Rome I spend most of my time in front of a Computer - teaching other Sisters how to use our Microvax System or a personal computer. I also gather data for our general Administrator, prepare documents for publication, write simple procedures for our needs and answers the call for help of any computer users in trouble.

Centro Filipino di Torino

By: Lily Javier

Lily Javier is a Filipino migrant worker in Italy. She helps at a special center set up to keep the Filipinos together. Here she tells us about the Center and about one of the Filipino Missionaries (O.S.A.) who has helped to make life away from home easier for these unwilling exiles.

Disturbing News
Nearly one year and a half ago the Filipinos in Turin, especially the mothers were disturbed  upon learning that Sister  Claribelle  Jugueta, O.S.A. was going home to the Philippines, assigned to a new mission.