A Life Beyond Imagination

By: Fr Jim Mulroney

Father Mulroney interviewed Columban lay missionary Jhoanna ‘Jao’ Resari in the middle of her three-year term in Taiwan which will finish around Easter.

I have learned things about myself I never dreamed existed’, said Jhoanna Resari about her experience as a Columban lay missionary in Taiwan. Jao was in Hong Kong on her way to mainland China to visit two of the six Harmony House foundations for HIV and AIDS people and to learn about the care of patients and the organizational facets of running facilities. The 28-year-old graduate in fine arts from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila explained that she was always on the look out for ‘something’ which she could not quite define, and said that, as an undergraduate, she used to pray hard asking God to show her a way.

Forgiveness And Inner Healing

By Joy Ampiloquio

Peter came up and asked Jesus, ‘Lord, when my brother wrongs me, how often must I forgive him? Seven times?’ ‘No,’ Jesus replied, ‘Not seven times; I say, seventy times seven times’ (Matthew 18:21-22).

Stricken with guilt

There was a release of guilt on her part. Guilt, as defined by the dictionary, is a condition of having done wrong. It is concerned with a deed which has violated certain norms. ‘The violated norms involved in guilt are often, but not always, moral’ (Aaron Ben Ze’ev: The Subtlety of Emotions, p. 498). We feel guilty after doing something which is forbidden and it typically involves some harm to another agent. This student felt guilty and, at some point, thought that her impulsive action was wrong. When people feel guilty, they try to repair what they have done by apologizing, explaining themselves, offering excuses, confessing and making amends.

New Year In February

By Mitzi Ramos

May Fernandez dropped by our editorial office in Bacolod City, where she’s from, before returning to Taiwan for her second three-year term as a Columban lay missionary. Among other things, she shared with Mitzi Ramos how reading Misyon led her to where she is now.

The author with some of her Taiwanese students

Presence Beyond Boundaries

By Joy Ampiloquio

This reflection is born from the writer’s experience of being in a multi-religious work context in Taiwan and journeying with young people who are searching for meaning in life. In many instances, students share that they feel so at home and able to open their hearts. The writer also has some Buddhist friends who marvel at the fact that a Catholic is willing to be nourished by their practice of meditation.

Walking With Overseas Workers

By Beth Sabado

The author is a Columban lay missionary working at the Hope Workers’ Center in Chungli City,Taiwan.

Working in the migrant ministry, I get used to all the ‘hellos’and‘goodbyes’ from migrant workers coming and going. Before leaving, some share their excitement to be home with their family, their anticipation of playing with their children and handing over their mga pasalubong. Others share their worries and fears, what to do when their little savings will all be spent, how to relate to their children, concerned if the kids would still recognize them, how to deal with an unfaithful spouse, how to handle a sick family member. Others promise not to return. But after a while they’re back again.

Fostering Bonds Of Unity

By Sr Ditma Luz Trocio MIC

A missionary from Baroy, Lanao del Norte, Sr Ditma Luz Trocio is well aware of the plight of migrant workers, particularly that of domestics, in Taipei. Her various commitments in the parish allow her fruitful occasions to meet some overseas contract workers and learn more about their life experience. Sr Ditma Luz was executive secretary of the Asian Meeting of Religious (AMOR) when the secretariat was based inTaipei. AMOR is an organization of Asia-Pacific religious deeply concerned with the empowerment of oppressed women. She speaks to us about this ministry where together people try to find, and open, spaces of solidarity and justice.

It is a well-known fact. Since about 1990, Taiwan has become one of the favored destinations of a large number of job seekers and capital investors from all over the world. This country’s economic miracle and financial prowess have thus attracted multicultural groups, who as a whole, form a complex society. Workers from Thailand, presently the most numerous, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India, from African countries and some from the West, have flocked to Taiwan as Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs). Forced by circumstances to work as domestics, migrant workers are hired for specific jobs and are expected to leave Taiwan at the end of a two-year contract. This policy seeks to avoid keeping undesirable migrants in the country as much as it is meant to prevent abusive practices by employers. Issues of injustice, of human rights violations, sex exploitation and other social problems have sprung up. On the other hand some ‘quiet’ churches have become alive because of the presence of Catholic migrant workers who flock to them every Sunday. Some domestic workers who are professionals and deeply committed to their faith have, by their Christian witnessing and sharing of the basic tenets of the faith, influenced the families they work for.

‘Unless The Church Becomes Young, It May Not Attract Youth’

An interview with Cora Mateo, Asia Youth Day pioneer

BANGALORE, India (UCAN) -- Young Catholics in Asia is not leaving the Church, but the Church is keeping distant from them, says the former executive secretary of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) Office of Laity.

Cora Mateo from the Philippines was very involved in the beginnings of Asian Youth Day (AYD), a biennial gathering of Catholic youth from Asian countries. UCA News interviewed her in Bangalore,India, 2,060 kilometers south of New Delhi, during the third AYD celebration, held Aug. 9-15. The first two were held in 1999 in Thailand and in 2001 in Taiwan.

A Late Life

By Joy Amiloquio

I belong to the Teresian Association (Institución Teresiana), an international Catholic lay association present in 30 countries. Our founder was a Spanish secular priest, Pedro Poveda, martyred in 1936 and beatified on October 10, 1993. I was only 16, in first year at the university, when I came to know the group, 18 when I was formally accepted, and 22 when I came to Taiwan, home for me now. I see an irony in having been sent as a missionary at an early age while my work involves a late life. Father Poveda wrote ‘Your mission is to season the tasteless wherever you go, in the place where you live, among the people you meet.’ I try to be salt and give flavor to the context where I am and that is being with students at an unusual time – a late life. Poveda went on, ‘It is good deeds that witness for us and speak with incomparable eloquence of what we are.’ I try to be a witness by my good deeds in the university, by ‘wasting’ quality time, even late at night – a late life. How would I know the hunger for God in others if I wasn’t around to listen to their questions?

It’s sort of late to be arriving home every weekday evening at 11:30. It’s sort of strange to be with students on a pleasant Sunday afternoon when you’re supposed to take your weekend rest, stranger still when you’re in school on Sunday nights. Why am I out of the house on weekends, spending time with students with it isn’t a school day?

From The Streets They Cry Out To Us

By Sr. Marvie Misolas MM

Sr. Marvie

The number of homeless people all over the world is growing and Taiwan is no exception.  Shelters are being set up for these people as a temporary solution.  Maryknoll Sister Marvie Misolas, a native of Marikina, shares with us about a friendship she had with Ka-Li, one of the residents she met when she visited Taichung City Homeless Shelter established by the Taiwan government.