From the Editor

By Arlenne Villahermosa

As the Missionary Society of St. Columban continues the celebration of its 100th founding anniversary this year, features in this issue stories and testimonies of people who have been touched by the love of God as their lives intertwined with the faith-witnessing journey that the Columban missionaries had lived-out through the years. This issue also includes insights and reflections on mission by a Columban lay missionary and a Columban student who is currently on his First Mission Assignment to Pakistan.

Life in the mission is encountering the different faces of God in the culture of a people different from our own, in the language spoken far from our own, in a country with its own unique beauty and challenges, in a way of life new to us, in a religion unlike our own, and be transformed by all of these experiences.

Being on mission is opening up of one’s self to the newness and vastness of God’s creation, allowing one’s self to be surprised in meeting God outside of one’s own confines, recognizing the beauty of our differences and the challenges as well, and engaging the other in a healthy growing relationship, respecting and understanding each other’s uniqueness. It calls for an open mind and heart, one that is able to transcend beyond one’s own way of thinking and seeing things, and being able to understand the other from where they are at.

The journey of the Columban missionaries in all the regions and mission units they were assigned (and a good number are still there) has been a transforming one for themselves and for the people they had met along the way, worked with and made friends with. And this is the journey we are celebrating in this centenary – one of joy and thanksgiving, building and strengthening of relationships founded in faith and in the love of God, and sharing this love to all peoples and to all of God’s creation.