Misyon Online - May-June 2016

May-June 2016


‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ (Martin Luther King, 28 August 1963) [Video of full speech here. Text here.]

Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I have a dream speech’ in a particular context. Some southern states of the USA still practiced segregation, ie, separate facilities for white and black people, those for the latter always inferior. This had its origins in the history of slavery in the Americas, the original slaves having been brought from West Africa.

Rising from the Ashes

By Fr John Keenan

The author is a Columban priest who celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood last December and is from Ireland. Apart from some years working in Britain he has been in the Philippines since 1966.

Parola Compound, Tondo, Manila, is one of the largest shantytowns in the Philippines.  It is in the capital, Manila, on a long stretch of low-lying land between the Pasig River and the busy North Harbor Shipping Terminal.  It is the home to some 4,000 families.  On 2 March 2015 a fire, which started from an unattended flame, swept swiftly through the whole area devouring everything in its path.

Because He Loved the Eucharist

By Fr Dominic Derramas

The author is a priest of the Diocese of Bacolod, which includes Bacolod City and the central part of Negros Occidental from Victorias City in the north to Hinigaran in the south. He is from Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish, Airport Subdivision, Bacolod City.

Antonio Derramas Sr and his son Fr Dominic.
Antonio Sr died on 26 August 2015

I can compare the life of my father to the Eucharist, a testimony of love and sacrifice. ‘If the Lord wants to take me, I am ready to go.’  This was the answer he would give every time we would ask him to take care of his health. I remember the first time he said this to me directly. I had been a priest for one year and assigned as parochial vicar in St Mary Magdalene Parish, Hinigaran.  My father was president of the Adoracion Nocturna Filipina (ANF), a church-based lay organization of men who devote themselves to prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  As president, Tatay asked that the ANF’s annual diocesan-wide vigil in honor of the Blessed Mother be held in the parish where I was assigned.

Ask, Seek, Knock

By Sun Hee ‘Sunny’ Kim

The author is a Columban Lay Missionary from Korea who came to the Phliippines in 2011. This article first appeared on the blog of the Columban Lay Missionaries – Philippines.

In January 2015 I began a new ministry in Payatas, Quezon City, known as the Second Smokey Mountain, the original having been in Tondo, Manila, a landfill that had been used for more than 40 years. I am assigned to the CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation) Center for special children. In the center, physical therapy and learning programs are offered to the children three times a week.

Learning Languages, Bridging Cultures


By Lanieta Tamatawale

Lanieta Tamatawale is a Columban Lay Missionary (CLM) from Fiji who came to the Philippines in 2003 as a member of a team from Fiji and Tonga. After six years here Lani was assigned back to Fiji for four years as CLM Coordinator. Since 1 Jan 2015 she has been working in Hong Kong as a member of the Lay Missionary Central Leadership Team.

The author in Hong Kong

I first came to the Philippines in 2003. I was shocked by the many people I saw in Manila and by the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Jeepneys and tricycles were new to my two companions and me.  They amused us and it took time for us to get use to riding them.

The Power of Being Powerless

by Fr G. Chris Saenz

A Chilean Woman

Father Saenz, a frequent contributor to MISYONonline.com, was ordained in 2000. He is from Omaha, Nebraska, USA, where the Columban headquarters in that country are located. He spent part of his formation period in the Philippines. Here he tells an extraordinary story of welcoming new life.

Three or four years ago I was in Tasmania, Australia, for mission promotion work.  A school girl in St Patrick’s Catholic College of Launceston asked, ‘What is the hardest thing about working with people in poverty?’  The question stumped me a bit and made me think.  Generally, it’s the youth who ask the deep theological questions.  After reflecting for a moment, I answered her, ‘the feeling of being powerless to change the situation of the person in poverty’.

A Close Shave

By Fr Charles Duster

The author

Fr Duster [DOOster] is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA. He was ordained in December 1961. He worked in Japan from 1962 till 1969. He spent some time in the USA as vocation director and was later to spend 23 years working in Fiji. He also studied canon law in Rome.

It was a missionary’s dream vacation. During the summer of 1967, a Columban classmate of mine, Fr Jim Duffy, who was on his first six-year tour of Korea and I on my first term in Japan, decided to fly down to the Philippines to visit our Columban classmates and confreres. Little did we imagine that it would bring us within two minutes of meeting Our Maker! The trip began well with an exciting week in Manila followed by a wild ride on a commercial bus to Olongapo to visit friends in the Province of Zambales near Subic Bay, a huge US Navy port in those days. The bus drivers on the Victory Liner seemed to compete for passengers by racing one another and passing in what I thought were dangerous situations on the narrow two lane highway.

To Search is to find

May-June 2016

How do you know that you have faith? It is said that to see is to believe. But when can a child say in its own name, ‘I have faith in God’?

The Gospel of John (2003)
Directed by Philip Saville Narrator: Christopher Plummer
(John 20:19-31, Good News translation)

‘Seeing is believing’ is a common expression. In one sense St Thomas expresses his faith in the Resurrection of Jesus when he meets the flesh-and-blood Risen Lord (John 20:24-29).

May – June 2016

Entertaining Angels: the Dorothy Day Story
Martin Sheen plays Peter Maurin in this movie.

The world would become better off
if people tried to become better.
And people would become better
if they stopped trying to be better off.

– Peter Maurin, Co-founder of the Catholic Worker (1877 – 1949)