Misyon Online - September-October 2014

Pulong ng Editor

Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis
 13-18 August 2014, Republic of Korea


In his address to the bishops of Korea on 14 August during is apostolic journey to that country Pope Francis reflected with them ‘as a brother bishop on two central aspects of the task of guarding God’s people in this county: to be guardians of memory and to be guardians of hope’.

Pope Francis went on to say, ‘How can we be guardians of hope if we neglect the memory, the wisdom and the experience of the elderly, and the aspirations of our young?’


The song Koinonia, a Greek word meaning 'Communion', was written for the Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to the Republic of Korea by K-Pop singer Noh Young-Shim and produced by Won Dong-Yeon for the Archdiocese of Seoul. The singer here is Sumi Jo, an internationally renowned soprano from Korea who sang before the Beatification Mass and also at Communion time during the Mass.

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The Reverend Jason with Sr Regina Cesar ASOLC, a cousin, his parents Wilfredo and Amalia, Bishop Ontioco and Fr Raymond Husband, Rector of the Columban Formation House.

On 29 June, the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul and the 96th anniversary of the official founding of the Missionary Society of St Columban, Bishop Honesto F. Ontioco ordained Jason Jason Antiquera as deacon in the chapel of the Columban House of Studies, Cubao, Quezon City.

The new deacon is from San Isidro Labrador Parish, Binalbagan, Diocese of Kabankalan. The diocese, created in 1987, covers the southern part of the province of Negros Occidental and was formerly part of the Diocese of Bacolod. The Columbans were invited in 1950 to develop the church in that area.

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The mission-sending of Luda Egbalic and Jenaydel Nola, who form PH21, took place on 14 May with Mass celebrated by the Regional Director Fr Patrick O’Donoghue at the Columban Lay Mission Center, Cubao, Quezon City. Both are from Mindanao, Luda from Bukidnon (Diocese of Malaybalay), and Jen form Maitum, Sarangani (Diocese of Marbel). They are now in Korea.

Fr Patrick O’Donoghue signing contract of Jenanydel Nola.

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By Richelle H. Verdeprado

As he recalled his missionary story, Peter Dong or Lee Chon, a 32-year-old Columban seminarian, journeyed back to Jilin province, in the central part of northeastern China. Reminiscing about his hometown and childhood he recalled how his family has always been with him. He told how he would travel 20 kilometers with his parents and brother on bicycles on Sundays to attend Mass. Consequently, talking with him gave me an idea of how it is to live in a village where your family was the only Catholic one and you have to close your windows and doors when you pray. It made me realize then how God can still continue working in our lives despite all the barriers the world can build. It made me realize that faith can still grow beautifully amidst unfavorable circumstances.

Peter Dong and Richelle H. Verdeprado

After finishing middle school, Peter started thinking about the path he would be taking. He wasn’t physically strong, thus, he could not just take any course. His father opened to him the idea of entering the seminary. Instantly, his mind remembered their place which had a chapel it but had no priest. Though he knew very little about what it is to be a priest, he had just no objection. He didn’t know where such adesire to try was coming from. He just found himself one day with his 21 classmates, preparing themselves to become diocesan priests.

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The author was elected to the General Council of the Columbans in 2012 as was Fr Darwin Bayaca. This photo was taken just after their election. L to R: Fr Arturo Aguilar, Vicar General (USA, ordained 1984, Regional Director in the USA when elected and served before in Chile), Fr Patrick Colgan (Ireland, ordained in 1994, serving in Fiji when elected), Fr Kevin O'Neill, Superior General (Australia, ordained in 1992, served in China when elected), and Fr Darwin Bayaca (Gingoog City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines, ordained 2005, Vice Director and Rector of Formation in the Philippines when elected, served in China before). 

During the second half of a hot June, FrPat Colgan and Fr Darwin Bayaca, both members of the General Council of the Missionary Society of St Columban in Hong Kong, visited Myanmar; the Society is reengaging with Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, in multiple ways at this time:

a. The Society accepted three young men as seminarian candidates, to join our Program in Manila later this year. They are currently living in a simple bamboo 'Columban Accompaniment' house in Mandalay, following a program of prayer, studies and pastoral outreach with Fr Neil Magill.

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On the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, 1 May, Columban Fr Leo Distor was installed as Parish Priest of Our Lady of Remedies Parish, Malate, Manila, where the Columbans have worked since 1929 having taken the parish at the invitation of Irish-born Archbishop Michael O’Doherty of Manila at a time when the Philippines was desperately short of priests.

Installation Mass. L to R: Fr Distor, Fr De Claro, Fr Patrick O’Donoghue (then Regional Director)

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This article first appeared in the Mabuhay section of the Sunday Examiner, the English-language weekly of the Diocese of Hong Kong, in the 29 June 2014 issue.

‘She was a pillar of strength and a beam of hope to all of those who are fighting for life against death’, Magdalena Soleño said at a memorial Mass for the late founding coordinator of the Filipino Migrant Cancer Support Services (FILMCASS), Melina Paller Lagarbe, celebrated on 15 June in the chapel of the Canossian Sacred Heart College of Commerce in Central.

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This story, datelined Karachi, Pakistan, first appeared in Sunday Examiner, the English-language weekly of the Diocese of Hong Kong, on 30 August this year.

Ping-pong diplomacy played a big role in thawing the ice during the communication freeze between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China back in 1971, but today, the governor of the Sindh in Pakistan, IshratulEbad Khan, is taking cricket beyond the frigid zone to cool sometimes overheated interfaith and inter-cultural relations by building healthy friendships through sport.

A keen cricketer himself and avid fan of the sport, IshratulEbad has thrown his support behind the upcoming game between a Vatican XI and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI to be played at ‘the St Peter’s Basilica’ of cricket, Lords Cricket Ground, in England, in September.

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By Fr Noel O’Neill

Columban Fr Noel O’Neill founded Emmaus Industries to help better the lives of the differently abled. He lives and works in South Korea.

Myeong Sek, Theresa, was special. She was special because she was differently abled.

Fr O’Neill with Myeong Sek

She was special because it was she who accompanied me as together we first began to walk the Road to Emmaus. After 25 years in parish ministry I sought permission from my superiors to begin a new apostolate, a ministry to persons with special needs.

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And the more we love each other, the more we should give of ourselves to one another until it hurts. We cannot say, ‘I love God, but I don’t love my neighbor’. St John tells us that he who says he loves God but not his neighbor, is a liar. How can you love God who you do not see, if you don’t love the neighbour who you do see- the neighbour you know and live with every day?

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Our Hideaway is a venue for the youth to express themselves and to share with our readers their mind, their heart and their soul.


‘Are you ready to Say ‘Yes’? Pope Francis to AYD2014.

By Richelle H. Verdeprado

We gave Our Hideaway in this issue to Pope Francis instead of to a young reader. We included extracts from his address and homily to the delegates to the Sixth Asian Youth Day (\AYD2014)’ Editorial in Korea in August. Assistant Richelle H. Verdprado writes her own response to the challenge of Pope Francis and invites five young friends to do the same. We extend that invitation now to all our readers, whether young or old.

The author Richelle with Chad and Jessan

The words of Pope Francis made a strong impact on me. I took everything he said to heart because I know that he really intended to address it to young people like me. What moved me the most was, ‘Dear young friends, in this generation the Lord is counting on you! He is counting on you!’

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