Editorial - Accepting God's call

How are you ever going to settle back into life and ministry in Australia? This is what a priest friend from Melbourne asked me when he visited me in my parish in Santiago (Chile), as I was preparing to leave and take up my new appointment as the Editor of The Far East. I must admit that this thought had crossed my mind on numerous occasions. It's true, I was very happy and fulfilled as a Columban missionary in Chile.

"Perhaps this is the way God wants you to serve Him now," my friend went on to say. "As Editor of The Far East, you can help make people aware of the incredible work of Columban missionaries throughout the world in so many countries."

So, here I am now back in Australia after 21 years as a missionary in Chile with my first edition of The Far East. While I feel it is a very hard act to follow the previous editor, and now Director of the Columbans in Australia and New Zealand, Fr Gary Walker, I nevertheless trust that God will guide and support me in my new role. I also have the support and expertise of lay staff.

This issue allows us to see the important work Columban missionaries are doing across the globe from Mexico to Pakistan, from Chile to the Philippines and much more. This issue also coincided with the important liturgical season of Lent.

Lent is about actively preparing ourselves to draw closer to God as we prepare for the Holy Week celebrations of Christ´s Paschal Mystery and the Easter Season. Lent means trying to be less selfish. It involves actively trying to diminish the power of our individual and social egoism so that God and neighbour can become the centre of our lives. This can happen when we turn from our self-centeredness and try to live in solidarity with people such as those in the different articles of this issue victims, prisoners, the poor and the excluded.

Fr Dan Harding

Read more from The Far East, March 2012