From the Editor

Janette Mentha

In this Easter edition of The Far East there are several stories that give us an insight into the diverse works of Columban priests, sisters and lay missionaries.

Some of the stories feature sadness, heartbreak and work-place injustices while others highlight the many positive faces of mission.

In 2017 Fr Gary Walker wrote in his Director’s column that Easter teaches us to have hope, to be resilient, to live fully and most of all to have a pure heart. You can read many fine examples of this message in the following articles.

In Taiwan, Fr Neil Magill spent many years working for better conditions for factory workers and was eventually expelled for his gallant efforts.

The Senate in the Philippines is working to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 to 12 years of age. Fr Shay Cullen regularly visits young children in jail and reports on the appalling conditions.

The Good Friday reflection invites us to stand by the cross of Jesus with his disciples. The author says that, despite the pain of standing by the cross, it can be a powerful place to be.

Fr Dan O’Connor gives us a view of life in Pakistan among the poor. His background in farming comes in handy when selecting goats and buffaloes to assist struggling families.

As part of a documentary series, “The Migrant Worker’s Face” a young man tells us about his life in the Philippines before going to Taiwan to work for a better life for himself and his elderly grandmother.

In the Southern Philippines Sr Kathleen Melia’s mission is working with the indigenous people who have much to teach us about respecting and living lightly on the earth.

Even though the summit between the US and North Korea did not generate a satisfactory mutual agreement, the South Korean Church hopes for further dialogue towards peace.

In his column, Fr Trevor Trotter writes about the power of the Cross and the message that it brings.

Hope turns to sorrow for a young couple who migrated from Bolivia to Chile with their young son Abigail. In the desert town of Alto Hospicio the family is welcomed by the local church community which becomes an important part of their lives.

Having a relationship with the Christian faith was something that a young Korean Buddhist never imagined would happen. Now working as a lay missionary at a HIV/AIDS Centre, Matilda understands the challenges and prejudices that those suffering from the virus constantly face.

After both graduating as Veterinarians, Kevin and Jo Bell went with their young family to work as lay missionaries in Korea in the 1970s. They have written a book ‘Our Korea Connection’ an experience that changed their lives personally, culturally and agriculturally.

As bad news continues to ravage our church and test our faith, it is refreshing to read stories that show the inspirational work of our missionaries.

Let us give thanks with confidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ that brings hope to our lives.

Happy Easter.

Janette Mentha singature

Janette Mentha

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