From the Editor

Janette Mentha

Launching into the next century of Columban Mission offers many challenges to us, however we have made a promising start to the year with so many positive articles from those who dedicate their lives to Columban Mission.

Our first story is about a young Irishman who gave up a promising career with Microsoft to become a Columban Lay Missionary. Seven years on, he is now based in Hong Kong on their Leadership Team.

The Tale of Three Missionaries tells how nothing much has changed in the Philippines in the past 50 years with the recent deportation of Sister Patricia Fox.

Fr Patrick O’Shea offers a reflection on the New Zealand Social Justice Week theme “Enabling Communities: Everyone has a part to play”. He says that finding ways to keep barriers down is a challenge in societies.

When Francis Vernon Douglas first thought of becoming a Columban priest, little did he know that he would die ‘for the faith’ and feature in a Far East article titled ‘Cause for Canonisation’.

On pages 12 and 13 there is a wrap up of Centenary events that took place in Australia and New Zealand in 2018. Following on is a personal account of the Columban Trip to China late last year by Ray Lowe who was one of the 23 pilgrims. He gives an insight into the hardships and challenges that Bishop Galvin and his band of young men faced during the early days in China and the ongoing missionary work that continues today.

Back to the Philippines yet again, on page 16, we read that President Rodrigo Duterte recently reported that all Bishops in the Philippines deserve to be killed.

Our Director, Fr Trevor Trotter, introduces us to the news of two black holes circling each other and heading towards a massive explosion. He challenges us to wonder at the immensity of God who holds and creates such a big Universe.

The growing trend to ‘be inked’ and some of the reasons why is revealed in the article ‘What’s in a tattoo?’ A criticism and an unfair judgment on a Lay Missionary who sports some tattoos makes a good story.

I cannot tell you how heartening it was to edit the article about two brothers in Peru and the astonishing response to their story published in the Far East last year.

After spending 40 years working in Chile, Brazil and Peru, Fr Donald Hornsey now works with Colombian refugees in New Zealand. During a visit to bless the home and pray for the health of a family from Myanmar, Fr Hornsey was delighted to find that they were from the Kachin area where Columbans had worked for 40 years. What followed was an unexpected surprise.

I would like to thank all the contributors to this edition of The Far East. Each one of them has left their homeland to serve amongst a different race, in a different country and to learn a different language. With such a display of courage and trust in God, we launch into the future by tackling the mission day-by-day through the grace of God.

Wishing you a Happy New Year.

Janette Mentha singature

Janette Mentha

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