From the Editor

Janette Mentha

Who would ever think that life was so complicated that you would choose to live on the streets in Hong Kong? This is what Simon, a university educated young man, in a well-paid job, did 20 years ago.

In Pakistan on his First Mission Assignment, seminarian, Jerry Lohera, tells us how different life is compared to life in the Philippines. Among the five things that struck him was the centuries-old caste system that unfortunately is still strong today.

In the reflection, ‘Decluttering’, we are asked “Do your spiritual practises bring you joy?” This is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the now-famous Marie Kondo, well-known for transforming cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration. Can we apply this method to our spiritual life?

Most of us would be old enough to remember the song Bali Hai from the Broadway musical South Pacific. Columban Fr Donal McIlraith tells us about Fr Laurence, the Bali Hai priest who has endured two major volcano eruptions but stays with the people whose livelihood has been destroyed.

When the news broke about the recent arrival of the royal baby, people were overjoyed. However, it was a racist Tweet, shortly after the birth, that led Columban Fr Bobby Gilmore to write the article on pages 12 -13 'Racism – a slip of the tongue?'

In July, four Australian Columbans will celebrate their 50th anniversaries of ordination to the priesthood. Frs Kelvin Barrett and Noel Connolly are here in Australia. Fr Colin McLean has travelled home from Brazil and Fr Dominic Nolan from the Philippines.
In ‘Mission World’ read about a modern day hero, Jean Vanier, an advocate for the most marginalised by society.

He died on May 7 aged 90. Jean gave up his career in the Navy to follow in the footsteps of Christ. May he rest in peace.

In his column Columban Fr Trevor Trotter reflects on four major learnings from the Gospel that could be talking points when we are considering what we are now called to do in our Church. He is referring to the Plenary Council planned for Australia in 2020.

Unexpected rainstorms that cause landslides, pollute the rivers, destroy farmlands and crops are just one of the challenges that the Aetas (indigenous people from the Island of Luzon, Philippines) face as a result of climate change.

Columbans in the Philippines marked 90 years of mission in May this year and paid tribute to the 100,000 people, including the five Columban priests at Malate who died in 1945.

Columban Fr Sean Coyle explains why he believes lifelong readers of Columban magazines are in fact ‘backstage missionaries'. They are the workers behind the scenes whose prayers and support have been vital to the work of Columban Missionaries.

This issue gives us a broad picture of mission from Columban priests, seminarians, lay missionaries, lay leaders like Jean Vanier and ‘backstage missionaries’ like you and I.

Let us pray for the life and mission of our Church.

Janette Mentha singature

Janette Mentha

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