From the Editor

Janette Mentha

There seems to be a common thread running through many of the articles in this issue of The Far East magazine. It is the significant events that have impacted on people’s lives.

In Chile, Columban Fr Dan Harding writes about a parish activity for those preparing for First Communion and Reconciliation. Children and youth were invited to visit a shantytown to experience solidarity with those in need.

Many of us are praying that the Plenary Council 2020 will be a significant event for Catholics in Australia. In his article, Columban Fr Noel Connolly affirms Pope Francis’ message that encourages us to have a voice, to speak up and to listen carefully.

In the reflection - 'The road to prayer', Columban Fr Joseph Joyce takes us through his struggles in prayer and the breakthrough when he experienced a new closeness with God and himself.

Columban Sr Ann Gray writes of her time in Hong Kong getting to know the women who worked on the streets. She was instrumental in setting up an organisation that assisted the women in times of crisis. Although Sr Ann is no longer in Hong Kong, the organisation continues to flourish.

Thirty years after being deported, Columban Fr Neil Magill returned to Taiwan in April this year. He speaks about the warm welcome he received and also about the heartbreak of his deportation. It took many years for Fr Magill to recover from this event.

Jorge Taborda's family has been ripped apart in the U.S after his wife and son were deported to Colombia. They had been in the U.S for 20 years and he was not even given the opportunity to say goodbye to them. Broken hearted, he waits patiently for their return.

The theme of Columban Regional Director, Fr Trevor Trotter's column is Pentecost. He discusses how the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and transformed them from the frightened men they had become after the crucifixion into courageous apostles who fearlessly faced martyrdom. Now that is a significant event to remember.

What a great way to conclude the Columban Centenary celebrations with the ordination of Fr Martin Koroiciri in Fiji. As Columban Fr Donal Mcillraith said, "it is an enormous joy to be able to put another lifelong priest missionary in the field".

From the Philippines, Columban Lay Missionary, Gertrude, tells us about attending the ballet and catching up with a former work colleague who also happened to be the 1973 Miss Universe. Gertrude says that she not only admired her beauty but her heart for service to humanity.

And finally, Columban Fr Barry Cairns gives a short and inspiring account of a small incident that influenced his missionary road in Japan. An excellent story.

When I read the articles in The Far East each month I am continually surprised and inspired by the dedication and commitment of Columbans. As our Mid-Year Appeal states, “It is your support that drives everything we do as Columban Missionaries. Thank you.”

Janette Mentha singature

Janette Mentha

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