From the Editor

Janette Mentha

In our first article, a young man from Myanmar tells Fr Eamon Sheridan that he came to the rehabilitation centre because he was tired of using drugs and his family wanted him out of the house. It is a story of hope in a decimated country.

In Pakistan young men from poor backgrounds are given a once in a life time opportunity of securing well-paid careers. Educational classes began in 2007 and over 300 young men have joined the four-year program to date.

Once again Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI gives us much to think about in his reflection, Snake-bitten. He challenges us to think about the interconnectedness of everything and every person by telling a delightful African tale.

Workers from the Columban Mission Centre in El Paso, Texas, continue to work tirelessly with asylum seekers crossing the border. Read about Fr Bob Mosher’s visits to a young mother who was separated from her son at the border.

For many years three primary schools in Geelong have been buying WoW (Wonders of Waste) bags for their Prep students to use as library bags. The WoW project offers much needed employment to women living in areas with few work opportunities in the Philippines.

Now on sabbatical, Fr Pat Colgan gives us an insight into what it was like to spend time as a Chaplain in Hong Kong Correctional Services’ Institutions. Fr Pat shares how he was overwhelmed when he saw the less-than-basic conditions in the institutions.

In early February Pope Francis took another bold step in visiting Abu Dhabi where he and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar signed a document on “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”. Let us hope that the Pope and the Grand Imam’s words that ‘no one is every authorized to exploit God’s name to ever justify war’ will come true.

In his column Fr Trevor Trotter addresses the topic of the Good News and the not-so Good News. He advises that Columbans have joined the Federal Government’s National Redress Scheme in support of victims of child sexual abuse. He says that if we can know the compassion of God’s love we will personally know what the Good News means.

Fr Patrick McInerney explains the connection between Aboriginal spirituality and interfaith dialogue. The article is timely, educative and insightful.

Sport provides a great way of bringing people together in Alto Hospicio, a mining town in the Atacama Desert in the north of Chile. Columban Lay Missionary Oisín Kenny tells us about the challenges of organising a soccer competition for up to 60 kids with parents and parishioners helping out.

The Pedalling to Live and Green Shelter project in the Philippines has assisted a young boy who suffers from cerebral palsy. A customised wheelchair has made all the difference in transporting him to school each day. In the past his mother carried him to and from school.

As we move through Lent, let us pray for the victims of child sexual abuse and for all those working in the church with good intentions and good hearts.

Janette Mentha singature

Janette Mentha

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