From the Editor

Janette Mentha

The October edition of The Far East magazine marks the beginning of the 100th year since it was first published in October, 1920. In his editorial, Columban Fr Edward Maguire wrote; "a publication devoted to the conversion of China does not need to apologise for appearing just now in any Christian country"…. How things have changed since then!

Around the same time as the first Far East hit the press, Pope Benedict XV released the encyclical Maximum Illud, which called on Catholics to bring the Good News to all peoples (Missio Ad Gentes). To commemorate this anniversary, Pope Francis has declared October 2019 to be an Extraordinary Month of Mission. Columban Fr Jim Mulroney has written an excellent account of what this means for us.

Columban Fr Shay Cullen writes a graphic account of working side by side in Calcutta with the Missionary Brothers of Charity and the impact it had on him.

When the Columban Society Leader, Fr Tim Mulroy went home to Ireland earlier this year he visited his parent’s graves. As he walked through the cemetery and saw the headstones of other family members, parishioners and friends and he began to reflect on his own mortality. He penned a thoughtful article on the topic.

A group of dedicated musicians, playing instruments that belonged to an era when Korea was truly a hermit kingdom, are keeping the tradition alive.

On pages 12 and 13 we look at some of the changes that have taken place in The Far East over the past 100 years and acknowledge past editors for their contribution.

A new book 'Murder in the Missions: A True Story' has recently been published and highlights two Columban missionaries, Frs Rufus Hally and Des Hartford who did pioneering work building trust between Christians and Muslims in the Philippines. They both paid a heavy price for their commitment.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference pay tribute to politician and former Ambassador to the Holy See, Tim Fischer who died on August 22, 2019.

In his Director’s column, Fr Trevor Trotter announces the new Columban Region of Oceania taking effect on the feast of St Columban, November 23, 2019.

Columban Fr Tony Cavanagh takes us on what could have been a nightmare trip on a motor bike through the streets of Karachi but there was a surprise in store for him at the end.

Preparations are underway for the Synod on Amazonia which takes place in Rome in October with the theme, Amazonia: New paths for the church and for an integral ecology. Not a call for cosmetic change is the tenth instalment in a series of articles on the process.

From the Philippines to Fiji, Columban lay missionary Jennifer Lunor takes us through the struggles of fitting into another culture.

As Pope Francis asks us during this month, let us take the opportunity for reflection, prayer and support for the missionary efforts of individuals, communities and the whole Church.

Janette Mentha singature

Janette Mentha

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