From the Editor

Janette Mentha

The September issue of The Far East magazine is tinged with sadness with the unexpected death of two Columbans from Australia and New Zealand. In their own quiet ways both made significant contributions to the Catholic Church in Australia, New Zealand and in South Korea.

Reading Columban Fr Joseph Joyce’s reflection on dealing with grief and loss came at an opportune time and offers some good advice on dealing with the stages of letting go, letting be and letting begin.

On a more joyous note, Columban Fr Noel Connolly writes about his 50 years of priesthood and the challenges that it has brought along the way. He says that his whole time as a missionary priest has been a time of questioning and ponders what that has meant for him.

Now retired in Ireland, Columban Fr Mike Doohan shares how he set up a school for mechanics in 1976 in the Philippines. A couple of years ago he went back and visited the Philippines and was delighted to see that the school was not only still operating but had implemented many improvements.

Losing weight, having fun and fundraising do not normally go together. However, the Region of Fiji has made it work with a competition to raise funds for young Pacifican Columban seminarians and to raise awareness of living a healthier lifestyle. Well done Fiji.

The article by Columban Fr Harry O’Carroll from Japan, 'The eyes of faith', has a surprising twist at the end and a message of seeing faith in a different way.

Young Catholic students in Hong Kong are taking to the streets demanding permanent scrapping of legal changes that would allow extraditions to mainland Communist China.

'From the Director' looks at why Columban Fr Peter Toohey sought out the poor, those with mental illnesses in a psychiatric hospital and those living on the edges of society. He asks what motivated him and what was he seeking. He believes the answer is simple – God. His desire for God drove him.

Columban lay missionary, Nathalie Marytsch and her husband, were in for a surprise when they returned to their home country, Chile, after spending almost 18 years in Britain. Nathalie visited Fr Dan Harding, the parish priest of San Columbano parish, who introduced her to some Haitian people and showed her the appalling conditions in which the Haitians live.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again when the Subanen crafters are busy finishing off the Christmas Cards. One of the Subanen women tells us how having work has enabled her to take care of her family. Thank you to all who purchase the cards and make such a difference to the lives of these young women.

Let us thank God for the lives of Frs Peter Toohey and Maurice O’Connor whose drive and motivation was simply their love of God.

May they rest in peace.

Janette Mentha singature

Janette Mentha

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