From the Editor

Janette Mentha

We begin this issue of The Far East magazine with Columban Fr Peter Nguyen Van Hung in Taiwan. Moved by the blatant exploitation of migrant women there, he was driven to helping them. Having been a refugee himself adds to his passion for justice.

In Korea, Columban Fr Noel O'Neill tells the story of an abandoned baby with special needs who rose to heights way beyond anyone's expectations. Living in the Emmaus Group Homes, founded by Fr O'Neill, Youn Cheong continues to work, study and inspire those around her.

In his reflection on The Good Samaritan, Columban Fr Ray Collier asks us who are our neighbours and how can we help them.

Columban Fr Alo Connaughton writes about spending time in lockdown with his bachelor brother Brendan. He says it called for a bit of adaptation and gives an account of his daily life that includes cooking, washing, house cleaning and farm duties. It is on the kitchen table, where meals are prepared, that Fr Alo celebrates daily Mass.

We hear Razia’s story from Columban Fr Joe Joyce in Pakistan. One of ten children, she was deprived of an education and lived in fear of her impending arranged marriage. Some years into her unhappy marriage, she completed a course in adult literacy that led to her educating women and the children of brick kiln workers.

Columban Fr Shay Cullen reflects on Pope Francis' Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, Brothers and Sisters All, and asks the question, can we humans ever unite as one humanity to change the world and reach out to the downtrodden and poor?

In an act of solidarity, Korean Catholics join the Pope's vaccine-sharing campaign after Cardinal Yeom called for the faithful to lend a helping hand to those living in poverty and the threat of COVID-19.

From the Director reminds us that we are all called to be “missionary disciples” just by being kind to people and making them our neighbours. This is what Pope Francis teaches us in the encyclical, Fratelli Tutti.

Columban Fr Jim Mulroney writes of the late founder of the Hong Kong Lay Mission Association, Jessica Ho Oi-chu, and of her life's work that began with a dream.

Sadly, we read of the death of a Fijian Columban lay missionary who spent time in the Philippines working with indigenous people and in prison ministry. I had the good fortune to meet Lusio when I visited there some years ago. He was a fine young man.

In closing, I would like to quote Lusio Naveliniko, he said in an article published shortly after I met him in Fiji, "the experience of injustice in the district jail has challenged me, but most of all, inspired me to dedicate my time to listening to these inmates. While I have become their friend, I also try to motivate them to value their dignity as human beings, made in the image and likeness of God.”

Rest in Peace Lusio.

Janette Mentha

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