In August last year, I arrived at St. John the Apostle Parish in Natovi, Fiji, to begin my ministry, where, among other things I would help facilitate church programs, village activities, and bi-monthly Mass visitations.
“How old are you?” is a question that I’m very often asked in Pakistan, and when I tell my age, 75, the response is something like, “You look very fresh,” or “You’re still young.” But then, when I travel by bus or train, people will often say, “Let the old man sit down,” or “Can I help you, Baba
My name is Uakeia Tawaia, and I come from the Kiribati Islands. In 2016, I was studying Accounting at the Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT) and was focused on completing my studies and finding a good job. There was no thought in my mind of becoming a missionary priest.
The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, or Udang Poi, is a huge celebration in the Diocese of Myitkyina, Myanmar (formerly Burma), which attracts thousands of people from all over the country.
Every day in our lives we meet people of various ages and from different backgrounds. Many of them we don’t know but some of them we get to know and interact with. And maybe, in one way or the other, whether we know them personally or not, certain people make an impact on our life.
After completing my six year term as Regional Director for the Columbans in Ireland I had the opportunity to pay a return visit to Pakistan where I had worked for a number of years. Columban Fr. Tomas King and my classmate Columban Fr.
It started, really, with an invitation from catechist Tobia to come and talk about the Marian Movement of Priests. I checked with the pastor, Fr.
Strolling along the path, I turned a corner and suddenly my eye caught a statue. At first, I was unsure if the figure was male or female, human or angelic, but its pose was striking and attractive. One arm was outstretched, holding a crown.
For the past seven years, I have traveled on Fridays to the Carmelite monastery located in a mountain canyon known as the Cajon del Maipo. I go there to celebrate Mass for the cloistered Discalced Carmelite Sisters.
On August 1, 2017, I travelled from the height of the Korean summer to an equally hot Philippines to study English.
Although all Columbans may not agree with me, I think our life as Columbans has three important hallmarks.
The first of these is our community life; despite living quite separately, we are a brotherhood. Many of us have lived alone in isolated places for years; the simple fact is that mission sometimes demands it. On the other hand, we Columbans are sometimes referred to as a “family.” Although a few of us are in fact related to each other in the normal way as brothers or cousins, and some have had sisters who are Columban Sisters, most of us are not held together by a family connection. Many of our relatives have been generous benefactors over the years, supporting Columban mission, not only by giving a son or a brother, but also by backing us financially and in numerous other ways. I think to say we are a family does say something about the way we live our lives, about the quality of our community life. I myself have been interacting with Columbans since the early 1960s.
“Loneliness has become a silent epidemic; it is, as one doctor wrote, ‘the most unrecognized health crisis of this generation.’ ”