Since I joined the Columban lay mission program in 2000, I have learned three different languages: English, Filipino (Tagalog) and Spanish. Since my assignment to Myanmar (formerly Burma) I am learning yet another language – Burmese!
Founded by Columban Fr. Bernard Wade in 1939, St. Luke’s can boast of 700 graduates, of whom 417 have worked in remote areas which are often the center of political violence. Despite all these risks, many young people continue to volunteer for this ministry.
Almost six months ago, I arrived in Yangon, Myanmar, to begin my mission assignment. During these past six months, so many things have happened to me, or have happened around me, that I haven’t always been able to understand.
Lumen Gentium emphasizes the “universal call to holiness” which applies to all the “people of God”– clergy, religious and lay people, stating that “all Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love and by this holiness
Growing up in New York City, summers for me were times for relaxing, recreation and fun. There were family picnics, trips to the beach, baseball games, and books to be read and time to relax with my friends.
“I couldn’t manage without them.” That is a phrase one often hears in a discussion between the parish priests in Fiji, whether indigenous or foreign born. They are speaking of the male catechists who serve in both rural and urban areas.
I wonder if the Blessed Virgin was limping during her old age? Nevertheless, I think she will still be there doing what God the Father asked of her. Perhaps even though she was not physically fit during Jesus’ time, she still did what she had to do.
When we think of the missionary work of the Columbans in Japan, we must not forget the Trojan work done by the Japanese catechists. Very often they were the right hand Samurais of the trail blazing Columban missionaries. One such lady catechist is Miss Tsuneko Hinata.