My first experience of engaging in pastoral ministry in Japan was at a residential center, run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, for adults who had various physical and intellectual disabilities. Having had no previous experience in this field, I was very anxious about this place of assignment. My unease was intensified by the fact that I was keenly aware of my own inability to communicate well in Japanese. I feared greatly that this initial experiment in ministry would be stressful, dissatisfying and might possibly end in failure. However, summoning all my courage and determination, I headed to the center on the appointed day.
My initial shock was even greater than what I had anticipated! I was dumbstruck at finding that the residents were welcoming, spontaneous and joyful. I was in disbelief at how eagerly they included me in their arts and crafts activities. My feelings of being awkward and helpless quickly melted away as they remained attentive to my presence, and included me in everything that happened throughout …
The Holy Spirit is with all of us in our humdrum everyday doings, writes Columban Father Barry Cairns.
In 1937, Columban Father Edward J. McCarthy became concerned with the rise of anti-Catholic political and theological sentiments in the Philippines. Father McCarthy then led the formation of Student Catholic Action (SCA), an organization to promote Catholicism among young Filipinos, especially college students …
Let your mercy flow down over me, Lord cascading as fresh as a mountain stream to bring me new hope, new life. Lord of mercy, wash me clean. Lord of compassion, give me fresh life …