Ah Philippines

I've just returned from a month in the Philippines. My primary purpose was to give three retreats to the Divine Word Missionaries who are working thoughout the many islands of the country. I first traveled north of Manila to the town of Bagio. I was surprised to find that this mountain town was chilly most of the time. I had expected nothing but perspiration and humidity. The climate was delightful. I spoke to 72 missionaries for five days. What an honor and what a joy.

Then I traveled south of Manila to the town of Tagaytay. This picturesque city is placed on the edge of a volcano lake. The view was breathtaking. At the retreat center I spoke to 62 missionaries for five days. This place is the major seminary of Divine Word Missionaries working in the Philippines. It is a center for other communities.

During the third week a crew from our studio flew to Manila to tape a series of programs on the work of two Divine Word Missionaries who are working with the people living on and around the garbage dump of Manila. Ah, the pain of the poverty and suffering of people who are living with so much less than we. I know you will be touched by the programs. My fond hope is that we'll be able to gather much financial support to help these hurting people.

The fourth and final week in the Philippines was on the island of Cebu. This is an hour's plane ride south of Manila. Divine Word Missionaries conduct a university in this town called San Carlos. There are about 20,000 students. My retreat was with 35 men this time.

Some of my strong impressions are 1. the deep spirituality of the Filippino people. 2. they have a strong bond of family 3. there is great poverty which seems to be due to poor government administration. 4, Because of the poor economic conditions in the country, millions have sought work in other countries. In many ways, these Catholics are one of the most effective missionary forces in places in the Mid-East, Europe and Asia.

I left the islands with a reluctance. The work of the missionaries is very admirable. The people are loving and kind. Ah, yes, and the food is delicious.

Join me in prayer for God's blessing on the Filippino people.

1 comment:

Fr. Roberto Mena, S.T. said...

Grace and peace. I admire you. I also work in Radio and TV in Spanish through El SEmbrador Ministries. The other day I was watching one of your programs. You were interviewing someone talking about the church and you gave a website. It was something about "Coming Back to the Church".
I keep you in my prayers. I also have a Blog in Spansih in parishworld.
Your friend: FR. Roberto Mena, S.T.