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Making a difference

Making a difference

Mabuhay! I was introduced to Dorothy Day (1897-1980) in the early 1980s after reading her autobiography \"The Long Loneliness,\" and through the Catholic Worker Newspaper and Center in New York City. (The Catholic Worker Movement, founded by Day and Peter Maurin in 1933, is grounded in a firm belief in the God-given dignity of every human person. Today, over 185 Catholic worker communities remain committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and forsaken. Catholic workers continue to protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms.)

Day said, \"What we do is very little, but it is like the little boy with a few loaves and fishes. (John 6:9-14) Christ took that little and increased it. He will do the rest. What we do is so little we may seem to be constantly failing. But so did He fail.

He met with apparent failure on the Cross. But unless the seed fall into the earth and die, there is no harvest. And why must we see the results? Our work is to sow. Another generation will be reaping the harvest.\"

Migrants who spend their time serving their fellow workers as church volunteers, NGO organizers, friends, and companions are taking Jesus and Dorothy Day\'s encouragement to heart. In their own \"little way,\" they are making a difference in people\'s lives, and giving hope to those who are struggling.

I would like to cite two examples in this column.

The Family Life Group of St. Christopher\'s Church is comprised of migrants and immigrants who are helping their fellow Filipinos adjust to Taiwan life. FLG also encourages couples to renew their marriage vows every year. This group reaches out to migrants who are beset with family-related problems.

Starting this month and well into 2006, FLG will be offering a series of workshops focusing on issues facing itinerant workers. The first seminar, centering on \"Pamilya Ko, Problema Ko, Magtulungan Tayo\" (Understanding and Resolving Family Issues), will be held on November 27 at St. Christopher\'s Church. The workshop is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

FLG is planning on bringing this program to other parts of Taiwan next year.

The people behind the Ugnayan-Migrant and Immigrant Center in Tantzu, Taichung County are also making a difference. On December 16, they will be holding their Simbang Gabi Novena.

Ugnayan started with a makeshift altar in a restaurant and bodega (warehouse) less than a year ago. It has since flourished into a full-time migrant ministry. On October 30, Ugnayan was inaugurated, making it the first migrant center in Taiwan that is being managed and financed by migrants. Their dream of having a place of their own is now a reality.

In the gospel today, the Lord encourages us to invest our talent wisely. The FLG in St. Christopher\'s Church and Ugnayan in Tantzu have proven that if we use our talents and resources wisely, we can make a difference. What we do may be very little, but together with Christ, that will multiply and grow a thousand times.

I would also like to share with you a text inquiry that I received from a migrant last week. Here it is:

\"Ask ko lang kung paano ko ba uumpisahang isipin ang pagpapatawad? Alin ang mas mali? Ang magtanim o magkimkim ng sama ng loob?\" (How can I convince myself that it\'s time to forgive? Which is worse? To harbor or nurture a resentment?)

Just do it. Forgive. Action speaks louder than words. As Jesus said, \"Leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother and sister, and then come and present your offering.\"

Concerning your second question, magtanim (nurture) or magkimkim (harbor) ng sama ng loob (resentment or grudge) are one and the same. Learn to let go, forgive, and you will have peace of mind.

Reverend Joy Tajonera is a Kabayan guest columnist. You may contact Father Joy by sending him a text message at 0930-44-6060, emailing him at, or writing him at Chilin Road, Lane 14, No. 3, Taipei 104.

Updated : 2021-10-26 23:09 GMT+08:00