Fr Nico Schipper is a Mill Hill missionary in the diocese of Hyderabad, South-East Pakistan. He lives and works among the marginalised poor, those who are ranked lowest in the Hindu caste system. Even though Pakistan is an overwhelmingly Muslim country the Hindu caste mentality still largely governs social stratification. Most Christians belong to the lowest ranking category in the Hindu caste system. They are considered to be unclean and inferior. Traditionally more than 90% of these Christians find employment in the lowliest of occupations, as sweepers and cleaners of toilets, sewage etc. They are ranked at the very bottom of the social scale. Fortunately, through improved schooling, quite a number of Christians have found more dignified work. But the type of work you do has no influence on the social pecking order.
Francis Hannaway, Mill Hill Lay Associate, travelled with Fr Stan Bondoko MHM on the river from Basankusu, where they work, to Mbandaka, to fly to Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The increasing decline of the country’s infrastructure has led to this being the only way to travel to the capital city. Things did not go according to plan.
Today on the last sunday of October - the Mission Month -
This year Mission Sunday will be celebrated on 23rd October.
A review (in Thinkingfaith) of a recent play by the American writer Aldyth Morris on the life and amazing self-sacrifice of St Damien de Veuster who in his native Belgium was voted 'most eminent Belgian of all time'. Damien is commemorated in the Church calendar on 11th October.
Missio's APF and the Mill Hill Missionaries present:
Renewed Mission in South Africa Today
A musical inspired by the life and violent death in the year 2000 of Fr John Kaiser mhm (Kenya)
Well, I am on my way to Kraków. I have decided to travel with a rucksack. I don't know what to expect but Patrick from Germany, an 18 year old of Polish descent, whom I met in Kampala last year during the Papal visit, assures me me that his Polish people are going to look after us very well. No I do not need to bring a sleeping bag. No I will not have to pay for my stay. He will meet me at the airport and drive me to his friends. From a religious sister I have heard we will sleep in a field one night and do a twenty mile walk on another day! Well I am in trim for walking having been preparing for the past six months for my trip to Compostela on foot in October. I have a minute groundsheet tucked away in my rucksack in case I have to sleep out one night. I am happy to learn that the weather at the moment is very warm there.
Every four years, ever since 1983, Fr Francis Baartmans mhm and the Benares Foundation organise an 'India Day'. The 8th edition of this event took place on June 18th in St Jozefhuis, Oosterbeek and brought together some 125 participants, most of whom have a personal connection through voluntary service with the work of Fr Francis among the Dalits in the Hindu Holy City of Varanasi, India, on the banks of the Ganges.