Renewing the Church | Sojourners

Renewing the Church

Tragedy struck since the writing of this profile of the Redemptorist Mission Team and the interview with Karl Gaspar, a team member and Sojourners contributing editor. On December 2, 1994, Ranilo Quindao, a Diocesan Mission Team member from Mahayag, was killed at his home as he prepared for a human rights celebration scheduled for the following day.

A member of a "fanatic cult" surrendered to police and confessed to the killing. Cult members are sometimes recruited by military or local government officials to kill people they consider subversives. Before his death, Quindao reportedly had told colleagues that a local government official had a grudge against him because of his "subversive" work with the mission team.

Also, the mission team has since moved from Mahayag to the nearby town of Sominot. Quindao was working with the team in Sominot at the time of his death.-The Editors

Twenty people crowd into a small concrete room with a 5-foot-6-inch high ceiling and gather around a bare wooden table. After praying they begin to pass the vegetables, dried fish, and rice. Soon the room is filled with stories, jokes, and peals of laughter-merriment that continues into the night. Once a week this mission team gathers with their base community for reflection and rest from their assignments in the barrios.

The next morning team members return to work. Some sit at tables reading. Others hover over sheets of brown wrapping paper using magic markers and magazine clippings to create visual aids. By early afternoon, most have headed back out to the barrios.

Some 30 men and women serve on this Redemptorist Mission Team (RMT) in Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur in Mindanao, the big southern island of the Philippines. At a time when Christian social justice advocates around the world are beset by problems of finances, commitment, and direction, this team's itinerant mission work

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 1995
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