September/ October 2017 Far East Out Now

1st September 2017 - by Katie Fitzpatrick

In the latest edition of the Far East Fr Shay Cullen highlights how child brides are used as a cover for cultural paedophilia, the Subanen craft project unveil their latest hand crafted Christmas card design, and Fr Tomas King recalls his last good-bye to a one week old baby girl.

In the article ‘Child Brides’ Fr Shay Cullen questions why cultural and religious practices can be used to give a ‘respectable’ veneer to paedophilic marriages between adult men and child brides. The so called ‘marriage’ is a cover in an attempt to justify child sex and is used by offenders as a way around the penalties of the laws that forbid it. According to UNICEF as many as 700 million women today have been forced into a marriage agreement when they were young girls. They were sexually used by male adults many years older than them. Fr Shay Cullen continues to campaign for the rights of these young vulnerable children. 

Fr Tomas King marks 25 years as a missionary in Pakistan. He ministered to the Parkari Kohli tribal people, pictured right, who are among the poorest and most marginalised people in Pakistan. He marvels at how he was able to find glimmers of light in the most unexpected moments, one being the funeral of a one week old baby girl, where he was able to discover the mystery of suffering and love. Sadly the lack of healthcare services in the area means there is a high infant mortality rate. 

We are introduced to an important craft project honouring the Subanen Culture and alleviating financial difficulties. Evangelyn Gawason explains how the Subanen craft project has helped her keep her siblings in school and alleviate her family’s financial difficulties. The Subanens are indigenous people whose ancestral homeland covers most of the mountainous Zamboanga Peninsula in the Philippines. The project was established by Columban missionary Fr Vincent Busch in 2001 with the help of the Columban Sisters who have been working with the Subanen people since 1984. The establishment of pre-schools with Subanen speaking teachers has been an important aspect in keeping their culture and traditions alive, whilst preparing the children for school. The Subanen crafters have worked with the teachers to create learning materials to introduce the children to numbers, letters, colours and shapes. If you wish to purchase some of the Subanen’s craft work please refer to page 11 of the Far East magazine for details on how to order the Subanen Christmas Cards or contact us by email

Sept Cover 2017

We invite you to share your Columban story as we celebrate 100 years of Columban mission in 2018. Join us as we begin our celebrations with a Mass of Thanksgiving held on Saturday 25th November 2017 at St Catherine of Siena, Birmingham. To book your place contact

You can download a sample of the latest issue of the Far East Magazine here:

  September October 2017 Sample (5.6 MiB, 66 hits)

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