The Passionists Compassion

A holy man's reward

Cover - Compassion MagazineOur cover picture records a colorful ordination to the priesthood in the Philippine Islands, a special ordination. On March 20, 2003 Ferdinand Dulong was ordained at Bolul on the island of Mindanao, the first member of the Bila'an tribe to become a priest.

Less than 40 yards from the spot where the ordination took place, Passionist Father Carl Schmitz, an intrepid fighter for the rights of the Bila'an people, was gunned down under mysterious circumstances in Easter Week, 1988 by a man firing a rifle at him at chose range. Seeking justice can have dangerous consequences.

Yet, pursuing justice brings blessings as well. The tribal people certainly remember his heroism. Seven mission centers, staffed by three Passionist priests, have been built on the mountaintops in a land where only one was before. Filipino Passionists recently began a process that may lead to Father Carl's canonization by the Church--as a martyr for justice. Then, a young priest is ordained a few yards from where his blood was shed. In the sure workings of God's plan, a holy man is always rewarded.

We tell his story in this issue of Compassion, as well as some others. Our world is looking for heroes, and they are there, even now--men and women who have taken up the cause of the poor, to give them their all.

They are there, and our spirits are stirred by their example.

Victor Hoagland, C.P.

Sign of the Passion
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