Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, May 5, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Local
2/11/2013 3:10:00 PM
Jesuit shares stories of love, sadness from African refugee camps
Photo contributed by Fr. Gary Smith
Fr. Smith sits with a refugee family.
Photo contributed by Fr. Gary Smith
Fr. Smith sits with a refugee family.
On Monday, Feb. 25, Jesuit Father Bob Grimm will share about his experiences visiting Jesuit missions throughout Asia, including India, Cambodia and China. Jesuits are establishing parishes and spirituality centers and partnering with locals to provide education and social services to some of the world’s most economically vulnerable people. In many Asian countries, however, Christians are a very small minority of the population, and Jesuits face several interesting challenges to collaboration.  The presentation will be at the Loyola Jesuit Center at 3220 SE 43rd St., in the Center Maria della Strada Conference Room.

The talk, which is sponsored by the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, is free and open to the public. For more information, call 503-221-2313.

Clarice Keating
Of the Catholic Sentinel

A question that closed the lecture gave Jesuit Father Gary Smith pause: “Did you learn anything about God [while you were in Africa] that surprised you?”  

Father Smith, who spent the past decade working in refugee camps in Uganda, South Africa and Kenya, shared reflections of his work to a standing-room only crowd on Feb. 4. He was the first speaker of a “Jesuit Ministries Around the World” lecture and discussion series, sharing stories and photos of his years working with the Jesuit Refugee Services.

After a moment of thought, he answered the question.  

“There were moments when I was very lonely and discouraged,” the priest said. “But even in my darkest moments, it felt like God was very near.”

He also experience joy like he’d never known; when you’re so deprived of creature comforts, he said, love and laughter become more pronounced.

During the lecture, Father Smith shared slides of photos of friends and people he met during his time in the refugee camps.  During his time in Africa, he trained catechists and celebrated Masses under the trees in areas without chapels. He ran small Christian groups, where people could discuss passages of the scripture.

He offered counseling and training to the people who would run the refugee camps.

In 2009, Father Smith celebrated 50 years as a Jesuit, serving the poor. He ministered for eight years in the Old Town section of Portland.

During Father Smith’s work in Africa there were scary times, such as encounters with the Lord’s Resistance Army. The violent rebel group led by Joseph Kony abducts Ugandan children and has brutally attacked thousands of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and the Central Africa Republic. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

At times, bouts of malaria wreaked havoc on Father Smith’s body and mind.

He also spoke of remarkable encounters — witnessing the birth of a baby girl. The priest (the only one in the village with a vehicle) and midwife couldn’t get the mother to the far-away clinic in time, so the baby was delivered on the side of the road.  The mother, Mary, cradled her newborn, and asked Father Gary: “What’s the name of your mother?” “Eunice,” he said. That would be the baby’s name, too.    

There was an 11-year-old girl who had lived her entire life with a face deformed by a cleft lip, a birth defect common with malnourished mothers. Father Smith arranged the simple surgery for the girl, and afterward the mother was so overjoyed she repeated, over and over, “It’s a miracle.” He gave the little girl a mirror and watched as she gazed at her new face during the long drive back to their village. “When we got back to the village, it was like we were astronauts coming back from the moon,” he said.

“I thought at that point, I was meant to be there at that time.”  The love he felt for that mother and daughter was the Holy Spirit flowing through him, he said.

“Forever now, I have the inner icons of refugees,” Father Smith said. “I can pull up their faces and their names.”

The Spirit works in all cultures, the priest said, and the Church discovers who she is in the presence of the poor.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved