A sincere "Thank you!"

With your support, Scarboro Missions opens its doors to members of mission societies around the globe who are in Canada to study English and do other studies in preparation for mission

By Fr. Jack Lynch, S.F.M.
April 2006

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"Partners in mission." This phrase may sound folksy or perhaps it sounds like a line from an old Western movie. The truth is that the words reflect a reality for which we at Scarboro Missions are very conscious and grateful: we are unable to do what we do without your help and support. Our benefactors are our "partners in mission" in our work and ministries here in Canada and overseas.

L-R: Fr. Guillermo Soto of the Missionaries of Guadalupe, Mexico; Fr. Yukitoshi Ichioka from the Diocese of Yokohama, Japan; Scarboro missioner Fr. John Carten; seminarian Alex Rodriguez also of the Guadalupe Missionaries; and Fr. Emmanuel Mbam of St. Paul's Missionary Society, Nigeria.

L-R: Fr. Guillermo Soto of the Missionaries of Guadalupe, Mexico; Fr. Yukitoshi Ichioka from the Diocese of Yokohama, Japan; Scarboro missioner Fr. John Carten; seminarian Alex Rodriguez also of the Guadalupe Missionaries; and Fr. Emmanuel Mbam of St. Paul's Missionary Society, Nigeria.

I want to express to all of you, our benefactors – our partners in mission – our profound gratitude for your generosity and support. I also want you to know about a program that we run here at Scarboro, one that your support helps make possible.

Besides the formation of Scarboro candidates for mission, we are also engaged in a collaborative effort with other mission societies from around the globe. The priests and seminarians mentioned in this article are in residence with us at our headquarters in Scarborough, Ontario, and are being supported by you as part of a continuing preparation and collaboration for mission.

At present we have four priests from the Yarumal Missionary Society of Colombia studying English in preparation for mission in Asia. Two of them will be working in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and the other two in Cambodia. The latter were here previously for initial studies and were ordained this past November. After a refresher program of three months, they will return to Cambodia in May.

From the missionary Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico we presently have one priest and two seminarians. Fr. Guillermo Soto will join others of his community in Hong Kong in late spring of this year. Albert Puente Colunga and Alex Rodriguez will complete one year of English language study and then go to their assigned mission in Korea. There they will spend two years studying the language and then complete three more years of theology in a seminary with Korean diocesan seminarians.

I am very happy to be at Scarboro. The priests here have much experience as missionaries. I can learn from them. I am also happy to learn a new language for this will become a tool for my mission to spread the Gospel to my brothers and sisters.

Seminarian Alex Rodriguez of the missionary Society of
Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico, preparing for mission in Korea.

Scarboro Missions is very special for me. The culture here in this mission community is diverse. I feel very welcomed because the Scarboro community is familiar with many cultures. And I am glad to be in Toronto, too, with its multicultural environment.

Fr. Yukitoshi Ichioka ("Fr. Icci") from the Diocese of Yokohama, Japan.

Fr. Emmanuel Mbam is a priest of St. Paul's Missionary Society of Nigeria. He is doing postgraduate studies at the Toronto School of Theology. Scarboro Missions' commitment with St. Paul's is to help with the preparation of a priest who will be working in formation in their seminary in Nigeria. Emmanuel is doing a Doctorate in Systematic Theology.

Fr. Matthew An and Fr. Stephen Kim are two newly ordained priests of the Korean Foreign Mission Society. Fr. Matthew has been assigned to Siberia in Northeastern Russia. Fr. Stephen will be working in Cambodia with two other Korean Mission priests and with the Maryknoll missioners. The primary reason that they must have a command of English is that the courses in Russia and Khmer in Cambodia are only given in English.

Fr. Yukitochi Ichioka is a diocesan priest from Yokohama, Japan. For many years Scarboro Missions collaborated in the building up of the local church in Japan. A few years ago we informed some Japanese bishops of our willingness to continue to collaborate in new ways. Fr. "Icci", as he is known to us, is doing a post graduate degree in Spirituality at Regis College, University of Toronto, and will live in residence with us for two years.

Over the past number of years, your support has contributed to the ongoing formation of priests and future priests. Some of the others helped by this program who have been with us in the last two years are presently in their new ministries.

Being at Scarboro Missions is a good experience not only to learn English, but to live in the Scarboro community and learn other ways to be a missionary from the Scarboro missioners.

Fr. Guillermo Soto of the Missionary Society of
Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico, missioned to Hong Kong.

This is my first experience of living outside of Mexico and I am happy to be at Scarboro Missions. I am enjoying this wonderful experience.

Seminarian Alberto Puente Colonga also of the
Guadalupe Missionaries, preparing for mission in Korea.

Fr. Martin Kim and Fr. Hyo Jung of the Korean Mission Society are in Mozambique, Africa. Fr. Yu Sung is presently a member of the seminary staff and Fr. Andrew is in Cambodia.

Fr. John Ruiz and Fr. Willan Rojano will be ordained to the priesthood in April and return to work among the Masai people in Kenya.

Three seminarians of the Guadalupe Missionaries of Mexico who were with us last year are continuing language studies for their future work. Nicolas Rangel is in Hong Kong studying Cantonese while Enrique Guttierez and Jorge Macias are presently in Tokyo in a two year program to learn Japanese.

Finally, I can assure you that each and every Scarboro missioner has a commitment to express our gratitude to God for you and your support. Each and every day that we celebrate the morning Eucharist in our chapel, you and your intentions are brought to Mass, to the Table of the Lord. We thank God for you and we thank God for the blessings that we receive from every benefactor and partner in mission. Thanks from the depths of our hearts.

Our special thanks to the lay mission candidates now in Scarboro's mission preparation program for their assistance in gathering the quotes found in this article.

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