25 October 2009

24 October, Day 13. Update on kidnapped Fr Michael Sinnott

From Fr Patrick O'Donoghue, Columban Superior in the Philippines'
Saturday 24 October, 11:15pm Philippine time, 3:15pm GMT,

Mabaet Beach, Pagadian City

Today was Prayer Rally Day and I attach my own account of it (separate post). In other respects it was a quiet day as there was little fresh news on Father Mick’s situation. It continues to worry me that we seem to have no communication from those holding him telling us what they are looking for. Maybe they are communicating with others and we don’t know.

I put Father Mick’s photo (the one we have placed with the candle in the window) in the Chapel during Mass this morning. It was a different kind of ‘concelebration’. I had this sense of Father Mick, as other Columbans have done when deprived of the Eucharist during their captivity, praying the prayers of the Mass wherever he is. And I wanted to unite him with me in the Mass in ‘his’ chapel here in the house. As if he were then telling me something, I saw the list where he records the dates on which he changes the Blessed Sacrament. I was a day late! But I did change the Blessed Sacrament.

It was after midday when I got back from the rally and I felt tired. I rested – the heavy rain lulling me into sleep. I had two calls from the Irish press looking for updates. I also had a call from a researcher on the ‘Marian Finnucane’ program on RTE Radio (Ireland) asking if I would go on the program. I agreed. I had hoped to be able to say more about the rally here but Father Mick’s situation was what dominated. Marian asked me straight out if I was convinced that he was alive and I said ‘yes, I am convinced’ (interview starts 1 hour and 31 minutes into the clip). And I am. But as the days go on I wonder how much longer his health can hold up. That is the question without answers that we all have to live with for now.

Fr Jim McCauley, a Maryknoll Missioner, phoned me tonight to say that during the ordinations today in Ipil, the bishop prayed for Father Mick and also read out the statement of the Bishops’ Conference that I attached last night (posted yesterday). I will leave other messages of support for tomorrow as it is already late.

And so, as Father Mick enters his 14th night of captivity, may God’s strength be his.

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