Introduction To The Centenary Of The Missionary Society Of St. Columban

The Missionary Society of St. Columban was officially established by the Church authorities in Ireland on June 29, 1918. It was initiated/founded by two Irish diocesan priests - Fr. Edward Galvin and Fr. John Blowick. Fr. Galvin had volunteered to go as a missionary to China. After a couple of years there, he was almost overwhelmed by the need for more missionaries to bring the Good News to the millions of Chinese who had never heard of it. So he went back to Ireland to talk to the many bishops and priests whom he knew.

centennial logo

The Missionary Society of St. Columban was officially established by the Church authorities in Ireland on June 29, 1918.  It was initiated/founded by two Irish diocesan priests - Fr. Edward Galvin and Fr. John Blowick.   Fr. Galvin had volunteered to go as a missionary to China. After a couple of years there, he was almost overwhelmed by the need for more missionaries to bring the Good News to the millions of Chinese who had never heard of it.  So he went back to Ireland to talk to the many bishops and priests whom he knew. He got a very warm and generous response. By 1920 the first group of Columban missionaries was ready to embark for China. Many structures had been set up in Ireland to give the necessary support to the new Society. Almost immediately, Columbans were assigned to the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand where there was a similar warm and generous response.

fr. edward & fr. john

Fr. Edward Galvin and Fr. John Blowick

Founders of the Missionary Society of St. Columban

June 29, 1918

 

During the past 100 years, the Society has expanded into many other countries where we have been given the same warm and generous response.

Our celebration of the Centenary here in the Philippines will be launched officially on November, 23, 2017 (the Feast Day of St. Columban) and conclude on November 23, 2018.

Why do we need to have this celebration? 

First and foremost, it is an occasion to look back over the past 100 years and thank God for all the graces and blessings, challenges and opportunities that God has lavished on us, on the Society. Without His grace and guidance of course, nothing could have been achieved.

Then it is also an occasion to thank the 744 Columbans who gave many years of their lives to share the good news with others before going to their eternal reward. We thank the 381 members who are still laboring in the vineyard of the Lord. We thank all the lay missionaries, past and present, especially the 50 lay missionaries who are still actively engaged in a whole new way of being on mission that has greatly enriched the Society. Finally, but most importantly, we thank all our benefactors and supporters world-wide. Without their help, there would have been no missionaries, there would be no Missionary Society of St. Columban. Our many celebrations during the Centenary Year will highlight in more detail the contribution that God has made and that all these people have made.

 

Pat Baker

Singalong

 

Sept. 4, 2017