Wednesday, November 22, 2017

St Columban's Day 2017

Today is the feast of St Columban and 2018 will the centenary year of the foundation of the Missionary Society of St Columban.

To acknowledge the Centenary year I will be hanging  the 2018 Columban Calendar as my calendar of choice in my study. This calendar was the norm in my childhood home along with the Far East magazine. The calendar added classic religious art works to the house decor and the Far East brought the issues of global poverty and development into our suburban world.

In the 1970s I studied with young Columban students with whom I traveled in the Philippines during the tumultuous Marcos regime. Thanks to the Columbans this  experience included my first encounter with Islam and my introduction to the work of Fr Brendan Lovett.

I have been mentored, inspired, challenged and befriended by these men. Some have remained in the community, others have moved on to other life choices.

I want to acknowledge the mentoring and wisdom I learnt from many conversations with the late Cyril Halley. The first Columban my parents befriended was Fr Colin McLean who exchanged letters and news via mail. Today I have several Columban friends connected via social media.

Recently I met up with Columban twins Kevin and Peter O'Neill. Kevin is currently the Superior General of the Columbans residing in Hong Kong and Peter is based in Taiwan fighting for the rights of migrant workers. They get a special mention and picture today because they share their birthday with this great feast day!!!!

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