In the March 1982 issue of the newsletter Columban Intercom, a groundbreaking article by Columban Father Sean J. Coyle appeared.
This article, titled “Accepting Society Members from Mission Regions,” challenged the unwritten tradition of ordaining only seminarians from English-speaking nations such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Father Coyle addressed questions of subtle racism, seminarian numbers in various countries, ethnocentrism and other topics. He also recommended that the Columbans permit acceptance of applicants who come from the various Columban mission nations.
Later in 1982, the Columban General Assembly took up this matter. Society representatives from around the world made the decision to officially welcome and develop vocations from countries where Columban missionaries live and minister.
Since this decision in 1982, the Columbans have ordained seminarians from Chile, Korea, Fiji, Peru, the Philippines, Tonga and other areas where the Columbans maintain missions.
Lay missionaries from these countries have also blessed the Columban missions. Not only had Columban mission become international, but so too had the Columbans themselves.