I wanted to be a missionary in China. A (priest) came to visit our school, and started with a poem from the Columbans. The way he gave it was it was very romantic …
Who has a blade for a splendid cause,
Who has a heart that’s true?
To live and fight for the grandest thing
That man could dream, or singer sing,
Or ever soldier knew?
Fr. Tony Mortell
I was looking for a small mission society, I decided I would respond to the call that I would be a missionary. I decided to look for a mission society, I like that idea that it was small, I feel I would be more comfortable, and strictly mission society,
Fr. Chuck Lintz
I would drop in and talk to (local priest) Fr. Owen Oxenham who was the Director of Catholic Missions. He encouraged me go to the seminary since I told him I was interested in God and the seminary seemed the best place to go. I told him I thought I would like to be a missionary if I was to be a priest; he told me that being a priest was the important thing, being a missionary was a decision I could make later.
I went to the diocesan seminary and it wasn’t long before I knew I was in the wrong place to make a decision about becoming a priest. As I reflect on my confused thoughts then, I think I understood that the diocesan seminary trained priests to run all aspects of a parish. I did not really know what I wanted, but my aspirations were somehow for wider horizons.
By coincidence, or was it the hand of God, a former Columban seminarian arrived at the seminary when I knew I had to move on. He told me about the St. Columban’s Missionary Society and I applied to the Columbans with the permission and help of the local rector.
When I had been at the Columban seminary for a few months, I thought it had the ‘right fit’ for me. What impressed me about the Columbans was their commitment to hospitality. It isn’t a law or a rule but comes from the generosity of our hearts.
Fr. Gary Walker