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100 Points of Light - 1931


The Missionary Society of Saint Columban originated in Ireland and the Hibernian influence on the Columbans remained strong. Nonetheless, countries such as Australia and the U.S. were also important parts of the Columban organization.

In 1931, a newly-ordained Columban, Father Patrick A. Gately departed for his first mission assignment in China. The Brooklyn-born Father Gately was noteworthy because he was the first Columban student from the U.S.A., having entered the Columban seminary at Bellevue, Nebraska on July 2, 1921.

Somewhat ironically, Father Gately was actually ordained in Ireland at Dalgan Park in Galway in December 1930.

He served in China, specifically Shanghai and Nancheng, from 1931 to 1950, when the new communist regime of China expelled him from the country. For the rest of his career, Father Gately did promotional, pastoral, and chaplain work in his native U.S.A., including in Los Angeles.

He died in April 1986 in his 80s. Father Gately was a groundbreaker, even if he did not intend to be.

His example paved the way for many more Columban vocations from the U.S.A.

Columban Fr. Patrick Gately

About us

Columban logoThe Columbans are a society of missionaries, including priests and lay people, who minister to people of various cultures as a way of witnessing to the universal love of God.

We go in the name of the Church to announce, by deed and word, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Quick Contact

Missionary Society of St. Columban
P.O. Box 10
St, Columbans, NE 68056
Phone: 877-299-1920
Fax: 402-291-4984