The year 1964 marked tragedy for the Columbans in some areas.
In March 1964, gunmen murdered Columban Father John Walsh in Burma, and that country’s military junta was beginning the process of expelling foreign missionaries like the Columbans from Burma.
Nonetheless, 1964 did bring some bright spots, in particular the official dedication in April 1964 of the new Columban seminary at Oconomowoc, Wisconsin in the Milwaukee area.
The Columban Fathers had for years debated whether to expand their facility in Milton to construct a junior seminary. However, wishing to expand the Columban presence in the Midwestern U.S., they decided to locate the new seminary in that region instead.
They purchased property in Oconomowoc in April 1961, and construction began in in late 1963. On April 26th, 1964, the Columbans held an open house after the dedication ceremony, and it attracted about 700 guests.
The Columban Fathers had started a presence in another area of the Midwest, and many future Columbans would begin their seminary studies at Oconomowoc.