Where God Leads

From the Director

By Fr. Tim Mulroy

As a teenager Ned Galvin enjoyed seeking out adventure with his friends. During one of their hunting escapades, he threw a lasso over a neighbor's cat that was darting across a roof and pulled him to the ground. Immediately, a few excited dogs that were eager to share in the adventure tore the cat to shreds.

Such a teenage prank would never have made it into the news had it not been for the fact that the cat was the precious pet of the local priest, Fr. O'Connor. He was deeply upset and took legal proceedings against Ned and his companions. The outcome was that Ned's father had to pay a fi ne, while the three teenagers endured shame and disgrace in their local community and at school.

Up until that time Ned was considered an average student. However, as a consequence of the anxiety and stress that resulted from the above incident, he failed his exams and had to repeat that academic year. Worse still, the disgrace and failure threatened to derail his cherished dream to become a priest. However, much to his relief, after completing high school his seminary application was accepted and, several years later, he was ordained a priest for his home diocese.

As you refl ect on the twists and turns of your life, where is God leading you?

Fr. Ned Galvin had always assumed that he would spend his life ministering in parishes close to home and near to his family in Ireland. However, that year, for the fi rst time ever, there was no vacancy for newly ordained priests in any of the local churches. As a consequence, his bishop sent him to help in a parish in Brooklyn, New York, with the understanding that he would return a few years later.

One evening in New York he happened to meet Fr. John Fraser, who had just returned from China. His stories about the missionary challenges in that vast and far-off country touched Fr. Ned Galvin's heart. During the following weeks as he pondered those stories, he felt God calling him not to return home, but rather to become a missionary priest in China.

Fr. Ned Galvin dedicated the remainder of his life to mission in China and became the fi rst bishop of Hanyang diocese. Not only that, as one of the founders of the Missionary Society of St. Columban, he inspired countless other men and women to follow in his footsteps by becoming missionaries around the world.

A teenage prank, exam failure, migration, and a random meeting in a foreign city became the mysterious strands that God wove together in Bishop Galvin's vocation story. As you refl ect on the twists and turns of your life, where is God leading you?


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
email: mission@columban.org