You travel a long way from the United States of America to reach Australia which is accurately described as "Down Under." New Zealand is also "Down Under," a little bit further down to the south and east.
Miss Evelyn used to stand on the side of the Long Hill road near the junction. She waited for a lift to Mass each Sunday morning. To get there she had to climb down a steep incline, walk across the unused rail track and clamber a few more yards before she reached the road.
When the last group of Columban missionaries left Myanmar in 1979, they did so with heavy hearts.
"Remember your last end," scripture admonishes us. Yet it seems that few people do, or maybe they remember when they attend a funeral or hear of a friend's death.
It was a hot, sunny day in February when we four seminarians and four lay people from the Columban Mission Collaborators (CMC) set out to prepare for a month of mission in the north of Lima, Peru.
After 34 years of missionary work in Pakistan, I came to Rome at the end of 2011 to serve as the procurator-general of the Missionary Society of St. Columban.
The Columban Fathers' house in Bristol, Rhode Island, was a seminary for many years, but in the 1960's there were a few vacant priest rooms and a few retired Columbans moved in.
As people flee their homelands in massive numbers all around the world, Columbans support their local churches wherever they are, as they respond generously and warmly to newcomers and strangers. It is a stated priority for all Columban priests and lay missionaries.
As we look back on 100 years of Columban mission worldwide, here in Britain we give thanks to God for all the gifts and challenges which have been showered on us.
In my eleven years of ministering to the Atayal people of Miaoli County in Taiwan, I've listened to numerous stories about how God makes His presence felt in the lives of others. One story that touched me and left a deep impression in me is that of Yada Umon.