When Fr. Sean McDonagh, who taught at the University of Mindanao in the Philippines, joined one of his students on a research project among the T'boli tribe during the summer of 1978, he could not have imagined what a life-changing experience lay ahead of him.
The last time I crossed a body of water on a boat at night was on my first mission assignment in the Fiji Islands. On one night I had to return to the mainland of Vanua Levu from Rabi Island. I told the priest maybe I could return to the mainland the next morning.
It started out like any other normal evening meal in the formation house in Fiji when we were informed we will be going to Peru for our FMA (First Mission Assignment). Two days after our arrival in Lima, Tex and I were called to a meeting with our FMA Director where he outlined the program.
If you are from a very poor family living in a remote village with no electricity, no running water and poor transportation, you might feel depressed and feel the world is unfair. You would be right to think this way.
Losana Ve'ehala of Tonga passed away unexpectedly at the Columban lay missionary house in Suva, Fiji, on Sunday, December 10, 2017. Tongan Fr. Taukei, in his homily at the house, asked us "Why did she die in Suva, why did she die with the Columbans?"
It was a personal joy for me to attend the ordination of Pat Roland Visanti in Suva on St. Columban's Day 2017. It coincided with the opening of the Society's Centennial Year.
Sanjeong Dong in Mokpo was both a parish and also the headquarters of the Columban mission in the southwest province of Chollanamdo in Korea in the 1940s. The pastor was Columban Fr. Tom Cusack and his assistant Columban Fr. John O'Brien.
God calls us in unique and different ways. Before I became a Columban lay missionary, I was happy working in my diocese for nine years. But somehow, I had this feeling that God was calling me for something more.
"When I left Peru to go to the Philippines, I wondered what I'd find there," observed Marisol Rojas, a former Columban Lay Missionary. Perhaps the last thing she expected to fi nd was a husband.