Pope Francis has congratulated the Missionary Society of St. Columban on its 100th anniversary and extended his good wishes to all members of the Society. The Pope also imparted his Apostolic Blessing "as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord Jesus."
In a letter from the Vatican Secretary of State's Office, Archbishop Angelo Becciu wrote: "As you celebrate this important moment in the history of the Institute, the Holy Father assures you of his spiritual closeness and prayers. He encourages all of you to see in this anniversary celebration an opportunity not only to reflect on the great good accomplished in the past years, but to deepen your commitment to finding new ways of bringing the newness of the Gospel to every culture and people. In this way, the members of the Society will continue to contribute to the spread of the Good News, 'not only with words, but above all by lives transfigured by God's presence.
"With gratitude for the tireless efforts of the Columban Missionaries, past and present, in the areas of justice, peace and care for the earth, Pope Francis entrusts you and your confreres to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and he gladly imparts his Apostolic Blessing, as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord Jesus."