The Columban Companions in Mission program was born in 1990, when Sister Rosalie Callen of the Order of Saint Joseph of Carondelet was attending a religious conference in California.
There she met Columban Father James J. O’Brien and Columban lay employee Sylvia Thompson who were running the Columban Mission Education Program.
The three of them came up with the idea of starting the Columban Companions in Mission, to invite lay people associated with the Columbans to help Mission Education.
Every Labor Day weekend, the Companions would meet at the Columban U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, Neb., to plan activities for the year.
Throughout the years, the Companions have appeared at various archdioceses, religious conferences, schools and other venues. They have educated audiences about Columban history, the role of missions in the modern world, and other subjects related to the Columbans, illustrating the growing role of lay people in the Society’s mission.