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. The ordaining Fijian Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, during his homily, was fulsome in his praise of the Society's cutting edge work – in the Pacific and globally – in the areas of justice, ecology and interreligious dialogue.
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. Monsignor Patrick Brennan was the superior, a big humorous man and a natural leader. Born in Chicago in 1901, he had originally been a Chicago diocesan priest until he joined the Columbans and came to Korea in 1937. Fr.
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. Through prayer, God lead me to where I am now, a Columban lay missionary, living in Taiwan, and working in the migrant ministry to witness and experience God's love.
"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. This is a true love story, played out against the background of Columban mission, and one in which I am proud to have played a "bit" part.
As we celebrate the Columban Mission Society's centennial, Columban lay missionary Haiti Muller refl ects on her journey in the prison ministry where she gets inspiration from the work of Columban Fr. Francis Chapman.
Where there is heart there is love; where there is love there is joy; where there is joy there is God.
In mid-January 2018, I spent a few days with our Columban missionaries in the parish of Badin, Pakistan, before attending a meeting of our Columban missionaries living and working in Pakistan. Badin is in the interior Sindh Province and is served by Columban Frs. Tony Cavanagh and Dan O'Connor. The Sunday liturgy reminded me much of Masses I myself said over many years in Fiji.
Pat Visanti was born and raised a Methodist on the island of Rotuma. Rotuma is both an island and a nation. It is about 400 miles north of Fiji and, even though ethnically and linguistically different from Fiji, was made part of Fiji during the colonial period. When Pat was twelve, his mother along with Pat and his brother and sister joined their father as Catholics. Pat finished his schooling in Suva, Fiji, and then joined the bank.
Life begins at forty! That's what Fr. Tony Coney was about to discover as his plane touched down in Lima. As a newly ordained Columban priest he had said goodbye to his family and friends in Ireland and had traveled to Peru to begin his mission there on his fortieth birthday.
As a dedicated altar boy, this was a way of life Tony might have imagined for himself when he was ten years old, but by the time he had turned twenty, it no longer seemed even a remote possibility. By then, he had given up all religious practice, had no regular employment due to his failure to complete his …