April 2, 2018

For Father Donal

Eyes clenched,
I conjure your grave,
White above Boyne grasses,
Stone processing
Like acolytes.
All questions buried,

I greet you
On a winter weekend
In Omaha, 
Carrying sweets for my children.
And we talk,
As if words were already memories.

Then abruptly,
Another day,
You tell me you are leaving.
For the Philippines.
And I think,
Never love a missionary:
They belong nowhere.

An Excerpt from a Missionary Diary

April 2, 2018

Last night Fr. Theo and I decided to visit separate Indo-Fijian families in the same settlement about five miles from town. We borrowed the parish van. I dropped him off at the family which was hosting the mandali (prayer meeting), promising to pick him up later that night. I drove about a mile further and climbed a steep

Journalists Risk Death for the Truth

March 1, 2018

Journalists, writers, reporters, commentators will just have to curb their passion for speaking and exposing the truth if they want to continue to live. Too many end up a corpse in a cold dark morgue, silence their only companion. That is just the way it is in the Philippines and elsewhere. More than 146 journalists have been assassinated since 1986.

Who Can Really See?

March 1, 2018

Archbishop Petero Mataca confirmed about 50 young people at Nabala (Fiji) today. As part of the preparation we priests had invited Beniamino, a blind dau ni vucu (composer) from Bua Vou Village to teach a meke (group dance). He stayed with us for about six weeks. I noticed that each time he

The Piglet that Wouldn't Grow

February 1, 2018

I did a funeral in a small village near Dogoru a few months ago. The villagers very generously offered me some mats, dalo (an edible root similar to taro) and a live piglet. The mats could be sold for the parish and the priests and sisters could eat the dalo but what to do with the piglet? One of the catechists volunteered to take it home and fatten it up for me. About three months later he told me that, no matter what he did, the piglet wasn’t growing and I had better take it and sell it. I asked him what price I should ask. He said that $60.00 would be about right.


February 1, 2018

You snubbed me and the others laughed.
You were right in what you said
But were wrong in the sneering way you said it
And smoothly packaged it in an oily smile.   
You hypocrite.

Anger rolled through me
Like a powerful sea-wave,
Drowning the cutting remark
I wanted to make.

All I could manage was the dirty look
And the curse word
I muttered under my breath.
Later the words:
“Forgive and you shall be forgiven,”
Came to mind.


January 2, 2018

In the middle of the night, with the wedding guests gathered around, the groom is led to a specially-prepared canopy. There, he is seated, facing north. A short time later, his bride is led in and is seated next to him. This is their first moment together during the wedding ceremony and they spend it gazing silently at the Pole Star. As they do so, they cherish the hope that their commitment to one another as husband and wife might be as steadfast as that star.

I Was Ready for Battle

January 2, 2018

There was a frantic voice at the end of the phone.  “Fr. Peter our Filipino friend Genalyn is sick in hospital and our Taiwan broker is going to send her back to the Philippines this afternoon.  Can you please come to the hospital to help her.”  I asked Sr. Joyce, our Hsinchu diocese migrant center’s Filipino pastoral coordinator to come with me. 

Sharing Gospel Joy

January 2, 2018

It is with much joy and heartfelt gratitude that I, on behalf of Columban missionaries and co-workers invite you, our benefactors, your families and friends, and the people among whom we live and serve, to join us in our Centennial Year celebrations which commenced on November 23, 2017, on the Feast of St. Columban.


About us

Columban logoThe Columbans are a society of missionaries, including priests and lay people, who minister to people of various cultures as a way of witnessing to the universal love of God.

We go in the name of the Church to announce, by deed and word, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Quick Contact

Missionary Society of St. Columban
P.O. Box 10
St, Columbans, NE 68056
Phone: 877-299-1920
Fax: 402-291-4984