Over the course of nearly 100 years, Columban missionaries have been caught up in major wars and insurrections in the countries where we live and serve. Columbans and other missionaries have grappled with the question to go or stay in times of crisis.
St. Columban, a great Irish missionary monk, died in 615 A.D. in Bobbio, Italy. Columban missionaries (who have St. Columban as their patron) have worked in Fiji since 1952.
A few years ago my priest companion in the Columban international seminary in Chicago, Fr. Leo Distor, and I were invited to join a pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Columban.
Thinking back on my life in South Korea, there was the humdrum of daily living along with surprises and the excitement that went with being part of new things happening and those challenges.
I just came from town for a visit with an Indian family and sat down on the very comfortable chair in the mission house.
My name is Louis Ybanez, and I am a Columban seminarian from the Philippines. As a part of my formation to be a missionary priest, I have been assigned for a two year hands-on experience to the Columban parish at the town of Matli, in the arid Sindh province in the south of Pakistan.
Each Monday at 7:00 p.m. in Seoul, Korea, believers come to celebrate the Eucharist in Kwang Hwa Mun Plaza in the center of Seoul. They come to the site where members of the families bereaved in Korea’s worst maritime accident continue their protest demanding justice.
My pilgrimage in – indeed conversion to – interreligious dialogue started even before I learned the phrase interreligious dialogue.
Each one of us will have our own memories of the events that touched and made an impression on us this year. We have experienced the mass movement of refugees fleeing war, poverty and violence seeking a more secure environment which they would hope to call home.