Hong Kong


By Beth Sabado

When Beth Sabado moved to Hong Kong in 2012 as the Coordinator of the Columban Lay Missionary Central Leadership Team, she joined an ecumenical radio ministry recording some reflections for a radio program, which she continues to participate in up to present. This article will soon be broadcasted in Hong Kong this August 2018. Beth is currently the Coordinator of Columban Lay Mission–Philippines based in Cubao, Quezon City.

The author in Taiwan, 2011

When I was young, I had my life all planned. My childhood blue print included school graduations, finding a stable career, how much money to save, to own a house, buy cars, when to settle down, number of kids to raise with their possible names, where to reside, where to retire, what to do during retirement and a lot more dreams.

By Their Sickbeds

By Louland Escabusa, cicm

The author, from Pilar, Bohol, is a seminarian of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM).   From 2011 until this year he was studying theology at CIFA - Communauté Internationale de Formation en Afrique (International Community for Formation in Africa). In September he is going to Hong Kong for a two- to three-year internship program.


Marina became a familiar scene. Every week there she was, seated on the bench just outside her room, often with her mother, a checkered shawl wrapped around her shoulders, her petite frame crowned with a contagious smile. The light in her eyes spoke of an enigmatic glee but couldn’t hide the pain and sorrow that almost gnawed away at her hope, her joy, and the very purpose of her being. Among the faces of patients that I encountered during my apostolate in the hospital hers was one of the few that left an indelible mark on me, making my apostolate meaningful and my integration in Cameroon enriching.

In the footsteps of Columban Missionaries in China

Bishop Edward J. Galvin
19 September 1952 at convent of the Columban Sisters, Hong Kong

Bishop Galvin, Co-founder of the Columbans and first Bishop of Hanyang had just been expelled from the People’s Republic of China

This article first appeared in Sunday Examiner, the English-language weekly of the Diocese of Hong Kong edited by Australian Columban Fr James Mulroney.

HONG KONG (SE): In the manner in which St Columban proclaimed himself an exile for Christ when he left his native Ireland for Europe over 1,400 years ago, a group of Chinese priests, sisters and lay people from Wuhan carried a banner reading ‘Exiles for Christ’ as they traveled in pilgrimage along the Han River from Hanyang between 11 and 14 November 2015 in the footsteps of the Columban missionaries of the 1920s.

Mission comes full circle

Columban Sisters with longtime supporter, Rusy Schroff and his wife, 
from left, Sr Nora Mary O’Driscoll, Sr Valerie Hetherton, Sr Nuala Raleigh, 
Sr Fintan Ryan, Sr Victoire Ryan, Sr Rita Deegan and Sr Mary Greaney. 
Photo: The Hong Kong Tuberculosis Chest and Heart Diseases Association

This was one of a number of articles in the 22 November 2015 issue of Sunday Examiner, the English-language weekly of the Diocese of Hong Kong on the occasion of the Missionary Sisters of St Columban leaving Hong Kong in December 2015 after a presence of 68 years. You will find all the articles on the website of Sunday Examine here.

Seven Columban Sisters, all of whom had worked at the Ruttonjee Sanatorium, as the current general hospital in Wan Chai used to be known, traveled from Ireland to join the 60th anniversary celebration of the Hong Kong Tuberculosis Chest and Heart Diseases Association (formerly the Anti-Tuberculosis Association) during October 2008.

Sr Isobel Loughrey saying goodbye to Hong Kong

Now a spoken thanks

The Columban Sisters have been present in China since 1926

This appeared as an editorial by ‘JiM’ in the 22 November 2015 issue of Sunday Examiner, the English-language Catholic weekly of the Diocese of Hong Kong. The Columban Sisters were invited to go to Hong Kong in 1947 and left in December 2015.

Sixty-seven years make up a substantial portion of any one lifetime, even a significant period in the brief history of Hong Kong, but less than a blink of the eye in the time frame of the divine. However, it is not by the number of years that we measure the contribution to life and society of those who walk this earth, but the quality of commitment, breadth of imagination, ingenuity in work and, most especially, depth of love.

A Concert in Hong Kong for Anniversary Year of St Columban

By Fr Patrick Colgan

The author, from Northern Ireland, is a member of the General Council of the Missionary Society of St Columban in Hong Kong. He has worked in Fiji for many years.

On 11 June this year a quite historic confluence of ‘worlds’ came together: the Oriental and the Celtic, diplomats and business people, missionaries and music lovers, as the Anglican Cathedral Church of St John in Hong Kong quieted for ‘The Journey – a Celebration of the Life of St Columban’, an Irish monk-missionary who died exactly 1400 years ago, patron of the Columban missionaries.

From Fear to Friendship

By Beth Sabado

Beth Sabado, hiking in Hong Kong

The author recently finished a three-year term in Hong Kong as Coordinator of the Lay Missionary Central Leadership Team and is currently awaiting a new assignment.

My pilgrimage in, indeed my conversion to, interreligious dialogue started even before I learned the meaning of the word dialogue. Both my parents were from Luzon in the northern Philippines, but in 1946, soon after World War II, my father decided to migrate south to Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur. At the time the town, which became a city in 1969, was predominantly Muslim, according to my father. My mother had a similar migration story and so my parents, even though neither was born there, met and married in Mindanao.

The Church also needs to know migrants are not milking cows

This article first appeared in the Mabuhay section of Sunday Examiner, the English-language weekly of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong in one of its September issues. BethSabado, a nurse from Pagadian City, Zamboangadel Sur, is a Columban lay missionary and has been based in Hong Kong for nearly three years as Coordinator of the Lay Missionary Central Leadership Team. She worked in Taiwan before taking on that position.

HONG KONG (Mabuhay): Migrant workers in Hong Kong frequently describe themselves as milking cows in the eyes of their government and families.

A usual Sunday crowd in HK

But Beth Sabado, a lay missionary to Taiwan and nine-year veteran manager of a migrant refuge in Taoyuan, says that the Church should be added to the list of those seeking to squeeze the bit of extra money out of them.‘People back home think that just because they are working overseas that they have plenty of money’, she told Mabuhay on 17 September.

‘It is not uncommon for them to get letters appealing for money for a new chapel or something in their home parishes, when the workers themselves are really struggling to make ends meet’, she continued.
From Pagadian in Zamboanga del Sur, Beth says that she is delighted that the Commission for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People(ECMI) is launching an awareness programme for the families of migrants in Mindanao to make them more aware of the true situation of their relatives who have crossed international boundaries in order to try and give them a better life.

‘I love the aim of the initiative’, she said, quoting Bishop Ruperto Santos as saying that remittances should be for families to use to improve their situation, not just rely on them as their sole income.

A big thank you to an extraordinary woman

This article first appeared in the Mabuhay section of the Sunday Examiner, the English-language weekly of the Diocese of Hong Kong, in the 29 June 2014 issue.

Praying for Melina.

‘She was a pillar of strength and a beam of hope to all of those who are fighting for life against death’, Magdalena Soleño said at a memorial Mass for the late founding coordinator of the Filipino Migrant Cancer Support Services (FILMCASS), Melina Paller Lagarbe, celebrated on 15 June in the chapel of the Canossian Sacred Heart College of Commerce in Central.

Interview with Ms Salvacion Napano – Volunteer Prison Chaplain in Hong Kong

By Fr Pat Colgan

The author, from Northern Ireland, is a member of the General Council of the Columbans since September 2012 and based in Hong Kong. Ordained in 1994, he worked in Fiji before his present assignment.

Sally, can you tell us something about your childhood and your early involvement in the Church?

Father Pat and Sally

I was born in Guimaras, now an island province in the Western Visayas, on 14 September 1961. I am the fifth of eight siblings, five boys and three girls. My father was a rice farmer and my mom a busy housewife. Although our church was far away from the village, we always went, and I can remember dreaming about being a nun. I used to play at being one, dressing up in a veil!

Filipino Maids in Hong Kong Cope with Loneliness [Video produced by UCAN, an independent Catholic news service].