Pulong ng Editor
Fr Jehoon Augustine Lee
In Dalgan Park, Ireland, where most Irish Columbans spent seven years preparing to be missionary priests, some of them to be killed in the service of the Gospel, FrSeán Holloway, to whom the Lord had given just over 93 years of life and almost 67 years of priesthood, was laid to rest.
Your editor was present at the ordination of Father Jehoon, a very joyful occasion celebrated almost entirely in the Korean language but with a real dimension of the catholicity or universality of the Church. There were Columban priests who had grown up Australia, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand and the Philippines and Columban lay missionaries from Fiji, Korea and the Philippines. Two of the Filipino priests were working in Mainland China and Hong Kong respectively.
Luda and Jenanydel lead Fr Jehoon's parents in the Offertory Procession
Lay missionaries Maria Rosa Vuniivi read one of the prayers of the faithful in Fijian while Luda Egbalic from the Philippines read one in Tagalog. Luda and her companion, Jenanydel Nola led the offertory procession, each wearing the traditional costume of the tribal peoples they belong to, carrying candles in the palms of their hands, in a gentle dance that was a quiet and solemn expression of faith.
Fr Seán Holloway
25 August 1921 - 29 October 2014
There is always sadness at a funeral but your editor’s experience is that at the funeral of a Columban priest, especially one to whom God has granted many years, there is a very real element of joy. I’m certain that such was the case when his fellow Columbans and family members brought FrSeán Holloway to his final resting place in the cemetery in Dalgan Park. It could not but be for a person described thus in his obituary: ‘A man of great charity and generosity, there was a childlike transparency in him, and a great capacity for making friends, helping persons develop their gifts, and seeing creative possibilities in every situation.’
At the end of his ordination Mass Father Jehoon had a word of thanks for the many people who had encouraged him on his journey of faith. And may that journey be a long and fruitful one.
Father Seán, who spent many years in the Philippines, first in Mindanao and then in Negros, and many more years in Ireland, had a word of thanks at the end of his long life. In his will he wrote: ‘I wish to thank everybody for their personal kindness to me over the many years that the Good Lord has given to me.’
I’m not sure if Luda and Jenanydel, as they carried their lamps in the offertory procession at the ordination Mass were aware of a prayer of St Columban, whose feast day is 23 November, in one of his Instructions: ‘Lord grant me, I pray you in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, my God, that love which knows no fall, so that my lamp may feel the kindling touch and know no quenching, may burn for me and for others may give light.’
May Father Jehoon’s lamp carry the light of Christ for many years and may we pray on behalf of Father Seánthat he may, in the words of St Columban further on in the same prayer, ‘receive perpetual light from you the light perpetual.’
St Columban's Cemetery, Dalgan Park [Photo: FrRollyAniscal]