Pulong ng Editor

From the Editor

Beginnings – Endings

By Arlenne B. Villahermosa

We just celebrated the feasts of All Saints Day and All Souls Day on November 1 & 2 respectively. I visited the grave of my father and stayed there for a few minutes with my mother and my brothers. While we were talking, I noticed that we often referred to what my father said or his stand on a particular issue or what he shared with us or did for/to us. He’s been dead for one year and six months, but he’s still very much a part of our lives… and will always be. He’s alive in our hearts and minds.

From the Editor

By Arlenne Villahermosa

As the Missionary Society of St. Columban continues the celebration of its 100th founding anniversary this year, Misyononline.com features in this issue stories and testimonies of people who have been touched by the love of God as their lives intertwined with the faith-witnessing journey that the Columban missionaries had lived-out through the years. This issue also includes insights and reflections on mission by a Columban lay missionary and a Columban student who is currently on his First Mission Assignment to Pakistan.

By Fr Seán Coyle

Co-founders Fr Edward Galvin and Fr John Blowick (seated) with Fr Owen McPolin, China 1920

On Sunday 9 October this year 31 priests and 16 lay missionaries went to Tagaytay City for a two-week meeting of Columbans under the age of 50. Among them was our Superior General, Fr Kevin O’Neill, who in a recent letter wrote: On 9 October 1916, in a ground-floor room of the main college building at Maynooth [St Patrick's College, the National Seminary of Ireland], the 28-year-old Fr John Blowick had the nerve to face the Standing Committee of the Irish Bishops and to present his and Fr Edward Galvin’s scheme for a new mission. After about half an hour’s talk with the bishops, [Michael] Cardinal Logue [Archbishop of Armagh] said that they were prepared to grant their approval for the two things Blowick requested, namely, the making of a collection in the country and the foundation of a Mission College in Ireland.

A Columban Centennial on 10 October

Frs Edward Galvin, John Blowick, Owen McPolin, China 1920
Fr McPolin led the first group of Columbans to Korea in 1933

One hundred years ago on 10 October the Bishops of Ireland gave their blessing to a new venture known as the Maynooth Mission to China. On 29 June 1918 this venture became the Society of St Columban, in the Diocese of Galway, Ireland. The Missionary Society of St Columban, as it is now known, is already preparing to celebrate its Centennial in 2018.

‘Let’s go to the Archbishop’

This issue highlights a number of joyful events for Columbans. We thank God for the 100 years of life that God has given Fr Daniel Fitzgerald and wish him many more years among us. Father Dan is the last of the Irish ‘old China hands’ who worked in that great country before all missionaries were expelled in the early 1950s. He served there under our Co-founder Bishop Edward Galvin.


‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ (Martin Luther King, 28 August 1963) [Video of full speech here. Text here.]

Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I have a dream speech’ in a particular context. Some southern states of the USA still practiced segregation, ie, separate facilities for white and black people, those for the latter always inferior. This had its origins in the history of slavery in the Americas, the original slaves having been brought from West Africa.

‘He is risen, as he said, Alleluia’

Natanuku catechist with grandchild in front of collapsed bure

‘We have to care in a special way for children and for grandparents. Children and young people are the future; they are our strength; they are what keep us moving forward. They are the ones in whom we put our hope. Grandparents are a family’s memory. They are the ones who gave us the faith, they passed the faith on to us.’

‘The life and death of each of us has its influence on others’

Fr Geoffrey Revatto

As I was preparing to put the obituary of Columban Fr Geoffrey Revatto online I was struck by the words of Fr Donal Hogan during his funeral homily: 'The life and death of each of us has its influence on others' (Romans 14:7). Father Geoff touched the lives of so many people – especially the poor in Negros, I think in particular of the parish of Sipalay which had been without a resident priest for 50 years till he arrived in the early 1950's.