Columbans Ireland

Oct 18th
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New Website Launch

In  November 2017 we will be launching a new Columbans Ireland website.
The new address will be

An Misean sa tSín - All Four Episodes Can Be Viewed Now on the TG4 Player

This fascinating, multilingual documentary, produced and directed by Peter Kelly, tells the story of Irish missionaries in China between 1920 and 1954.

Besides representatives of the Columban Fathers and the Columban Sisters, interviewed in Irish (with subtitles) and English, it also includes interviews with historians and with two young Chinese scholars giving their views of the period in question.

The documentary features rare, contemporary film footage from the times of political chaos, famine, floods and wars that characterised that 34 year period in China.

An Misean sa tSín was screened by TG4 over four weeks in March/April 2017.
All four episodes can be viewed now on the TG4 Player.
For a direct link to each episode on the player click on the links below:

An Misean sa tSín – Episode 1 - Tús (Beginnings) 
An Misean sa tSín – Episode 2 - Tubaiste (Disaster)
An Misean sa tSín – Episode 3 - Cogadh (War)
An Misean sa tSín – Episode 4 - Díbirt (Expulsion)

To see a preview of An Misean sa tSín click on the image below:

Responding to the Challenge

Responding to the ChallengeRecently Columban Eamon Sheridan travelled to Myanmar (Burma) to take up a new appointment there.
The Columbans have a long association with the people of Myanmar, a country slowly and painfully emerging from decades of a brutal military dictatorship. In 2015, the Columban General Council decided to commit a small team of priests and lay missionaries to work with the local church in Burma to help them to respond to the enormous challenges faced by the Burmese people.

Before Fr Eamon left, he shared his hopes for the work he has before him and explains why he has made this brave commitment.


Tom Parker ssc R.I.P. (1924-1927)

Tom Parker was born in Glasson, Co. Westmeath on 28 March 1924. He was educated at Glasson NS and St Finian’s College, Mullingar. He came to Dalgan in September 1941 and was a member of the first class of Probationers in the new building. He was ordained priest on 21 December 1947. Due to the accidental death of one of his brothers in March 1948, he was not sent immediately to the missions but was assigned for a year to pastoral work in the Cathedral Parish in Galway. He was then assigned to Korea.

Fr Michael Harrison ssc R.I.P (1924 - 2017)

Michael Harrison was born on 21 March 1924 at Bunaduff, Castlegal, Co. Sligo. He was educated at Castlegal NS and Summerhill College, Sligo. He came to St Columban's, Navan in 1942 and was ordained priest on 21 December 1948. The following year he was appointed to graduate studies in the USA: he completed an MA in history at Fordham University and followed this with training in journalism at the Denver Register.

Fr Fintan John Murtagh ssc R.I.P (1940 - 2016)

Fr Fintan J. Murtagh was born at Moyvore, Co. Westmeath on 12 February 1940. He was educated at Moyvore NS and at St Finian's College, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. He came to Dalgan in 1957 and was ordained priest on 22 December 1963 and died on 23 December 2016 .

Appointed to the Philippines, and to the northern District of Zambales, he served initially in San Marcelino, and Botolan. He spent longer periods in San Antonio, before returning again to Botolan and later to Candelaria and to Olongapo City .

In 1972 , Fintan became aware that he was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. With his sunny temperament, he did not allow his condition to determine what he could or could not do, and he actually continued to play golf long after others would have given up. From 1985, he began to develop a systematic approach to the disabled members of Candelaria Parish. The result was Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) for People with Disabilities and Families (PWD). By 2010 this organization was serving in thirteen parishes of the Diocese of Iba, Zambales. In all it was serving 1037 members in a broad variety of programmes for the disabled. It is serving those who suffer from cerebral palsy, stroke victims, those with Parkinson's Disease, spinal cord injuries, and epilepsy. It also helps slow learners, the mute, the blind and the partially blind, Down Syndrome and a variety of other disabling conditions .

As he coped with his own disability, Fintan gave courage and hope to so many other families in the Philippines and elsewhere. When he could no longer cope he came home to Ireland, but a mechanised wheel-chair, and a special vehicle enabled him to be part of everything that was going on until he suffered a major stroke earlier this year.

Fintan will be remembered as a man of humour, hope and indomitable courage, a witness to all of us on how to cope with life's difficulties .

May he rest in peace
{jacomment on} 

Maurice Vincent Foley ssc R.I.P (1933 – 2016)

Maurice Foley was born at Castlefinn, Co. Donegal on 2 February 1933.
He was educated at Dunbeacon NS, Ballydehob, Co. Cork; Belvedere College Preparatory School; Belvedere College; St Patrick’s College Armagh and University College Dublin. He came to Dalgan in 1952, and was ordained priest on 21 December 1958.

Appointed to Korea in 1959, after language studies he was assigned to Ulchin and Chunchon. After the division of the Diocese of Chunchon, he was assigned to the new Diocese of Wonju  and to the new Parish of Tokgae. He ministered there for most of the remainder of his years in Korea during the difficult period of the military dictatorship.

By 1977, it was clear to him that the Church in Korea was growing rapidly and producing enough priests to cater to its own needs. He asked the Superior General to be assigned to Peru; as he wrote himself “I saw space for my missionary zeal in the land of the Incas”. After language studies his initial assignment was to Huancavalica, working at high altitude in the Sierra, until he was advised that working at sea-level would be easier on his health.

Assignments in the Lima area included the parishes of Santísimo Redentor; Santa María de la Reconciliación; and Nuestra Señora de la Paz.In all these areas he enjoyed a happy and successful ministry. He could come across at times as rather abrupt, and could be impetuous
especially when the poor were being treated unjustly. However nobody could doubt his goodness and kindness, and the love that he lavished on the people was repaid with interest. 

In 2012, his health had begun to deteriorate and he returned to Ireland. For a short period he had enough energy to ride his beloved bicycle, but in recent months his illness confined him to his room.
There he loved to welcome visitors.  Maurice was blessed with a childlike simplicity, a generous heart and a quality of being so genuine that his sincerity could not be doubted. We will miss his
truly unique presence.

May he rest in peace.
{jacomment on} 

Sino-Celtic International Symposium: 14-15 December, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin

Sino-Celtic International Symposium: 14-15 December, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College DublinThe Columbans in association with the Irish School of Ecumenics are runiing an exciting and innovative internation symposium in Trinity College Dublin, on December 14th/15th.

Drawing together insights from Sino and Celtic perspectives speakers will address questions such as:
Do we need to move beyond "The War on Terror", and Terrorism"
Should we destroy our planet for development?
Are poverty and unemployment the price we pay for economic growth?

Speakers will be invited to relate their research of the Sino-Celtic worlds to areas that are under threat by modern day global capitalism (e.g. ecology, gender, social relations, diversity, human dignity, etc.) and explore ways and means of seeking common good of humanity.

Fr Michael Augustine Duffy (1931 - 2016) R.I.P

 Michael died peacefully in Our Lady's Hospital, Navan on 21 November 2016. Born on 28 November 1931 at Johnstown, Co. Meath, he was educated at Loreto School, Navan; Abbey School, Navan, St Patrick’s Classical College, Navan and St Mary’s College, Rathmines, Dublin. He came to Dalgan in 1950 and was ordained priest on 21 December 1956. He was a younger brother of Columban Fr Fergus Duffy who died in 1983.
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