Columban News

First Irish Columban Centenarian

Fr Daniel Fitzgerald
100 years old, 28 June 2016

Congratulations to Fr Dan Fitzgerald, born in the city of Cork, Ireland, on 28 June 1916 and ordained on 21 December 1939. He is the first Irish Columban to reach the venerable age of 100 and the second Columban to do so. Fr Bernard Toal from the USA turned 100 on 17 October last year.

May God continue to fill the hearts of both with joy.

Ad multos annos! To many years!

[Editor's Note: Father Fitzgerald died peacefully in Ireland on 9 August.]

Collect for Priests

O God, who made your Only Begotten Son eternal High Priest,
grant that those he has chosen
as ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may be found faithful in carrying out
the ministry they have received.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Two Korean Columbans Ordained as Deacons

Bishop Chung Soon-taek laying hands on Rev Seok Jinwook Antonio

Rev Seok Jinwook Antonio and Rev Ryu Sunjong Andrew were ordained as deacons on 28 May in Don Am Dong Parish, Seoul by Bishop Chung Soon-taek Peter OCD, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul. The two Koreans had been studying at Loyola School of Theology (LST), Quezon City, where they recently passed their final comprehensive examinations along with Filipino Columban seminarian Eldie Barrientos.

Reverend Jinwook Antonio(L) and Reverend Sunjong Andrew with Bishop Chung Soon-taek

On 30 April the two new deacons took their final oath of aggregation as members of the Missionary Society of St Columban at a Mass in the Columban House of Formation, Cubao, QC, at which Regional Director Fr Dan O’Malley was the main celebrant. The families of Rev Antonio and Rev Andrew came from Korea for the occasion as did Fr Joseph Yang Changwoo, Rector of St Columban’s Formation House, Seoul. He served on mission before in the Philippines on First Mission Assignment (FMA) as a seminarian and later as a priest.

Two Columbans Ordained Priests in Chile

Bishop Ossandón with Frs Rafael (L) and Gonzalo [FB]

On 25 June Bishop Pedro Mario Ossandón Buljevic, one of the auxiliary bishops in the Archdiocese of Santiago de Chile, ordained two Chilean Columbans to the priesthood, Fr Rafael Ramírez Salazar and Fr Gonzalo Bórquez Díaz. The ceremony took place in San Columbano Parish, El Bosque (‘The Forest’), Santiago de Chile. Both spent two years, 2012-14, in Korea on First Mission Assignment.

¡Felicidades! Congratulations! Ad multos annos to our two young priests!

Frs Rafael and Gonzalo beside image of St Columban

Two Short Videos in Spanish Featuring the New Priests

Father Rafael

Father Gonzalo

Mission-sending of Columban Lay Missionaries

Sa gitna ng mga bansa sabihing, ‘Diyos ay Dakila!’
I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.

The text above (Psalm 56[57]:10 was the response to the responsorial psalm at the mission-sending Mass of Columban Lay Missionary Marea Lyn Almirañez.

Mission-sending of Febie Gonzalez. Columban Fr Kurt Zion Pala on right.

Columban Lay Missionary Febie Gonzales had her parish mission-sending on 10 April 2016 during the 6:00am Mass at Immaculate Conception Parish, Alamada, Cotabato. The parish belongs to the Archdiocese of Cotabato. Fr John Angelo G. Gamino DCC was the main celebrant. Members of Febie’s family were there along with relatives and friends, members of the different religious organizations to which she belonged, members of the Columban family, along with the wider parish community.

The whole parish rejoiced in the commissioning of Febie as a lay missionary, the first from Alamada Parish and the first Columban missionary from Cotabato Province. Though Febie was sad because her mother in hospital, she said in faith, ‘But in the absence of my biological mother, my second Mom, her twin sister who has shown and given me the same love and support since I was young, and all my spiritual mothers are present. I shed tears of prayer for healing and total surrender. My “yes” to God is my “yes” to everything that will happen according to His will.’

Marea Lyn Almirañez

Marea Lyn Almirañez had her mission-sending Mass at 4:30pm, 29 April, at St Ezekiel Moreno Chapel, San Sebastian College–Recoletos Manila with Fr Casiano A Cosmilla OAR as main celebrant. Members of Marea Lyn’s family attended along with friends from San Sebastian College-Recoletos Manila, San Beda College, Mother of Life Center, the Columbans and other friends. Marea Lyn had hoped to have her mission-sending Mass in her own parish but that didn’t work out.

Marea Lyn was grateful for everyone present. As she expressed, ‘I was rejected by one priest but I have been blessed with the presence of many priests, especially Columbans. I was not sent off by my parish but by people who are close to me. God is really good . . . all the time!’

Both Febie and Marea Lyn expressed deep gratitude for their meaningful celebrations, for the presence of people who filled the events with so much love, and for graces received from God that led them to lay mission.

Febie Gonzales and Marea Lyn Almirañez were appointed by the Missionary Society of St Columban to go on cross-cultural mission to Taiwan. They flew there on 15 June.

Marea Lyn’s parents, Democrito and Ligaya, at her mission-sending