Columban Pilgrimage 2016

On 28 September, a large group of those involved in the mission of the Columbans in the Philippines and elsewhere, and four very special visitors from New Zealand, went on a pilgrimage to two places particularly associated with Columban Fr Francis Vernon Douglas: Pililla, Rizal, with his life, and Paete, Laguna, with his torture and death at the hands of the Japanese in 1943. Like the original Columban priests, Fr Douglas was already a diocesan priest, of the Archdiocese of Wellington, when he joined the Society in 1938. Like many other Columbans he met a violent end, in the service of Jesus Christ and his people. Like Jesus, he was scourged at a pillar and was 33 when he died.

Below are the featured articles written about the Pilgrimage:

Columban Pilgrimage to Pililla and Paete by Fr Rex Rocamora

The stirring within my soul began shortly after praying at the post, more so when I witnessed others praying solemly there as well. ‘Do you feel something within you?’, I had to ask, Verne, one of the New Zealanders, as my emotions were welling up. Had I been foolish in asking her? But she quickly replied, ‘I’m his niece’...

Read more

Homily at Memorial Mass of Fr Francis Vernon Douglas, Church of St James the Apostle, Paete, Laguna, Philippines by Fr John Keenan

Let us imagine the scene in this very church: ‘ECCE HOMO’, ‘BEHOLD THE MAN’, put before all the frightened prisoners as to what might happen to them also. Then he was dragged to the baptistery and tied to the font and further tortured...

Read more

Prayer for the Promotion of the Cause of Fr Francis Vernon Douglas

Heavenly Father we join together with the people of New Zealand and of the Philippines who are praying for the promotion of the Cause of Fr Francis Vernon Douglas SSC. We are inspired by his example of heroic faith, courage and commitment to the Gospel...

Read more

United with Father Vernon, a Pilgrimage to Remember by Mary Joy Rile

The thought of his excruciating pain evoked in us deep sorrow, wishing to console him, yet we also recognized that sense of gratitude and awe for his courage in facing such a death. Holding the pillar as if reaching out to Fr Vernon felt like we were united with him...

Read more

What the Pilgrims Say

The experience was surreal. I felt sad yet honored, privileged, and blessed to have walked the floors that Fr Francis Vernon Douglas walked, touched the pillar where he was tied up and tortured, entered through the doors where he welcomed my fellow Filipinos...

Read more

Other Related Links: